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Volume 18 (2024): Issue 2 (Jun 2024)

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Swim, Strength, or Combined Programs: Effect on Health-Related Physical Fitness in Adolescents With Down Syndrome

Borja Suarez-Villadat, Kabir Sadarangani, Rui Manuel Corredeira, Mario Veiga, and Ariel Villagra

The adolescent population with Down syndrome (DS) appears to show higher levels of body fat and lower levels of cardiorespiratory fitness or muscle strength than their peers without disabilities. There is a need to create physical activity programs to improve these data. The aim of this research was to determine the effects of a 16-week swimming program, strength program, and combined program (swimming and strength training) on body composition and health-related physical fitness on adolescents with DS and to assess whether there are differences in the results of the different training programs. Forty-five adolescents (17 female and 28 male; average age 15.5 [1.53] years) with DS were recruited and randomized to three groups (swim [n = 15], strength [n = 15], and combined [n = 15]). Results showed that the swim group had significant improvements in all health-related physical fitness variables and there was an improvement in some body-composition variables (p < .05). The strength and combined groups obtained minor improvements in the variables analyzed. In summary, a 16-week swim program consisting of three sessions of 60 min is able to improve levels of body composition and health-related physical fitness in adolescents with DS. The swim training program seems to be more effective in improving body composition and health-related physical fitness than the strength or combined program. These findings could be useful in different special-education centers due to the predisposition shown by the population with DS to this sport modality.

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Combined Virtual-Reality- and Gym-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Children With a Developmental Disability: Effects on Physical Activity Levels, Motor Skills, and Social Skills

Hoo Kyung Lee and Jooyeon Jin

This study examined the effects of a combined virtual-reality- and gym-based physical activity (PA) program on PA levels, motor skills, and social skills of children with a developmental disability (DD). Twenty-five children with DD were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The intervention was conducted for 60 min, two times a week, for 12 weeks. Pre- and postintervention assessments encompassing PA levels measured via Gravity Estimator of Normal Everyday Activity, motor skills evaluated using the Test of Gross Motor Development-Third Edition, and social skills gauged via the Social Skills Rating System-Parent were conducted. Additionally, a follow-up assessment was administered to the experimental group 12 weeks postintervention. The findings unequivocally demonstrate that the combined virtual-reality- and gym-based PA program yielded significant enhancements in PA levels, motor skills, and social skills among children with DD in the experimental group. Notably, these improvements were sustained 12 weeks after the intervention. These findings may help professionals develop and implement better PA programs for children with DD.

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“Now We Can Speak”: Wheelchair Sport Participation in Areas of Armed Conflict

T.N. Kirk, Cathy McKay, and Katherine Holland

This study sought to understand the lived experiences of wheelchair basketball athletes from low- and middle-income countries of recent or current armed conflict and the meaning that they ascribed to their participation. Wheelchair basketball athletes (N = 108) from eight national teams participated in semistructured focus-group interviews. Study data were analyzed thematically using an interpretive descriptive approach. Three themes were developed: “I can do anything I want; not only basketball,” self-concept changes through sport participation; “Now they see me as a respectable person,” societal belonging through sport; and “I have motivated other disabled people,” influence on nonparticipating disabled persons. The findings indicated that participation in wheelchair sports may help disabled persons see themselves as capable individuals on the court and in aspects of daily living, perhaps even peer role models for other disabled persons in their communities and countries.

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Self-Care and Emotional Competence in Supervision: Helping Clinical Sport Psychology Trainees Foster Professional Well-Being

Erin N.J. Haugen and Kristin Hoff

Within clinical sport psychology (CSP), there is increased attention on factors designed to enhance professional well-being, such as self-care, for practitioners. Emotional competence is a relatively new supervision topic despite it being an ethical imperative within clinical/counseling and sport psychology. CSP trainees deal with stressors that could threaten professional well-being and are complicated by ethical challenges within the sport ecosystem. The purpose of this article is to describe self-care and emotional competence as they relate to the professional well-being of CSP trainees. We offer practical applications for supervisors to consider adopting in their work with trainees. Overall, it is of vital importance that those in CSP attend to their well-being, and we call upon the CSP field to be more intentional about integrating well-being factors into the supervision relationship.

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Athletes’ Perspectives of the Classification System in Para Alpine Skiing for Those With Visual Impairment

Sara M. Douglas, Paul J. Kitchin, Andrew J. Jackson, Brendan T. Barrett, and Julie-Anne Little

This study explored the classification experiences and views of Para Alpine skiers with visual impairment. Data from 11  interviews were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis to generate three themes: Suitability—The skiers questioned the suitability of the visual measurements, testing environment, and the information they received regarding classification; Exclusivity—Skiers felt certain aspects of the system remain exclusive due to the restrictions of sport classes and lack of the athlete voice; and (Dis)trust—Skiers felt distrust in those implementing the system and in other athletes due to intentional misrepresentation. Speculation surrounding this resulted in the skiers’ feeling doubt in their own classification. While there is not a “one size fits all” approach to classification, understanding skiers’ experiences can be a vital first step and will help to guide future research into the evolution of this sport’s classification.

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Erratum. The Relationship Between Childhood Trauma, Exercise Addiction, Emotion Regulation Difficulties, and Basic Psychological Needs in Türkiye

Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology

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Influence of Motor Imagery Modality on First-Serve Performance in Tennis Players

Dominique Laurent, Robbin Carien, and Nicolas Robin

Motor imagery (MI) is frequently used in tennis players. This pilot study aimed to assess whether the MI modality and preference of skilled tennis players could influence their service performance when using MI before serving first balls. Twenty expert players (M age = 18.6 years) completed the movement imagery questionnaire (third version) to assess their MI modality scores (internal visual, external visual, and kinesthetic) and their MI preference. Participants completed 4 experimental counterbalanced sessions spread over 4 weeks, each including the completion of 20 first-serve balls in match condition. The sessions included a control condition (i.e., only physical practice trials) and three MI conditions during which the players had to mentally imagine themselves performing a serve according to one of the imagery modalities, either internal visual, external visual, or kinesthetic, before serving. The percentage of success, the speed of the service balls (measured by a tablet with SWING VISION and a radar gun), and an efficiency score were recorded and then evaluated by experts and served as performance indicators and dependent variables. The results of this study showed that players benefited from MI before serving and that almost a third of the participants achieved a higher percentage of success and efficiency scores when using their preferred MI modality. These results lead us, in an applied way, to suggest to skilled tennis players to determine their MI preference and to have recourse to the mental simulation of a successful serve before serving the first balls in match condition.

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A Study of the Effects of Motor Experience on Neuromuscular Control Strategies During Sprint Starts

Zhengye Pan, Lushuai Liu, Yuan Sun, and Yunchao Ma

Much of the current research on sprint start has attempted to analyze the biomechanical characteristics of elite athletes to provide guidance on the training of sprint technique, with less attention paid to the effects of motor experience gained from long-term training on neuromuscular control characteristics. The present study attempted to investigate the effect of motor experience on the modular organization of the neuromuscular system during starting, based on he clarification of the characteristics of muscle synergies during starting. It was found that exercise experience did not promote an increase in the number of synergies but rather a more focused timing of the activation of each synergy, allowing athletes to quickly complete the postural transition from crouching to running during the starting.

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Response of Knee Joint Biomechanics to Landing Under Internal and External Focus of Attention in Female Volleyball Players

Lukáš Slovák, David Zahradník, William M. Land, Javad Sarvestan, Joseph Hamill, and Reza Abdollahipour

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of attentional focus instructions on the biomechanical variables associated with the risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury of the knee joint during a drop landing task using a time series analysis. Ten female volleyball players (age: 20.4 ± 0.8 years, height: 169.7 ± 7.1 cm, mass: 57.6 ± 3.1 kg, experience: 6.3 ± 0.8 years) performed landings from a 50 cm height under three different attentional focus conditions: (1) external focus (focus on landing as soft as possible), (2) internal focus (focus on bending your knees when you land), and (3) control (no-focus instruction). Statistical parameter mapping in the sagittal plane during the crucial first 30% of landing time showed a significant effect of attentional focus instructions. Despite the similarity in landing performance across foci instructions, adopting an external focus instruction promoted reduced vertical ground reaction force and lower sagittal flexion moment during the first 30% of execution time compared to internal focus, suggesting reduced knee loading. Therefore, adopting an external focus of attention was suggested to reduce most biomechanical risk variables in the sagittal plane associated with anterior cruciate ligament injuries, compared to internal focus and control condition. No significant differences were found in the frontal and horizontal planes between the conditions during this crucial interval.