Competitive psychophysiological fitness test system for blind judo Paralympics elite

PhD, Associate Professor L.V. Vinokurov1
Honored Coach of Russia, MSMK, Russian Blind Sports team trainer R.R. Khalikov2
PhD, Associate Professor A.A. Baryaev1
Dr. Biol. T.F.Abramova3
1Saint-Petersburg Research Institute of Physical Culture, Saint-Petersburg
2Khabarovsk Regional Adaptive Sports School, Khabarovsk Territory
3Federal Science Center for Physical Culture and Sports, Moscow

Corresponding author: leon_1205@mail.ru

Abstract

Objective of the study was to test benefits the competitive psychophysiological fitness test system with analysis of the unconscious/ conscious psychophysiological fitness performance governed by the key nervous processes – in application to the national blind judo Paralympics elite.

Methods and structure of the study. The competitive psychophysiological fitness test system piloting experiment was run in the precompetitive trainings of the national blind judo Paralympics team for the European Championship (IBSA) in July 2019 (Italy), for ten days prior to the event. We sampled for the tests the 23-45 year-old national blind judo Paralympics team members (n=16, including 6 women and 10 men) qualified Honored Masters of Sports (n=2). World Class Masters of Sports (n=7), Masters of Sports (n=4) and Candidate Masters of Sports (n=3) representing 70% of the team.

Individual typological specifics were rated by the by E.P. Ilyin’s practical motor skills test toolkit using Prognoz Computerized Test System [4]. The individual voluntary psycho-emotional control was rated by the skin tonic activity (electrical resistance) tests indicative of the psycho-emotional stress tolerance. The test system applies a galvanic skin response rating Mind-Reflection biofeedback sensor. The individual competitive fitness was self-rated by the athletes using a special questionnaire survey form with 30 questions, with every aspect rated on a 9-point scale. The competitive fitness may be described as the individual ability to mobilize the competitive resource under competitive pressures. We used the questionnaire survey data to produce the competitive fitness indices to rank the individual competitive stress tolerance and success potential.

Results and Conclusion. The invariant psychophysiological fitness test rates indicative of the blind judo competitors’ central nervous system good fitness for competitions may be summarized as follows: (a) moderate-to-highly-strong nervous system that effectively controls involuntary mobilization of the individual natural resource for competitive success; (b) prevalence of the internal balancing skills indicative of the permanent and efficient control of metabolic processes, with high innate aggression (expressed or latent in the precompetitive fitness for the fight) with its modest albeit often decisive contribution to the expected competitive success. Analysis of the central nervous system psychophysiological fitness competitive fitness in the blind judo sport is recommended to give a special priority to correlations of the competitive fitness / competitive success indices with the above psychophysiological fitness test rates.

Keywords: psychophysiological characteristics, neurodynamic characteristics, competitive reliability, elite blind Paralympic judokas, blind sports.

Background. Competitive fitness may be interpreted as the individual psychophysiological resource mobilizing setting, with the actual competitive performance determined by a wide range of testable psychophysiological factors of influence [3]. On the way to the XVI Paralympic Summer Games in Tokyo rescheduled for August-September 2021, the national sports community gives a special priority to the psychophysiological fitness tests of blind judo Paralymians since even a minor visual impairment is known to heavily complicate the competitive technical and tactical actions and set special requirements to the precompetitive training systems of the sports elite.

Objective of the study was to test benefits the competitive psychophysiological fitness test system with analysis of the unconscious/ conscious psychophysiological fitness performance governed by the key nervous processes – in application to the national blind judo Paralympics elite.

Methods and structure of the study. The competitive psychophysiological fitness test system piloting experiment was run in the precompetitive trainings of the national blind judo Paralympics team for the European Championship (IBSA) in July 2019 (Italy), for ten days prior to the event. We sampled for the tests the 23-45 year-old national blind judo Paralympics team members (n=16, including 6 women and 10 men) qualified Honored Masters of Sports (n=2). World Class Masters of Sports (n=7), Masters of Sports (n=4) and Candidate Masters of Sports (n=3) representing 70% of the team.

Individual typological specifics were rated by the by E.P. Ilyin’s practical motor skills test toolkit [5] using Prognoz Computerized Test System [4]. The individual voluntary psycho-emotional controls were rated by the skin tonic activity (electrical resistance) tests indicative of the psycho-emotional stress tolerance. The test system applies a galvanic skin response rating Mind-Reflection biofeedback sensor [1]. The individual competitive fitness was self-rated by the athletes using a special questionnaire survey form with 30 questions, with every aspect rated on a 9-point scale. The competitive fitness may be described as the individual ability to mobilize the competitive resource under competitive pressures [2]. We used the questionnaire survey data to produce the competitive fitness indices to rank the individual competitive stress tolerance and success potential.

Results and discussion. The competitive fitness of the sample was tested dominated by the fairs-free strong fighting spirit regardless of the opponents’ class and rank, high tolerance to the prefight fever/ apathy, immunity to the autonomic nervous system failures and negative mindsets provoked by the high precompetitive physical and psychological stresses. The sample was tested highly fit for the precompetitive and competitive physical and mental stressors; with the ability to cope with errors and poor performance in the competitive bouts, abstract from negative thinking and come into a must-win mindset for success.

The sample was classified based on the competitive fitness indices into two equal groups, with 50% of the sample self-rating their competitive fitness high (by 7-9 points), and 50% medium (4-6 points). No one in the sample rated either competitive fitness aspect low (by 1-3 points). The neurodynamic functionality (NDF) test data of the sample was grouped into the high, moderate and low.

On the nervous system strength typing scale, (1) 56.25%, 18.75% and 25% of the sample were tested moderate, high and low, respectively; (2) 50%, 25% and 25% of the sample were tested with low, moderate and high nervous system excitation/ motility rates; 3) 80%-plus of the sample was tested high and moderate on the nervous system inhibition scale (43.8% and 37.5%, respectively); and the remaining 18.8% was tested low; (4) on the external mental control/ balance test scale, 81.3% and 18.7% of the sample were tested with domination of external and internal inhibition, respectively; and (5) the internal balance test scale showed a similar picture, with 75% and 25% tested with dominance of excitation and internal inhibition, respectively.

Having analyzed the NDF data correlations with the individual competitive success data at the European Blind Judo Championship (IBSA) in July 2019, we found the correlation directly or indirectly determined by the competitive fitness indices. The Spearman pair rank correlation indices showed significant positive correlation between the individual precompetitive internal balance test rates and the competitive success rates (ρo = 0,486; p = 0.05; unilateral). Statistically, this means that the internal balance level is closely correlated with the logical nonlinear competitive success variation. In practical terms, we would recommend the internal balance test rates being applied as the potential indicators (rating the achieved precompetitive energy resource mobilizing capacity) to forecast the potential competitive success.

Contributions of the individual psycho-emotional controls into the competitive fitness indices were rated by the basic (relaxation and activation) self-control skills tests. Actually, we tested only 50% of the sample high and moderate on the psycho-emotional control scale. Single-factor variation analysis found the psycho-emotional control being positively correlated with the competitive fitness indices variations – that means that the high mental control improve the competitive fitness in the blind judo sport. The correlation of the mental relaxing ability test rate with the competitive fitness indices may be described as F (2.13) = 2.83, p≤0.05 (unilateral); and the mental activation ability test rate with the competitive fitness indices as F (2.13) = 2.88, p≤0.05 (unilateral).

Conclusion. The invariant psychophysiological fitness test rates indicative of the blind judo competitors’ central nervous system good fitness for competitions may be summarized as follows: (a) moderate-to-highly-strong nervous system that effectively controls involuntary mobilization of the individual natural resource for competitive success; (b) prevalence of the internal balancing skills indicative of the permanent and efficient controls of metabolic processes, with high innate aggression (expressed or latent in the precompetitive fitness for the fight) with its modest albeit often decisive contribution to the expected competitive success. Analyses of the central nervous system psychophysiological fitness competitive fitness in the blind judo sport are recommended to give a special priority to correlations of the competitive fitness / competitive success indices with the above psychophysiological fitness test rates.

References

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