The 2016 Paralympic Games hosted in Rio de Janeiro provided a context of increased social relevance of disability and disability sports. Disability sports can be defined as “sports that have been designed for or practiced by athletes with disabilities” ( DePauw & Gavron, 2005 , p. 8). Within this
Samuel Lins, Cynthia F. Melo, Sara G. Alves and Rúben L. Silva
Michael S. Ferrara and William E. Buckley
The Athletes With Disabilities Injury Registry (ADIR) was designed to collect and analyze injury data from 1990 to 1992. Three hundred nineteen athletes from different disability organizations participated, and 128 reportable injuries were recorded. The injury rate during the study period was 9.45/1,000 athlete-exposures. Overall, 52% of the reported injuries were minor (0–7 days missed), 29% were moderate (8–21 days missed), and 19% were major (22 or more days missed). The shoulder and forearm/wrist accounted for the most days lost, followed by the hand/fingers and the upper arm/elbow. Musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 81 % of the reported injuries, and illness or disability-related problems accounted for 19%. Fifteen percent of the moderate and major injuries were not medically evaluated. This raises questions about access to medical care and the appropriate recognition of an injury. Injury prevention programs should focus on reducing the number of major injuries and educating athletes and coaches about appropriate medical referrals.
David K. Liow and Will G. Hopkins
The training practices of athletes with disabilities were investigated by means of a validated self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were derived from the replies of 41 wheelchair racers, 20 swimmers, and 14 athletes specializing in throwing events. The majority of athletes competed at either international (77%) or national levels (15%). Almost all swimmers were coached frequently, but one third of the wheelchair racers and one half of the throwers were not coached. Median volumes of endurance, interval, strength, and skill training in each of four training phases (buildup, precompetition, taper, and postcompetition) only partially reflected the contribution of energy systems and skills to performance in the different sports; moreover, there were wide variations in the training programs of athletes within each sport, especially swimmers and throwers. It was concluded that there is need for improvement in the coaching and training of many top-class athletes with disabilities.
Stephanie J. Hanrahan
This paper presents general considerations for working with athletes with disabilities and the usefulness and possible modification of specific mental skills for those athletes. Common concerns for athletes with specific disabilities are discussed. Specific disabilities are considered under the headings of amputees, blind and visually impaired, cerebral palsy, deaf and hearing impaired, intellectual disabilities, and wheelchair. Arousal control, goal setting, attention/concentration, body awareness, imagery, self-confidence, and precompetition preparation are discussed in terms of disability-specific issues as well as suggestions for application.
Jeffrey J. Martin, Robert C. Eklund and Carol Adams Mushett
Individuals who perceive themselves as “athletes” are thought to have self-schemas composed of, in part, an athletic identity (Brewer, Van Raalte, & Linder, 1993). The recent development of the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS) has allowed sport psychology researchers to assess athletic identity. Research with adolescent athletes with disabilities has suggested that the AIMS is composed of 4 factors (Martin, Mushett, & Eklund, 1994). The purpose of the current study was to further examine the psychometric properties of the AIMS. Seventy-eight international swimmers (34 females, 44 males) with disabilities, ranging in age from 12 to 44 (M = 23.4 years), participated in the present study. Using structural equation modeling procedures, a confirmatory factor analysis determined that the data fit the 4-factor model specified in the Martin et al. (1994) study, thus providing support for the multidimensionality of the AIMS.
Karen P. DePauw
Jeffrey J. Martin and Carol A. Mushett
The purpose of this investigation was to describe social support mechanisms of swimmers with disabilities and examine relationships among social support, self-efficacy, and athletic satisfaction. Results indicated that athletes felt satisfied with the social support they received. Mothers and friends provided primary support in a variety of areas requiring non-sport-related knowledge. Additionally, there were important secondary sources of support in areas requiring sport-specific knowledge. Coaches were primary sources of support in areas that required sport expertise. Fathers were also important sources of secondary support in areas that required both sport expertise and nonsport expertise. Correlational results suggested that athletes who were supported by being listened to and by being challenged to become better athletes and people also reported strong self-efficacy.