The purpose of this study was to understand the learning experiences and acquisition of knowledge of youth parasport coaches. Five able-bodied male participants (M = 39 years old), who coached youth with a physical disability for an average of 7.4 years, participated in individual interviews. An inductive thematic analysis identified patterns within and across the data, allowing for description and interpretation of the meaning and importance of the themes. The results showed that coaches learned mostly from informal experiences, particularly through mentoring, trial and error, or use of technology. In addition, these learning opportunities were influenced by personal, environmental, and social factors. These findings can help to guide current and future generations of coaches of youth participants with a physical disability by highlighting available resources and addressing several barriers and facilitators to their learning.
Pierre Lepage, Gordon A. Bloom, and William R. Falcão
Joseph Peters, Ian Rice, and Tyson Bull
This pilot study investigated the relationship between personal and wheelchair factors on skin pressures at the ischial tuberosity in wheelchair basketball players. Seventeen wheelchair basketball players (7 male and 10 female) were evaluated during static and dynamic propulsive conditions while peak pressure index and peak pressure gradient were recorded with an interface pressure mat. The results showed that greater seat dump angles and backrest heights were negatively associated with the peak pressure index. Therapeutic cushion use was moderately associated with a reduced peak pressure gradient. Higher-class players used chair configurations associated with augmented pressure; however, classification status alone was not associated with pressure magnitude. Body mass index was negatively correlated with the static peak pressure gradient at levels approaching significance (p < .10). In conclusion, greater seat dump angles and backrest heights may provide pressure relief, whereas greater body mass index and therapeutic cushion use may reduce pressure gradients.
Wojciech Jedziniak, Piotr Lesiakowski, and Teresa Zwierko
The authors investigated the dynamics of saccadic parameters during a stationary oculomotor target task in amputee soccer players (n = 16), able-bodied soccer players (n = 16), and nonathletic control subjects (n = 16). Eye movements during the visual-search tasks were recorded binocularly using a mobile eye-tracking system, and the gaze parameters were analyzed (fixation duration, saccade duration, saccade amplitude, saccade average acceleration, saccade peak deceleration, saccade average velocity, and ocular mobility index). The average saccade acceleration in the amputee soccer players was significantly lower than in the able-bodied players (p = .021). Other saccade characteristics in disabled athletes were comparable to those of the able-bodied groups. Moreover, the able-bodied soccer players presented faster saccadic parameters than nonathletes in terms of saccade acceleration (p = .002), deceleration (p = .015), and velocity (p = .009). The modification of oculomotor functions may result from extensive practice and participation in ball games. The authors’ hypothesis that oculomotor functions in amputee soccer players may be impaired was not fully confirmed.
K. Andrew R. Richards, Wesley J. Wilson, Steven K. Holland, and Justin A. Haegele
Although much has been learned about the workplace experiences of physical education teachers, less is known about the unique experiences of adapted physical educators (APEs). Grounded in role socialization theory, the purpose of this study was to understand the relationships among perceived organizational support, resilience, perceived mattering, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction in APEs. The participants included 237 APEs from the United States, who completed an online survey. The primary data analyses included confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. The final structural model was a good fit for the data, χ2(199) = 327.25, p < .001, χ2/df = 1.64; root-mean-square error of approximation = .052 (90% confidence interval [.042, .062], p = .354); standardized root-mean-square residual = .050; nonnormed fit index = .959; comparative-fit index = .964. The results of this study highlight the importance of developing a workplace environment in which APEs feel supported in developing perceptions of matter, reducing emotional exhaustion, and improving job satisfaction.
Nima Dehghansai and Joseph Baker
Initiatives have been designed to attract novice athletes and to enable transfer for experienced athletes. However, the authors have very little knowledge of the effectiveness of these programs. To further improve our understanding, this study explored the demographic and sporting careers of 225 participants attending one of the 10 Paralympian Search events held between 2016 and 2018. The sample consisted of participants with a wide range of impairments and sport experiential backgrounds. The majority of the participants reported having some experience in sports, suggesting that either the promotions reached athletes involved in sports already or the advertising appealed especially to this cohort. Athletes with impairments acquired at various stages of their lives (congenital, before adolescence, adolescence, early adulthood, and adulthood) displayed differences in their sporting trajectories, suggesting considerations for current developmental models. Furthermore, it should be considered to vary the testing locations of future events to increase the reach to rural areas and implement new methods to attract novice participants.
Danielle Peers, Timothy Konoval, and Rebecca Marsh Naturkach
This Foucauldian discourse analysis engages DePauw’s theory of disability and visibility to examine the construction of para-athletes within the websites of Canada’s “fully integrated” athletics sport system. The authors found that para-athletes remain largely unimaginable within most athletics websites. When present, para-athletes are often only imagined as marginal participants, or marginalized through medical and charitable discourses. The authors offer examples of para-athletes being reimagined primarily as athletes, and some examples where (para-)athletics was reimagined by identifying and removing barriers to full participation. The authors close with some learning points that may enable sport practitioners to change how they discursively construct para-athletes and thus contribute to a less marginalizing and exclusionary sport system.
Kirsti Van Dornick and Nancy L.I. Spencer
The purpose of this study was to examine the classification experiences (perspectives and reflections) of paraswimmers. Classification provides a structure for parasport, with the goal of reducing the impact of impairment on the outcome of competition. Guided by interpretive description, nine paraswimmers ranging in swimming experience and sport class were interviewed. Reflective notes were also collected. Transcribed interviews were analyzed inductively, followed by a deductive analysis using Nordenfelt’s dignity framework. Three themes represent the findings: access, diversity, and (un)certainty. Despite several positive experiences, paraswimmers also discussed inconsistencies in the process leading them to question competition fairness and classification accuracy. These findings suggest that continued efforts to improve the classification system are required. In addition, paraswimmers and their allies (e.g., coaches) require more information about the classification process to better understand the outcomes and to effectively advocate for their needs.
Justin A. Haegele, Samuel R. Hodge, Xihe Zhu, Steven K. Holland, and Wesley J. Wilson
The purpose of this study was to examine the perspectives of individuals with visual impairment toward inclusion and the inclusiveness of their integrated physical education experiences. A retrospective, qualitative-description research approach was used, and 10 adults (age 20–35 years) with visual impairments acted as the participants. The data sources included one-on-one telephone interviews and reflective interview notes. A theoretical thematic analysis approach was used to analyze the data. Three interrelated themes were identified: “I always felt like a misfit”: a missing sense of belonging, acceptance, and value; “I felt very excluded, very pushed to the side”: lack of access to activity participation; and “Even though it sucked, I do agree with it”: preference for integrated settings. Collectively, the participants recalled that experiencing feelings of inclusion during physical education were rare. Despite this, they expressed a perceived importance of being integrated in contexts with their peers.