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Anna Carin Aho, Elisabeth Renmarker, Malin Axelsson, and Jenny Jakobsson

Volt hockey is a team sport developed for persons with physical disabilities, but its influence on well-being is unknown. Elements of well-being have been described as positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement constituting a theoretical framework referred to as PERMA. The purpose of this study was to describe how well-being according to PERMA is reflected in the experiences of playing volt hockey. Data were collected through focus group and individual interviews including 21 players. A deductive analysis was conducted using the elements in PERMA as preexisting main categories with an additional main category, named resources needed. Findings showed that all five elements constituting well-being according to PERMA were reflected in the experiences of playing volt hockey. In addition, players emphasized the importance of having the resources needed to play volt hockey. In conclusion, having the opportunity to enjoy playing volt hockey enabled the players to flourish and experience feelings of subjective well-being.

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Kyrah K. Brown, Jerrise Smith, Tamaya N. Bailey, Gennel Ortiz, Xiangli Gu, and Priscila Tamplain

Introduction: Parents play a critical role in their child’s participation in community-based intervention programs. Yet, their perspectives remain largely overlooked in the literature. This qualitative program evaluation used social cognitive theory to understand parents’ motivators and barriers to participation in a community-based intervention program designed for children with motor skill difficulties. Method: Parents (n = 15) of children with motor skill difficulties enrolled in a community-based intervention program participated in semistructured interviews. Results: Thematic analysis revealed six motivators (child needs, satisfaction, perceived impact, affordability, design, and program culture) and three perceived barriers (parent knowledge, access, and accommodations). Discussion: Parents’ motivators and barriers reflected a combination of personal and environmental factors consistent with social cognitive theory. This study revealed novel insight into program-related environmental motivators and barriers. Program leaders should consider ongoing evaluation and application of parental perspectives to optimize family participation and retention in community-based interventions.

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Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Natasha Bruno, Krystn Orr, Roxy O’Rourke, Virginia Wright, Rebecca Renwick, Kirsten Bobbie, and James Noronha

This cross-sectional study examined experiential elements facilitating quality sport experiences for youth (ages 12–24 years) in Special Olympics, and the associated influences of sport program and sociodemographic characteristics. A total of 451 athletes involved in the 2019 Special Olympics Youth Games completed a survey assessing elements of quality participation (autonomy, belongingness, challenge, engagement, mastery, and meaning). The t tests investigated whether athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities rated elements differently across Traditional and Unified Sport programs. Regression analyses explored whether sport program and sociodemographic characteristics were predictors of these elements. Youth reported high mean scores across the elements, with no significant differences between athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Traditional or Unified Sport. Athletes with no reported disability rated higher autonomy than those who reported disability (p = .01). Women tended to report greater engagement in sport than men (p = .07). Findings provide theoretical and practical insights into quality sport participation among youth in Special Olympics.

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Jacqueline C. Ladwig, Tamires C. do Prado, Stephanie J. Tomy, Jonathan J. Marotta, and Cheryl M. Glazebrook

Improvements in functional reaching directly support improvements in independence. The addition of auditory inputs (e.g., music, rhythmic counting) may improve goal-directed reaching for individuals with cerebral palsy (CP). To effectively integrate auditory stimuli into adapted teaching and rehabilitation protocols, it is necessary to understand how auditory stimuli may enhance limb control. This study considered the influence of auditory stimuli during the planning or execution phases of goal-directed reaches. Adults (with CP = 10, without CP = 10) reached from a home switch to two targets. Three conditions were presented—no sound, sound before, and sound during—and three-dimensional movement trajectories were recorded. Reaction times were shorter for both groups in the sound before condition, while the group with CP also reached peak velocity relatively earlier in the sound before condition. The group with CP executed more consistent movements in both sound conditions. Sound presented before movement initiation improved both the planning and execution of reaching movements for adults with CP.

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Carly Albaum, Annie Mills, Diane Morin, and Jonathan A. Weiss

Direct, meaningful contact with people with intellectual disability, such as through integrated sport, may be related to positive attitudes. The current study aimed to compare implicit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) attitudes between adults involved in integrated sport events and those in a comparison group who were not and examine the association between attitudes and degree of integrated sport involvement. An online survey measuring attitudes was completed by 295 adults without intellectual disability who participated in integrated sport activities and 450 adults who did not. Individuals involved in integrated sport reported less negative behavioral and affective attitudes relative to the comparison group, with mixed results for cognitive attitudes. Groups did not differ on implicit attitudes. Greater integrated sport involvement was related to some aspects of explicit attitudes. Involvement in integrated sport may be linked to how participants view intellectual disability, which has important implications for enhancing social inclusion and informing positive attitudes.

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Nima Dehghansai, Veronica Allan, Ross A. Pinder, and Joe Baker

Research has recently examined the role of impairment onset on athlete development in Paralympic sport; however, less is known on how impairment type can impact athlete sporting pathways. In this study, 187 Australian and Canadian Paralympic sport athletes completed a survey. Participants were divided into the following four groups: impaired muscle power (n = 79); ataxia, athetosis, and hypertonia (n = 44); limb deficiencies (n = 42); and other physical impairments (n = 22). Mechanisms of initiation into Paralympic sport varied between groups with some drawn to sport through friends and/or family (i.e., limb deficiencies and other physical impairments groups) while others through talent search programs (i.e., ataxia, athetosis, and hypertonia group) or health care professionals/rehabilitation centers (i.e., impaired muscle power group). Results revealed no significant differences between groups in the chronological age or absolute years for achieving milestones. However, considering the high variability within the sample, more research is necessary to better understand how athletes with different physical impairments navigate through their sporting careers.

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Vincenzo Rago, Adrian Muschinsky, Kasper Deylami, Magni Mohr, and Jeppe F. Vigh-Larsen

Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare training load (TL) between practice and games across in-season microcycles in elite Danish male ice hockey. Methods: Practice sessions and game data were collected using a wearable 200-Hz accelerometer, heart rate (HR) recording, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) throughout 23 practice sessions and 8 competitive games (n = 427 files) and examined in relation to the number of days before the game (game day minus). Results: Total accelerations, accelerations >2 m·s−2 (Acc2), total decelerations, decelerations less than −2 m·s−2 (Dec2), time >85% maximum heart rate (t85HRmax), Edwards TL, modified training impulse (TRIMPMOD), session-RPE, peak HR (HRpeak), and RPE were greater during competition than during practice (r = .19–.91; P < .05), whereas total accelerations per minute and total decelerations per minute were lower (r = .27–.36; P < .001). Acc2, t85HRmax, Edwards TL and TRIMPMOD, % t85HRmax, mean HR (HRmean), and RPE progressively decreased toward game day (r = .13–.63; P < .001). Positive correlations were found between Acc2, Dec2, Acc2 per minute, and Dec2 per minute during practice and during competition (r = .66–.84; P < .001). Conclusions: Evident within-week decreases in internal TL but not external TL were observed as the game day approached. Day-to-day variations were more pronounced in HR- and RPE-based parameters than accelerations and decelerations. Finally, the amount of intense accelerations and decelerations performed during practice was associated to the amount performed during competition, whereas physiological and perceptual demands showed no such relationship.

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Mikael Derakhti, Domen Bremec, Tim Kambič, Lasse Ten Siethoff, and Niklas Psilander

Purpose: This study compared the effects of heavy resisted sprint training (RST) versus unresisted sprint training (UST) on sprint performance among adolescent soccer players. Methods: Twenty-four male soccer players (age: 15.7 [0.5] y; body height: 175.7 [9.4] cm; body mass: 62.5 [9.2] kg) were randomly assigned to the RST group (n = 8), the UST group (n = 10), or the control group (n = 6). The UST group performed 8 × 20 m unresisted sprints twice weekly for 4 weeks, whereas the RST group performed 5 × 20-m heavy resisted sprints with a resistance set to maximize the horizontal power output. The control group performed only ordinary soccer training and match play. Magnitude-based decision and linear regression were used to analyze the data. Results: The RST group improved sprint performances with moderate to large effect sizes (0.76–1.41) across all distances, both within and between groups (>92% beneficial effect likelihood). Conversely, there were no clear improvements in the UST and control groups. The RST evoked the largest improvements over short distances (6%–8%) and was strongly associated with increased maximum horizontal force capacities (r = .9). Players with a preintervention deficit in force capacity appeared to benefit the most from RST. Conclusions: Four weeks of heavy RST led to superior improvements in short-sprint performance compared with UST among adolescent soccer players. Heavy RST, using a load individually selected to maximize horizontal power, is therefore highly recommended as a method to improve sprint acceleration in youth athletes.