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Louise Croft, Suzanne Dybrus, John Lenton and Victoria Goosey-Tolfrey

Purpose:

To examine the physiological profiles of wheelchair basketball and tennis and specifically to: (a) identify if there are differences in the physiological profiles of wheelchair basketball and tennis players of a similar playing standard, (b) to determine whether the competitive physiological demands of these sports differed (c) and to explore the relationship between the blood lactate [Bla] response to exercise and to identify the sport specific heart rate (HR) training zones.

Methods:

Six elite athletes (4 male, 2 female) from each sport performed a submaximal and VO2 peak test in their sport specific wheelchair. Heart rate, VO2, and [Bla] were measured. Heart rate was monitored during international competitions and VO2 was calculated from this using linear regression equations. Individual HR training zones were identified from the [Bla–] profile and time spent within these zones was calculated for each match.

Results:

Despite no differences in the laboratory assessment of HRpeak, the VO2peak was higher for the basketball players when compared with the tennis players (2.98 ± 0.91 vs 2.06 ± 0.71; P = .08). Average match HR (163 ± 11 vs 146 ± 16 beats-min–1; P = .06) and average VO2 (2.26 ± 0.06 vs 1.36 ± 0.42 L-min-1; P = .02) were higher during actual playing time of basketball when compared with whole tennis play. Consequently, differences in the time spent in the different training zones within and between the two sports existed (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Wheelchair basketball requires predominately high-intensity training, whereas tennis training requires training across the exercise intensity spectrum.

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Paul Sindall, John P. Lenton, Keith Tolfrey, Rory A. Cooper, Michelle Oyster and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

Purpose:

To examine the heart-rate (HR) response and court-movement variables during wheelchair tennis match play for high- (HIGH) and low- (LOW) performance-ranked players. Analysis of physiological and movement-based responses during match play offers an insight into the demands of tennis, allowing practical recommendations to be made.

Methods:

Fourteen male open-class players were monitored during tournament match play. A data logger was used to record distance and speed. HR was recorded during match play.

Results:

Significant rank-by-result interactions revealed that HIGH winners covered more forward distance than HIGH losers (P < .05) and had higher average (P < .05) and minimum (P < .01) HRs than LOW winners. LOW losers had higher average (P < .01) and minimum (P < .001) HRs than LOW winners. Independent of result, a significant main effect for rank was identified for maximum (P < .001) and average (P < .001) speed and total (P < .001), reverse (P < .001), and forward-to-reverse (P < .001) distance, with higher values for HIGH. Independent of rank, losing players experienced higher minimum HRs (P < .05). Main effects for maximum HR and actual playing time were not significant. Average playing time was 52.0 (9.1) min.

Conclusions:

These data suggest that independent of rank, tennis players were active for sufficient time to confer health-enhancing effects. While the relative playing intensity is similar, HIGH players push faster and farther than LOW players. HIGH players are therefore more capable of responding to ball movement and the challenges of competitive match play. Adjustments to the sport may be required to encourage skill developmental in LOW players, who move at significantly lower speeds and cover less distance.