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William R. Falcão, Gordon A. Bloom and Todd M. Loughead

The purpose of this study was to investigate Paralympic coaches’ perceptions of team cohesion. Seven head coaches of summer and winter Canadian Paralympic sport teams participated in the study. Four participants coached individual sports and 3 coached team sports. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and analyzed using thematic analysis. The results addressed the coaches’ perceptions of cohesion in the Paralympic sport setting and strategies used to foster cohesion with their teams. Participants described using techniques and strategies for enhancing cohesion that were similar to those in nondisability sport, such as task-related activities, goal setting, and regularly communicating with their athletes. They also listed how cohesion was distinct to the Paralympic setting, such as the importance of interpersonal activities to build social cohesion. The implications of these results for coaching athletes with a disability are also presented.

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Rienk M.A. van der Slikke, Annemarie M.H. de Witte, Monique A.M. Berger, Daan J.J. Bregman and Dirk Jan H.E.J. Veeger

Purpose: To provide insight on the effect of wheelchair settings on wheelchair mobility performance (WMP). Methods: Twenty elite wheelchair basketball athletes of low (n = 10) and high classification (n = 10) were tested in a wheelchair-basketball-directed field test. Athletes performed the test in their own wheelchairs, which were modified for 5 additional conditions regarding seat height (high–low), mass (central–distributed), and grip. The previously developed inertial-sensor-based WMP monitor was used to extract wheelchair kinematics in all conditions. Results: Adding mass showed most effect on WMP, with a reduced average acceleration across all activities. Once distributed, additional mass also reduced maximal rotational speed and rotational acceleration. Elevating seat height had an effect on several performance aspects in sprinting and turning, whereas lowering seat height influenced performance minimally. Increased rim grip did not alter performance. No differences in response were evident between low- and high-classified athletes. Conclusions: The WMP monitor showed sensitivity to detect performance differences due to the small changes in wheelchair configuration. Distributed additional mass had the most effect on WMP, whereas additional grip had the least effect of conditions tested. Performance effects appear similar for both low- and high-classified athletes. Athletes, coaches, and wheelchair experts are provided with insight into the performance effect of key wheelchair settings, and they are offered a proven sensitive method to apply in sport practice, in their search for the best wheelchair–athlete combination.

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Floor Morriën, Matthew J. D. Taylor and Florentina J. Hettinga

Purpose:

To provide an overview of biomechanical studies in Paralympic research and their relevance for performance in Paralympic sports.

Methods:

The search terms paralympic biomechanics, paralympic sport performance, paralympic athlete performance, and paralympic athlete were entered into the electronic database PubMed.

Results:

Thirty-four studies were found. Biomechanical studies in Paralympics mainly contributed to performance enhancement by technical optimization (n = 32) and/or injury prevention (n = 6). In addition, biomechanics was found to be important in understanding activity limitation caused by various impairments, which is relevant for evidence-based classification in Paralympic sports (n = 6). Distinctions were made between biomechanical studies in sitting (41%), standing (38%), and swimming athletes (21%). In sitting athletes, mostly kinematics and kinetics in wheelchair propulsion were studied, mainly in athletes with spinal-cord injuries. In addition, kinetics and/or kinematics in wheelchair basketball, seated discus throwing, stationary shot-putting, hand-cycling, sit-skiing, and ice sledge hockey received attention. In standing sports, primarily kinematics of athletes with amputations performing jump sports and running and the optimization of prosthetic devices were investigated. No studies were reported on other standing sports. In swimming, mainly kick rate and resistance training were studied.

Conclusions:

Biomechanical research is important for performance by gaining insight into technical optimization, injury prevention, and evidence-based classification in Paralympic sports. In future studies it is advised to also include physiological and biomechanical measures, allowing the assessment of the capability of the human body, as well as the resulting movement.

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Renate M. Leithäuser

, sport science can probably make an even greater difference. To use the above example of blind football again: This is internationally regarded as one of the Paralympic sports that has the greatest research needs in preparation for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020. 1 If only 1% of money that goes into

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Wesley J. Wilson

placement process of students with disabilities and transition planning. Readers will also note a new section on paralympic sports and how they can be integrated into physical education curricula. Resources such as functional behavioral assessments and behavior intervention plans have been enhanced, and a

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Rienk M.A. van der Slikke, Daan J.J. Bregman, Monique A.M. Berger, Annemarie M.H. de Witte and Dirk-Jan (H.) E.J. Veeger

In most Paralympic sports, a classification system is used to attain fair competition among athletes with various levels of impairment. The Paralympic classification systems aim to promote sports participation of people with disabilities by minimizing the impact of eligible types of impairment on

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Eddie T.C. Lam

Movement experienced significant transformations: Stage 1 (1989–2001), from a disability-based movement to a sport-based movement, and Stage 2 (2001–2017), autonomy and self-sustainability of Paralympic sports. Part III, “Relationships Governance in Sport,” includes three chapters. In Chapter 13, the

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Raúl Reina, Aitor Iturricastillo, Rafael Sabido, Maria Campayo-Piernas and Javier Yanci

jump capacity of CP football players with different impairment profiles. For the development of evidence classification systems in Paralympic sports such as CP football, the test battery in this study may be specific for the different profiles and eligible impairments for this parasport: • FT5 players

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Ben T. Stephenson, Sven P. Hoekstra, Keith Tolfrey and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

severely understudied despite athletes’ commonality in Paralympic sports and similarly increased risk of thermal strain. Competitive events in paratriathlon, the Paralympic variant of triathlon, are commonly held in environments with high ambient temperatures; however, prolonged exercise in hot

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Barry S. Mason, Viola C. Altmann and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

Paralympic sports, a classification system exists in order to minimize the impact of impairment on the outcomes of competition. 2 Classification in WR is largely dependent on the physical assessment of trunk and arm function. Point scores between 0 and 1.5 are awarded to represent trunk function. Both arms