Physical fitness tests in blind sports

PhD, Associate Professor A.A. Baryaev
St. Petersburg Scientific Research Institute of Physical Culture, St. Petersburg

 

Keywords: physical fitness, blind sports, goalball, judo, diagnostic monitoring.

 

Introduction. Physical fitness tests are the most important component of the integrated control in blind sports, enabling to quickly amend the sports training system. The adequate choice of the sport- and diagnose-specific test methods facilitates synergy of the training process actors including coaches, instructors, doctors and analysts [1]. Since 2014, the blind sports training system has been regulated by the Federal Sports Training Standard, which defines the conditions and requirements for sports training of the blind/ visually impaired athletes in different sports training institutions operating under the Federal Law [2].

Objective of the study was to evaluate the level of physical fitness in blind sports.

Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the study were the Russian national team Paralympians and athletes from the All Russia Association of the Blind who were tested in special training sessions. The experiment was carried out in St. Petersburg, Armavir (Krasnodar Krai), at the training centers of the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation (Republican Training Base "Oka", Russia's National Training Center "Round Lake", Olympic Training Center "Podolsk", Federal State Institution "Yug-Sport"), Army training center for athletes (Kislovodsk).

The physical fitness tests aimed to assess the sport-specific general and special physical fitness levels in the athletes. The program of testing of general physical fitness in goalball included the qualifying standards as provided by the Federal Sports Training Standard for blind sports. In preparing for the testing, we developed the model fitness characteristics with due regard to the subjects’ gender and physical fitness level. The model characteristics were obtained in the course of a multi-year research on physical fitness of athletes with different skill levels. They included:

60m run (less than or  equal to 8.5 sec);

  • 10x9m shuttle run (less than or equal to 25 sec);

  • 1500m run (less than or equal to 5 min);

  • sit-ups (at least 40 reps);

  • push-ups (at least 35 times);

  • standing knee extensions, with the thigh of the working leg parallel to the floor, in 1 min (at least 50 reps);

  • lying back bends in 2 min (at least 80 reps).

  • The general physical fitness testing program for the judokas also included standards provided by the Federal Sports Training Standard for blind sports:

  • 60m run (less than or  equal to 8.5 s);

  • 1500m run (less than or  equal to 5 min);

  • hanging leg raises (at least 8 reps);

  •  

    rope climbing with hands only without the use of the feet, 4 m (at least 3 reps);

  •  

    standing long jump (at least 1.8 m).

The study involved 18 members of the Russian national goalball team (9 males and 9 females), and 21 members of the Russian national blind judo team (11 males and 10 females).

Results and discussion. There were no statistically significant differences in the general physical fitness test results between the male and female goalball players (Table 1).

 

Table 1. General physical fitness test results in goalball

Tests

Goalball (n=18)

males (n=9)

females (n=9)

М±s

М±s

60m run (sec)

8.3±0.3

8.4±0.2

10х9m shuttle run (sec)

21.5±0.9

22.8±1.1

1500m run (мин)

5.21±0.17

5.32±0.23

Sit-ups (reps)

52.3±5.2

44.8±7.5

Standing knee extensions, with the thigh of the working leg parallel to the floor, in 1 min (reps)

53.6±3.2

48.2±5.7

Lying back bends in 2 min (reps)

101.3±7.1

93.4±9.8

 

As Table 1 shows, all the athletes demonstrated high test results, corresponding to the model characteristics as provided by the Federal Sports Training Standard for elite sports.

There were no statistically significant differences in the general physical fitness test results between the male and female judokas (Table 2). The "1500m run" test results were low, however, the results in the rest of the tests complied with the Federal Sports Training Standard for elite sports.

 

Table 1. General physical fitness test results in judo

Tests

Judo (n=21)

males (n=11)

females (n=10)

М±s

М±s

60m run (sec)

8.7±0.2

9.2±0.4

1500m run (min)

5.52±0.23

6.17±0.27

Hanging leg raises (reps)

14.2±2.1

12.4±3.5

rope climbing with hands only without the use of the feet, 4 m (reps)

5.3±1.7

3.2±1.3

Standing long jump (m)

2.12±0.24

1.91±0.11

 

The special physical fitness testing program for the goalball players included the exercises to be performed on the athletic field – those aimed to reveal the athletes’ potential in the playing activity to the maximum (Exercise 1 goalball, Exercise 2 goal goalball).

Exercise 1 goalball. Throws in various directions (in a straight line, diagonally). Each athlete was to perform 15 shots in a row in both directions. During the test, the execution conditions were observed. The minimum result demonstrated by the athletes was 5 accurate hits. The average result was 9 accurate hits.

Exercise 2 goalball. Effectiveness of the defensive and attacking actions. Average result demonstrated by the athletes – +2, which characterizes the high technical fitness level.

The special physical fitness testing program for the judokas included two exercises on the mat:

Exercise 1. Test to estimate the time spent by a judoka to perform 18 shots with three partners. Among the females, the average test time was 48.3±5.7 sec, among the males - 43.8±6.5 sec. This result characterizes the high level of technical fitness and the athletes’ ability to perform high-speed work.

Exercise 2. Special endurance test "Spurt" involving three partners. Among the females, the average number of shots at "uneven" pace in 5 min was 39.5±3.6, among the males - 43.4±4.7. This result characterizes the high level of special endurance.

Conclusion. The data obtained indicate that the physical fitness level in blind sports can be largely determined by the peculiarities of organization of the training process customized to the individual typological features of the athletes. The formation of the scientifically based comprehensive diagnostic methods for assessing the level of physical fitness facilitates the improvement of the system of blind sports training and enhancement of the competitive performance at international and All-Russian competitions. The study results influenced the design of the athletic training planning in the national Paralympic teams of Russia both in goalball and judo (blind sports).

 

References

  1. Baryaev A.A. Nauchno-metodicheskoe soprovozhdenie sportsmenov invalidov [Scientific and methodological support of athletes with impairments]. Study guide. Lesgaft NSUPESH publ.. St. Petersburg, 2017, 80 p.

  2. Vorobyev S.A., Baryaev A.A., Voroshin I.N. et al. Nauchno-metodicheskoe soprovozhdenie trenirovochnogo i sorevnovatelnogo protsessa v paralimpiyskom sporte: metod. Rekomendatsii [Scientific and methodological support of training and competitive processes in Paralympic sports: method. recommendations]. St. Petersburg: SPbSRIPC publ., 2017. 44 p.

 

Corresponding author: barsey@yandex.ru

 

The study analyzes benefits of the physical fitness tests in the blind/ vision impaired sports. Objective of the study was to show benefits of the customizable sport- and diagnose-specific physical fitness test system to facilitate synergy of the training process actors including coaches, instructors, doctors and analysts. The test system was used to improve the training process of the Russian national blind/ vision impaired goalball and judo paralympians. Sampled for the study were the Russian national team paralympians (n=18) and athletes from the All Russia Association of the Blind who were tested in special training sessions. The study data and analyses showed benefits of the blind/ visually impaired athletes’ physical fitness tests for the training process to be customized to the individual needs and capacities of the athletes.