Psychological Preparation for Paralympic Athletes: A Preliminary Study

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

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Boris BlumensteinGiv’at Washington Academic College for Education

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Iris OrbachWingate Institute for Physical Education and Sport

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Since the first Paralympics in 1960 there has been an increase in social and scientific interest in Paralympic athletes’ personality, their preparation, and their sport results. During the last 20 yr, researchers and practitioners have been focused on psychological-skills programs for athletes with disabilities. The purpose of this article was to describe a psychological-preparation program for Israeli Paralympic athletes. Two subprograms, the learning-modification-application approach and the Simulation Training Exercise Program, were adapted to athletes’ disability and sport demands. Two case studies, from table tennis and sailing (Sonar 3-person keelboat), are described to demonstrate how systematic sport psychology preparation can be effectively integrated into the training process of Paralympic athletes. Some recommendations for Paralympic athletes are presented.

Blumenstein is with Giv’at Washington Academic College for Education, Israel. Orbach is with the Ribstein Center for Sport Medicine Sciences and Research, Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sport, Netanya, Israel.

Address author correspondence to Boris Blumenstein at borisb@wingate.org.il.
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