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  • Author: Robert D. Steadward x
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Laurie A. Malone, A. Brian Nielsen and Robert D. Steadward

Success in free throw (FT) shooting is typically less in wheelchair basketball than in stand-up competition, but little is known about the actual nature of the shots in either setting. The outcome of a FT is typically classified as a dichotomous outcome of hit (score) or miss. However, ball pattern at the basket actually occurs along a continuum ranging from perfect hit to clean miss. The purposes of this investigation were to provide a technique for describing the FT outcome beyond the traditional dichotomous outcome and to employ it to determine the characteristics of FT shooting during an elite wheelchair basketball competition for males. FT statistics and schematic diagrams for 116 participants were recorded at the Sixth Gold Cup World Wheelchair Basketball Championship. Results reflected typical success rates of FT shooting and revealed that short shots comprised the most prominent type of misses. The instrument developed for recording schematic diagrams was an effective way to determine and describe shot outcome profiles that reflect particular trends in FT shooting.

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Garry D. Wheeler, Robert D. Steadward, David Legg, Yesahayu Hutzler, Elizabeth Campbell and Anne Johnson

This study aimed to examine the transferability of a personal investment process of disability sport to athletes from the USA, UK, Canada, and Israel. Initiation, competition, and retirement experiences of 40 athletes were examined. Results corroborate previous findings on athletes with and without disabilities and reveal no differences in major themes among athletes from different countries. A revised personal investment process model is proposed. Athletes with a disability should receive some form of preparatory counseling support before and after retirement. Difficulties during the transition to retirement are generally associated with overcommitment, ego identity in sport, and exclusion of other aspects of life (Baille, 1993; Blinde & Stratta, 1992; Hill & Lowe, 1974; Sinclair & Orlick, 1993). Factors associated with successful transition include sense of accomplishment, voluntary retirement, degree of ego involvement and commitment, anticipatory socialization, planning, social support structures, adequate financial support, and maintenance of outside interests (Baille, 1993; Sinclair & Orlick, 1993; Werthner & Orlick, 1986).

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Garry D. Wheeler, Laurie A. Malone, Sandy VanVlack, Ewen R. Nelson and Robert D. Steadward

We examined the transition experiences and adjustment to retirement among 18 athletes with disabilities. Adopting a grounded theory approach, we interviewed athletes using a semistructured format based on Schlossberg’s (1981, 1984) transition model. Three basic questions were asked regarding the competitive period, events surrounding the retirement decision, and adjustment to retirement. Data were analyzed by an iterative process and a model was developed. Sport was a highly valued part of the lives of athletes; personal commitment to sport was evident and often taken to extremes including overtraining and ignoring medical advice. Transition from sport was an emotional experience for athletes, and difficulties were associated with voluntary versus involuntary retirement and readiness or lack of readiness for retirement. Coping with retirement appeared to be facilitated by readiness and having other job and family interests outside of sport. Many athletes expressed concern regarding chronic injuries and aging with a disability. We suggest that the Schlossberg model is a useful framework for examining athlete transition and adjustment to retirement.

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Yagesh N. Bhambhani, Robert S. Burnham, Gary D. Wheeler, Peter Eriksson, Leona J. Holland and Robert D. Steadward

In this study we compared the ventilatory threshold (VT) between 8 untrained and 8 endurance-trained males with quadriplegia during simulated wheelchair exercise. Each subject completed an incremental velocity test in his personal wheelchair mounted on a customized roller system designed to provide velocity and distance feedback. VT was identified by two trained evaluators using established respiratory gas exchange criteria. A significant interevaluator reliability coefficient of .90 (p < .01) was observed for the detection of VT. Relative oxygen uptake (V̇O2, ml · kg-1 · min-1) at VT and peak V̇O2 were significantly (p < .05) higher in the endurance-trained compared to untrained subjects. However, no significant difference (p > .05) was observed between the two groups when VT was expressed as a percentage of peak V̇O2. Significant correlations of .86 and .81 (p < .01) were observed between VT and peak V̇O2 in the untrained and trained groups, respectively. It was concluded that endurance training improves both VT and peak V̇O2 during wheelchair exercise in male subjects with quadriplegia but does not improve VT when it is expressed relative to peak V̇O2.

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Daniel J. Daly, Stefka K. Djobova, Laurie A. Malone, Yves Vanlandewijck and Robert D. Steadward

A video race analysis was conducted on 100-m freestyle performances of 72 male and 62 female finalists at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. Races were won or lost in the second half of each 50-m race lap and differences in speed between swimmers were more related to stroke length than stroke rate. Within-race speed changes were more related to changes in stroke rate. Stroke rate changes were also responsible for speed changes between qualifying heats and finals in the first part of races, while stroke length was responsible for better speed maintenance at the end of races. Results indicate that Paralympic finalists use race speed patterns similar to able-bodied elite swimmers.

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Daniel J. Daly, Laurie A. Malone, David J. Smith, Yves Vanlandewijck and Robert D. Steadward

A video race analysis was conducted at the Atlanta Paralympic Games swimming competition. The purpose was to describe the contribution of clean swimming speed, as well as start, turn, and finish speed, to the total race performance in the four strokes for the men’s 100 m events. Start, turn, and finish times, as well as clean swimming speed during four race sections, were measured on videotapes during the preliminary heats (329 swims). Information on 1996 Olympic Games finalists (N = 16) was also available. In Paralympic swimmers, next to clean swimming speed, both turning and finishing were highly correlated with the end race result. Paralympic swimmers do start, turn, and finish slower than Olympic swimmers but in direct relation to their slower clean swimming speed. The race pattern of these components is not different between Paralympic and Olympic swimmers.