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Handbook of Disability Sport and Exercise Psychology$
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Jeffrey J. Martin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190638054

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190638054.001.0001

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In Sport

In Sport

(p.67) 7 In Sport
Handbook of Disability Sport and Exercise Psychology

Jeffrey J. Martin

Oxford University Press

Athletes with disabilities have unique sport experiences that able-bodied athletes are unlikely to face or face less often. The purpose of this chapter is to document those experiences. Many athletes start sport shortly after leaving a rehabilitation setting. As a result, they are often learning a new disability sport while adapting to a new life with a disability and leaving a life as an able-bodied person. Some past able-bodied sport beliefs and experiences may cause potential athletes to reject disability sport. It is not uncommon for athletes with disabilities to have their sport involvement trivialized as not being “real” sport. The experience of training and competing is also not straightforward. Many athletes struggle to find transportation to practice and may have to accommodate personal bodily functions and hygiene in traveling to competitions. Many athletes have to manage fatigue, soreness, and injuries from training and chronic pain related to their impairment. Finally, athletes with disabilities are classified to ensure fair competition, but the classification process can create stress along with fear about being unfavorably reclassified.

Keywords:   classification, stress, training, injury, travel, chronic pain, competition

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