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From The CriticsReviewer: Brian Bratta, MS, ATC, CSCS (Michigan State University)
Description: In this book, professionals in the field contribute to the awareness and preparation of the paralympic athlete from both a physical and a mental perspective. It encompasses a history of the Paralympic Games as well as common practices in training athletes for competition.
Purpose: The purpose is twofold: to identify existing practices in the sport science community in the preparation of paralympic athletes and to examine those practices and how to properly use them in the training schedules of these athletes. This is a pioneering book in the field, not only detailing the training practices that are effective, but also presenting a historical perspective in the evolution of the Paralympic Games. The authors have called on professionals from around the world to provide a thorough evaluation of the information and an in-depth look at approaches to develop the skills needed for athletes to compete at the highest possible levels.
Audience: This is an important book for any coach, exercise physiologist, strength trainer, and/or athletic trainer working with athletes who wish to compete at the highest paralympic level. It not only breaks down the physical demands required to be at the elite level, it also explains how to address psychological concerns of these athlete as they are training.
Features: The authors have arranged this book in a logical manner, beginning with the history of the Paralympics. It then examines the background of the athletes, ranging from a biomechanical and physiological perspective to a social and psychological understanding. The final chapters are key for understanding the acclimatization of the athlete for the specific sport and time frame for competition. This is important for anyone interacting with elite paralympic athletes as it discusses what to expect when competing at such a high level.
Assessment: This is a must read for anyone working with paralympic athletes. It is a thorough and concise explanation of the inner workings of the paralympic movement. Many other books highlight the specifics of a particular sport, but this one provides a well-rounded perspective on the movement.