Nima Dehghansai, Srdjan Lemez, Nick Wattie, and Joseph Baker
Compared with mainstream sport athletes, relatively little is known regarding the factors affecting the development of athletes with a disability. Sport-specific training programs are essential to athletes’ successful performance; to create appropriate programs and strategies, a clear understanding of the nuances of development of athletes with a disability is important. The objective of this systematic review was to synthesize existing research on development in athletes with a disability and examine the key determinants of successful development and sporting performance. After a search of the Web of Science and SPORTDiscus databases, 21 articles were identified that met the inclusion criteria, which were assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool and categorized into 3 groups: training and practice, shortterm interventions, and long-term changes due to training. Among the studies, there was a disproportionate focus on immediate interventions and training programs and less on long-term development. The review reflected a lack of research on sportspecific development of athletes with a disability, which raises concerns regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of current training practices.
Debbie Van Biesen, Jennifer Mactavish, Janne Kerremans, and Yves C. Vanlandewijck
Evidence-based classification systems in Paralympic sport require knowledge of the underlying effect of impairment in a specific sport. This study investigated the relationship between cognition and tactical proficiency in 88 well-trained table tennis players with intellectual disability (ID; 29 women, 59 men, M ± SD IQ 59.9 ± 9.6). Data were collected at 3 competitions sanctioned by the International Federation for Para-Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities (INAS). A generic cognitive test consisting of 8 neuropsychological subtests was used to assess cognitive abilities relevant to sport (reaction time, processing speed, and decision speed; spatial visualization; fluid reasoning; memory; executive functioning; and visual processing). The backward stepwise-regression analysis model revealed that 18% of the variance in tactical proficiency was attributed to spatial visualization and simple reaction time. Applications of these findings resulted in an evidence-based classification system that led to the reinclusion of athletes with ID in Paralympic table tennis and provide the basis for future research in this important area.
Yeshayahu Hutzler, Colin Higgs, and David Legg
Janine Coates and Philip B. Vickerman
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games aimed to deliver a legacy to citizens of the United Kingdom, which included inspiring a generation of young people to participate in sport. This study aimed to understand the legacy of the Paralympic Games for children with disabilities. Eight adolescents (11–16 yr) with physical disabilities were interviewed about their perceptions of the Paralympic Games. Thematic analysis found 3 key themes that further our understanding of the Paralympic legacy. These were Paralympians as role models, changing perceptions of disability, and the motivating nature of the Paralympics. Findings demonstrate that the Games were inspirational for children with disabilities, improving their self-perceptions. This is discussed in relation to previous literature, and core recommendations are made.
Samantha J. Downs, Stuart J. Fairclough, Zoe R. Knowles, and Lynne M. Boddy
The aim of this study was to assess the physical activity (PA) patterns of youth with intellectual disabilities (ID). PA was monitored for 7 days in 70 participants, 5–15 years old, using accelerometers. There were 32 participants included in the final analysis. Habitual PA and the number of continuous bouts accrued for a range of bout lengths (5–600 s) for light (LPA), moderate (MPA), and vigorous (VPA) PA were calculated. Multivariate analysis of covariance was used to assess differences in the number of continuous bouts by sex, age, and ID group and between week and weekend days. Participants exhibited short sporadic bursts of activity. The number of continuous bouts decreased as the intensity and duration increased. Few differences in PA patterns were reported by sex, ID group, and age group and between week and weekend days, possibly due to the generally low PA levels in this population.
Lucas Pereira, Ciro Winckler, Cesar C. Cal Abad, Ronaldo Kobal, Katia Kitamura, Amaury Veríssimo, Fabio Y. Nakamura, and Irineu Loturco
This study compared the physical performance of Paralympic sprinters with visual impairments (PSVI) and their guides in jump and sprint tests. Ten PSVI and guides executed squat jumps (SJ), countermovement jumps (CMJ), horizontal quintuple right/left-leg jumps (QR/QL), decuple jumps (DEC), and 50-m-sprint tests. The guides were superior to the PSVI in SJ (35.9 ± 6.3 vs 45.6 ± 3.2 cm), CMJ (38.5 ± 6.2 vs 46.7 ± 4.0 cm), QR (9.2 ± 1.9 vs 12.7 ± 1.0 m), QL (9.4 ± 1.9 vs 13.1 ± 0.8 m), DEC (21.0 ± 3.3 vs. 27.2 ± 1.7 m), and 50-m sprints (8.4 ± 0.4 vs 7.6 ± 0.5 m/s). The average differences between the PSVI and guides in the sprint tests was 10%, range 1–24%. Therefore, substantial differences in sprinting speed (in favor of the guides) between the peers were observed. Coaches should develop strategies to train the guides to improve their muscle-power performance.
Amelia Ferro, Jorge Villacieros, and Javier Pérez-Tejero
The purpose of this study was to develop a methodology to accurately analyze sprint performance of elite wheelchair basketball (WB) players in their own training context using a laser system and to analyze the velocity curve performed by the players regarding their functional classification and their playing position. Twelve WB players, from the Spanish men’s national team, took part in an oncourt 20-m-sprint test. BioLaserSport® was used to obtain time, mean velocities (Vm), maximum velocities (Vmax), and distances at 90%, 95%, and 98% of their Vmax. Vm and Vmax reached high values in Classes II and III and in the guard playing position. The protocol developed with the laser system makes it possible to obtain a precise velocity curve in short sprints and allows easy analysis of decisive kinematic performance variables in WB players, showing immediate feedback to coaches and players. The normalized data allow an interpretation of how much, where, and when Vmax occurs along the test.