Since the first Paralympics in 1960 there has been an increase in social and scientific interest in Paralympic athletes’ personality, their preparation, and their sport results. During the last 20 yr, researchers and practitioners have been focused on psychological-skills programs for athletes with disabilities. The purpose of this article was to describe a psychological-preparation program for Israeli Paralympic athletes. Two subprograms, the learning-modification-application approach and the Simulation Training Exercise Program, were adapted to athletes’ disability and sport demands. Two case studies, from table tennis and sailing (Sonar 3-person keelboat), are described to demonstrate how systematic sport psychology preparation can be effectively integrated into the training process of Paralympic athletes. Some recommendations for Paralympic athletes are presented.
Boris Blumenstein and Iris Orbach
Ronnie Lidor, Boris Blumenstein and Gershon Tenenbaum
The purpose of this article is to examine how phase-specific psychological interventions were used in an annual training program of elite male basketball players. Psychological intervention introduced to elite athletes during their training program reflects the aims of each critical phase of the program, namely the preparation, competition, and transition phases. In addition, while conducting psychological consultations, the sport psychologist should take into consideration the specific objectives of other preparations in the training program, such as the physical, technical, and tactical. The specific psychology intervention in each phase of the basketball training program, the philosophical approach to the intervention process, and the reasoning behind the use of the certain psychological techniques at each specific phase of the program are discussed.
Boris Blumenstein, Michael Bar-Eli and Gershon Tenenbaum
A five-step approach of mental training incorporating biofeedback (BFB) with videocassette recorder (VCR) is presented in this article. The technique consists of five stages, with flexible time-session limits that can be individualized. These are (a) introducing mental techniques, (b) determining and strengthening the appropriate BFB modality, (c) BFB training with simulated competitive stress, (d) transformation of the mental training to practice, and (e) realization of the technique in competitive situations. The technique and some findings are further discussed.