We are updating our website on Thursday, December 2 from 9 AM – 5 PM EST. During this time, users may experience some disruptions while using the site. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Para Sport Development Experiences: Perspectives of Para Swimmers and Parents

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
View More View Less
  • 1 Western University
Restricted access

Purchase Article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $66.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $88.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $125.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $167.00

This study examined para swimmers’ athlete development experiences from the perspectives and reflections of athletes, and parents of athletes, with a focus on the constraints and challenges experienced. Guided by interpretive phenomenological analysis, 12 participants engaged in the interview process (seven parents and five athletes). Five themes were identified: fundamental skill development, personal connection, coaching, classification, and connecting with others “like me.” Through a discussion of the differences in development experiences between the participants in this study and the current literature on athlete development, the authors highlight areas of concern in applying a non-para-specific athlete development model to para swimmers. This study identifies several areas of consideration in the future design of a para athlete development framework or model.

The authors are with Western University, London, ON, Canada.

Sales (dgeiger@uwo.ca) is corresponding author.
  • Alexander, D., Bloom, G.A., & Taylor, S.L. (2020). Female paralympic athlete views of effective and ineffective coaching practices. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 32(1), 4863. https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2018.1543735

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Allan, V., Smith, B., Côté, J., Martin Ginis, K.A., & Latimer-Cheung, A.E. (2018). Narratives of participation among individuals with physical disabilities: A life-course analysis of athletes’ experiences and development in parasport. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 37, 170178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2017.10.004

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arbour-Nicitopoulos, K.P., Grassmann, V., Orr, K., McPherson, A.C., Faulkner, G.E., & Wright, F.V. (2018). A scoping review of inclusive out-of-school time physical activity programs for children and youth with physical disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 35(1), 111138. PubMed ID: 29338295 https://doi.org/10.1123/apaq.2017-0012

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Balyi, I., Way, R., & Higgs, C. (2013). Long-term athlete development. Human Kinetics.

  • Baumeister, R.F., & Leary, M.R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497529. http://dx.doi.org.proxy1.lib.uwo.ca/10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burkett, B. (2012). Coaching athletes with a disability. In P. Potrac, W. Gilbert, & J. Denison (Eds.), Routledge handbook of sports coaching (pp. 196209). Taylor & Francis Group. http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/west/detail.action?docID=1143893

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Canadian Paralympic Committee. (2021). History of the Paralympic movement in Canada. https://paralympic.ca/history-paralympic-movement-canada

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cobley, S., & Till, K. (2017). Longitudinal studies of athlete development: Their importance, methods and future considerations. In J. Baker, S. Cobley, J. Schorer, & N. Wattie (Eds.), Routledge handbook of talent identification and development in sport (pp. 250268). Routledge.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Conroy, D.E., & Coatsworth, J.D. (2006). Coach training as a strategy for promoting youth social development. The Sport Psychologist, 20(2), 128–144. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.20.2.128

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Côté, J. (1999). The influence of the family in the development of talent in sport. The Sport Psychologist, 13(4), 395417. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.13.4.395

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Côté, J., & Hay, J. (2002). Family influences on youth sport participation and performance. In J. Silva & D. Stevens (Eds.), Psychological foundations of sport (pp. 503519). Allyn and Baconp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Côté, J., Lidor, R., & Hackfort, D. (2009). ISSP position stand: To sample or to specialize? Seven postulates about youth sport activities that lead to continued participation and elite performance. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 7(1), 717. https://doi.org/10.1080/1612197X.2009.9671889

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Côté, J., & Vierimaa, M. (2014). The developmental model of sport participation: 15 years after its first conceptualization. Science & Sports, 29, S63S69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scispo.2014.08.133

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cregan, K., Bloom, G.A., & Reid, G. (2007). Career evolution and knowledge of elite coaches of swimmers with a physical disability. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 78(4), 339350. PubMed ID: 17941538 https://doi.org/10.1080/02701367.2007.10599431

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • De Bosscher, V., De Knop, P., Van Bottenburg, M., & Shibli, S. (2006). A conceptual framework for analysing sports policy factors leading to international sporting success. European Sport Management Quarterly, 6(2), 185215. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184740600955087

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R.M. (2008). Self-determination theory: A macrotheory of human motivation, development, and health. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 49(3), 182. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012801

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dehghansai, N., Lemez, S., Wattie, N., & Baker, J. (2017). A systematic review of influences on development of athletes with disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 34(1), 7290. PubMed ID: 28218871 https://doi.org/10.1123/APAQ.2016-0030

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Duarte, T., Culver, D.M., Trudel, P., & Milistetd, M. (2018). Parasport coach development: Evidence from the Canadian context. LASE Journal of Sport Science, 9(1), 7890.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Evans, M.B., Shirazipour, C.H., Allan, V., Zanhour, M., Sweet, S.N., Martin Ginis, K.A., & Latimer-Cheung, A.E. (2018). Integrating insights from the parasport community to understand optimal Experiences: The Quality Parasport Participation Framework. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 37, 7990. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.04.009

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gelinas, J.E., & Reid, G. (2000). The developmental validity of traditional learn-to-swim progressions for children with physical disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 17(3), 269285. https://doi.org/10.1123/apaq.17.3.269

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gill, C.J. (1997). Four types of integration in disability identity development. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 9(1), 3946. https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-1997-9106

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gulbin, J.P., Croser, M.J., Morley, E.J., & Weissensteiner, J.R. (2013). An integrated framework for the optimisation of sport and athlete development: A practitioner approach. Journal of Sports Sciences, 31(12), 13191331. PubMed ID: 23631711 https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2013.781661

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hutzler, Y., Higgs, C., & Legg, D. (2016). Improving Paralympic development programs: Athlete and institutional pathways and organizational quality indicators. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 33(4), 305310. https://doi.org/10.1123/APAQ.2016-0111

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • International Paralympic Committee. (2018). World para swimming classification rules and regulations. https://www.swimming.ca/content/uploads/2018/11/WPS-CLASSIFICATION-RULES-AND-REGULATIONS-JANUARY-2018.pdf

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • International Paralympic Committee. (2020). Explanatory guide to Paralympic classification: Paralympic summer sports September 2015. https://www.paralympic.org/sites/default/files/2020-10/2020_06%20Explanatory%20Guide%20to%20Classification_Summer%20Sports.pdf

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jaarsma, E.A., Dijkstra, P.U., Geertzen, J.H.B., & Dekker, R. (2014). Barriers to and facilitators of sports participation for people with physical disabilities: A systematic review. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 24(6), 871881. PubMed ID: 24730752 https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12218

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jaarsma, E.A., Haslett, D., & Smith, B. (2020). Improving communication of information about physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 36(2), 185201. https://doi.org/10.1123/apaq.2018-0020

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kehn, M., & Kroll, T. (2009). Staying physically active after spinal cord injury: A qualitative exploration of barriers and facilitators to exercise participation. BMC Public Health, 9(1), 168. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-9-168

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kraft, E., & Leblanc, R. (2018). Instructing children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Examining swim instructors’ knowledge building experiences. Disability and Health Journal, 11(3), 451455. PubMed ID: 29187318 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2017.11.002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • La Guardia, J.G., Ryan, R.M., Couchman, C.E., & Deci, E.L. (2000). Within-person variation in security of attachment: A self-determination theory perspective on attachment, need fulfillment, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(3), 367384. PubMed ID: 10981840 https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.79.3.367

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lauer, L., Gould, D., Roman, N., & Pierce, M. (2010). Parental behaviors that affect junior tennis player development. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11(6), 487496. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.06.008

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Luzio, S.S.di, Martinent, G., Guillet-Descas, E., & Daigle, M.-P. (2020). Exploring the role of sport sense of community in perceived athlete burnout, sport motivation, and engagement. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 32(5), 513528. https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2019.1575298

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mann, D.L., Dehghansai, N., & Baker, J. (2017). Searching for the elusive gift: Advances in talent identification in sport. Current Opinion in Psychology, 16, 128133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.04.016

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McMaster, S., Culver, D., & Werthner, P. (2012). Coaches of athletes with a physical disability: A look at their learning experiences. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 4(2), 226243. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2012.686060

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Molik, B., Laskin, J.J., Golbeck, A.L., Kosmol, A., Rekowski, W., Morgulec-Adamowicz, N., … Gomez, M.-A. (2017). The international wheelchair basketball federation’s classification system: The participants’ perspective. Kinesiology, 49(1), 117126.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morris, A., Imms, C., Kerr, C., & Adair, B. (2019). Sustained participation in community-based physical activity by adolescents with cerebral palsy: A qualitative study. Disability and Rehabilitation, 41(25), 30433051. PubMed ID: 29987965 https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2018.1486466

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nyquist, A., Jahnsen, R.B., Moser, T., & Ullenhag, A. (2020). The coolest I know—A qualitative study exploring the participation experiences of children with disabilities in an adapted physical activities program. Disability and Rehabilitation, 42(17), 25012509. PubMed ID: 31006287 https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2019.1573937

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Paradis, K., & Misener, L. (2018). Long-term athlete development for parasport athletes: Interpretations and considerations for parasport athlete development. Journal of Exercise, Movement, and Sport (SCAPPS Refereed Abstracts Repository), 50(1), 172.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Patatas, J.M., Bosscher, V.D., Cocq, S.D., Jacobs, S., & Legg, D. (2021). Towards a system theoretical understanding of the Parasport context. Journal of Global Sport Management, 6(1), 87110. https://doi.org/10.1080/24704067.2019.1604078

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Patatas, J.M., Bosscher, V.D., & Legg, D. (2018). Understanding parasport: An analysis of the differences between able-bodied and parasport from a sport policy perspective. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 10(2), 235254. https://doi.org/10.1080/19406940.2017.1359649

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Peers, D. (2009). (Dis)empowering Paralympic histories: Absent athletes and disabling discourses. Disability & Society, 24(5), 653665. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687590903011113

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Peers, D., Konoval, T., & Naturkach, R.M. (2020). (Un)imaginable (para-)athletes: A discourse analysis of athletics websites in Canada. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 37(1), 112128. PubMed ID: 31860833 https://doi.org/10.1123/apaq.2019-0062

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pietkiewicz, I., & Smith, J.A. (2012). Praktyczny przewodnik interpretacyjnej analizy fenomenologicznej w badaniach jakościowych w psychologii. Czasopismo Psychologiczne, 18(2), 361369.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rimmer, J.H. (2005). The conspicuous absence of people with disabilities in public fitness and recreation facilities: Lack of interest or lack of access? American Journal of Health Promotion, 19(5), 327329. PubMed ID: 15895533 https://doi.org/10.4278/0890-1171-19.5.327

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ryan, R.M. (1995). Psychological needs and the facilitation of integrative processes. Journal of Personality, 63(3), 397427. PubMed ID: 7562360 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1995.tb00501.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shields, N., & Synnot, A. (2016). Perceived barriers and facilitators to participation in physical activity for children with disability: A qualitative study. BMC Pediatrics, 16(1), 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-016-0544-7

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, B., & McGannon, K.R. (2018). Developing rigor in qualitative research: Problems and opportunities within sport and exercise psychology. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11(1), 101121. https://doi.org/10.1080/1750984X.2017.1317357

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, J.A. (2011). Evaluating the contribution of interpretative phenomenological analysis. Health Psychology Review, 5(1), 927. https://doi.org/10.1080/17437199.2010.510659

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, J.A., & Osborn, M. (2003). Interpretative phenomenological analysis. In J.A. Smith (Ed.), Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods (pp. 5180). Sage Publications Inc.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, J.A., & Osborn, M. (2015). Interpretative phenomenological analysis as a useful methodology for research on the lived experience of pain. British Journal of Pain, 9(1), 41-42.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sport for Life. (2013). No accidental champions: Long-term athlete development for athletes with disabilities (2nd ed.). Sport Canada.

  • Sport for Life. (2016). Canadian sport for life: Long term athlete development 2.1. http://sportforlife.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/LTAD-2.1-EN_web.pdf?x96000

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sport for Life. (2019). Long-term development in sport and physical activity 3.0. https://sportforlife.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Long-Term-Development-in-Sport-and-Physical-Activity-3.0.pdf

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stansen, C., & Chambers, T.P. (2019). An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the player development manager role in Australian professional sports. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 11(2), 152167. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2017.1397540

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Swimming Canada. (n.d.). Sport classification process. https://www.swimming.ca/content/uploads/2018/11/SPORT-CLASSIFICATION-PROCESS.pdf

  • Taylor, S., Werthner, P., Culver, D., & Callary, B. (2015). The importance of reflection for coaches in parasport. Reflective Practice, 16(2), 269284. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2015.1023274

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, S.L., Werthner, P., & Culver, D. (2014). A case study of a parasport coach and a life of learning. International Sport Coaching Journal, 1(3), 127138. https://doi.org/10.1123/iscj.2013-0005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tracy, S.J. (2010). Qualitative quality: Eight “big-tent” criteria for excellent qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 16(10), 837851. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800410383121

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Turnnidge, J., Vierimaa, M., & Côté, J. (2012). An in-depth investigation of a model sport program for athletes with a physical disability. Psychology, 3(12A), 11311141. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/psych.2012.312A167

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Van Dornick, K., & Spencer, N.L.I. (2020). What’s in a sport class? The classification experiences of paraswimmers. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 37(1), 119. PubMed ID: 31509797 https://doi.org/10.1123/apaq.2019-0007

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wiart, L., Darrah, J., Kelly, M., & Legg, D. (2015). Community fitness programs: What is available for children and youth with motor disabilities and what do parents want? Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 35(1), 7387. PubMed ID: 25529409 https://doi.org/10.3109/01942638.2014.990550

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wiener, J., & Schneider, B.H. (2002). A multisource exploration of the friendship patterns of children with and without learning disabilities. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 30(2), 127141. PubMed ID: 12002394 https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1014701215315

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wuerth, S., Lee, M.J., & Alfermann, D. (2004). Parental involvement and athletes’ career in youth sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5(1), 2133. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1469-0292(02)00047-X

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 647 647 322
Full Text Views 35 35 12
PDF Downloads 43 43 14