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Sports Reaction Center brings state-of-the art to the athletic community
Just beyond the outskirts of downtown Bellevue, in a closet-sized room unnoticed beyond Hidden Valley office park, a select group of clients at the Sports Reaction Center (SRC) physical therapy clinic experience weightlessness. Really.
The “Alter G” – technology from NASA that uses air pressure to let clients run on a treadmill with reduced weight – isn’t even the newest tool in the SRC’s arsenal. The company also is the first clinic on the West Coast with the state-of-the-art Optojump, which uses light tracking and video gait analysis to help diagnose and analyze athletes.
“It lets us measure down to 1/1000s of a second,” said Neil Chasan, SRC’s founder. “It lets us see them in context ... and gives us really amazing data about how the foot interacts with the ground.”
In running, a sport where times are measured to three decimal places, even small improvements can be huge, Chasan explained.
That data, though, doesn’t mean much without the proper expertise and experience behind it. Chasan can certainly lay a claim to that – after graduating from the University of Washington’s physical therapy program in 1982, he worked in Seattle until 1997, when he founded the SRC. In addition to experience as a coach and a college athlete, Chasan also teaches at UW’s physical therapy program and has contributed lengthy chapters to several textbooks.
“I resonate with athletes,” he said. The SRC’s mission is to “help [athletes] achieve their potential.”
The SRC’s program has three steps – getting clients out of trouble, improving their strength, and then making athletes “bulletproof” through overtraining, Chasan said.
Because of their technology and expertise, SRC enjoys a star-studded clientele that includes marathoner Mike Sayenko, running group Club Northwest, VO2 Multisport, and Olympic hurdler Virginia Powell.
However, SRC is also looking to bring its expertise to local groups. SRC provides therapy for the Puget Sound Beach rugby club and is looking to make its technology available to local high schools.
The Optojump gives information on asymmetries in runners’ forms and about their power, acceleration and stride, Chasan said, which both helps them improve and gives coaches an idea which events are best for which athletes.
More information about the SRC is available at its website.
Derek Tsang is an intern at the Bellevue Reporter. He attends Interlake High School.