Loughborough University have produced a range of guides around a variety of impairments for the individual themselves to use, but they are also useful coaching resources to help coaches understand the impairment and what different things they may need to consider. There are currently 5 guides;
These resources are now online and you can also access them here: www.lboro.ac.uk/phc-toolkit
Each guide contains information on physical activity & exercise, nutrition and psychology and will cover topics in the Fit for Life section such as getting over barriers to exercise, the basic recommendations for how much to do & how to eat healthily. You can then progress, if you wish, to the Fit for Sport section which covers topics such as training to improve performance, monitoring training load, eating to compete, goal setting & relaxation techniques.
Cambridgeshire’s very own Paralympic Goalball player features in the visual Impairment guide and says “Having an impairment can often limit peoples’ outlook, but through sport I’ve led a happier and healthier life and achieved more than I ever thought I could. I’ve discovered a strength and determination in myself I would never have expected. Whatever your limitations, sport can help you to break down the social and physical barriers that can often come with the isolation of an impairment, helping you to meet new people and feel more confident in yourself.
The key is to try anything and everything until you find what sport, and what level of sport suits you. Despite being visually impaired I have tried my hand at Hockey, Netball, Skiing, Ice-skating, the list goes on. Being fit and healthy has more benefits than simply physical, as it gives you a drive and a sense of fulfilment that is hard to beat.
These guides are a great resource to help you get Fit for Life. It starts with the basics and teaches you how to lead a healthy, well-balanced and active lifestyle, and allows you to progress at your own pace. The resource includes specific topics, advice and adaptations for individuals with the different impairments, so that all the information you need is in one place. You can also pick and choose from the areas you are most interested in. If you then choose to take up a sport, you can download the Fit for Sport section which will help you understand how to adjust your training and nutrition, and how to use some psychological skills to improve your performance.
No matter what level you are currently at, or even if you are just getting started, this guide can help you to achieve your own personal goals. Most importantly this guide will hopefully give you the confidence to lead a healthy, more active lifestyle and maybe try something new. Resources: 5 x guides