Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

The Effects of Offseason Training on Special Olympics Athletes

Tayler Holder, Alex White

Department of Health and Human Performance

PURPOSE: Many Special Olympics athletes focus on sport specific preseason training and have no fitness programs in the offseason. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of individualized fitness programs on fitness levels of Special Olympics athletes.

METHODS: Participants were 3 Special Olympics athletes recruited from specialized exercise programs at the YMCA. Athletes were given an Athlete Pre-Program Survey and participated in field testing to assess their baseline needs. In the field we tested flexibility, strength, balance, and aerobic fitness levels by using the following tests: Back Saver Sit and Reach Test, Apley’s Test, Timed Sit-Stand Test, Partial Sit-up Test, Seated Push-up Test, Eyes Open and Eyes Closed Single Leg Stance, Multidirectional Functional Reach and the Three Minute Walk-Run Test. Based on the baseline assessment athletes were given an individualized exercise program and were retested after six weeks.

RESULTS: Our specific intervention focused on balance and aerobic fitness. We measured the greatest post-intervention improvement in these areas. We used the Cohen statistic to calculate the effect size, which measures the strength of the correlation between the intervention program and the recorded improvements. Effect Size is represented as Small (0.1-0.3), Medium (0.3-0.5), or Large (>0.5). A Large Effect Size was calculated for the following tests: Eyes Open Single Leg Stance (L/R), Eyes Closed Single Leg Stance (R), and the Three-Minute Walk/Run Distance.

CONCLUSION: From the improvements shown in the brief six week intervention, we found the program to be effective at increasing the fitness levels of our Special Olympic Athletes. We anticipate that there would be more significant improvements in balance, flexibility, strength and aerobic fitness in a longer program.

Category

Physical Sciences

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Apr 11th, 3:00 PM Apr 11th, 4:00 PM

The Effects of Offseason Training on Special Olympics Athletes

The Effects of Offseason Training on Special Olympics Athletes

Tayler Holder, Alex White

Department of Health and Human Performance

PURPOSE: Many Special Olympics athletes focus on sport specific preseason training and have no fitness programs in the offseason. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of individualized fitness programs on fitness levels of Special Olympics athletes.

METHODS: Participants were 3 Special Olympics athletes recruited from specialized exercise programs at the YMCA. Athletes were given an Athlete Pre-Program Survey and participated in field testing to assess their baseline needs. In the field we tested flexibility, strength, balance, and aerobic fitness levels by using the following tests: Back Saver Sit and Reach Test, Apley’s Test, Timed Sit-Stand Test, Partial Sit-up Test, Seated Push-up Test, Eyes Open and Eyes Closed Single Leg Stance, Multidirectional Functional Reach and the Three Minute Walk-Run Test. Based on the baseline assessment athletes were given an individualized exercise program and were retested after six weeks.

RESULTS: Our specific intervention focused on balance and aerobic fitness. We measured the greatest post-intervention improvement in these areas. We used the Cohen statistic to calculate the effect size, which measures the strength of the correlation between the intervention program and the recorded improvements. Effect Size is represented as Small (0.1-0.3), Medium (0.3-0.5), or Large (>0.5). A Large Effect Size was calculated for the following tests: Eyes Open Single Leg Stance (L/R), Eyes Closed Single Leg Stance (R), and the Three-Minute Walk/Run Distance.

CONCLUSION: From the improvements shown in the brief six week intervention, we found the program to be effective at increasing the fitness levels of our Special Olympic Athletes. We anticipate that there would be more significant improvements in balance, flexibility, strength and aerobic fitness in a longer program.