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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jana Sklenarikova, Martin Kudlacek, Ladislav Baloun and Janice Causgrove Dunn

The purpose of the study was to identify trends in research abstracts published in the books of abstracts of the European Congress of Adapted Physical Activityfrom 2004 to 2012. A documentary analysis of the contents of 459 abstracts was completed. Data were coded based on subcategories used in a previous study by Zhang, deLisle, and Chen (2006) and by Porretta and Sherrill (2005): number of authors, data source, sample size, type of disability, data analyses, type of study, and focus of study. Descriptive statistics calculated for each subcategory revealed an overall picture of the state and trends of scientific inquiry in adapted physicalactivity research in Europe.

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Lourdes Gutiérrez-Vilahú, Núria Massó-Ortigosa, Lluís Costa-Tutusaus, Miriam Guerra-Balic and Ferran Rey-Abella

The purpose of the study was to compare postural control in static standing in young adults with and without Down syndrome (DS), with eyes closed and eyesopen, before and after an 18-wk dance-based training program. The study included 11 young people with DS age 20.5 (1.3) yr and 11 without DS age 20.2 (2.0) yr.All parameters were recorded before and after the training program. Parameters related to center of pressure (COP; closed and open eyes) were recorded from aplatform with the participant in bipedal standing position during 30 s. The results suggest that young people with DS have worse COP control in both visual conditions (closed and open eyes) and are affected by visual information in a different way than their peers without DS. In the group of young adults with DS, thedance-based training program improved some parameters related to the use of visual input in controlling COP.