Chapter 1- The Participant of an Individual

chapter 1

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Age effects the body in many ways:

  • Flexibility is high in our teans but decreases as we get older.
  • Strength decreases with age, but younger people will not reach maximal strength until they are fully grown.
  • Oxygen capacity reduces with age, the heart becomes less efficient.
  • Skill level increases with age and experience, and improves as we grow and get stronger.
  • the older you get the more prone to diseases and disorders, and it takes longer to recover from injury.

Age divisions:

  • In schools, and sport competitions ect; we split into age/year groups, but in some cases people are allowed to play out of there age group because they physically mature quicker.
  • But this is not very common in physical contact sports owing to the possible dangers of a physical mismatch.
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Types of disabilities:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Permanent
  • Temporary 

Sporting adaptions:

  • in wheelchair basketball we have to make many adaptions.
  • They have special wheelchairs.
  • The have no breaks on the wheelchairs.
  • The dribble rule changes.
  • No contact.
  • Restricted areas.
  • The number of players change to 12 players.
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  • Access- doors and doorways have to be wide enough to allow wheelchair access and ramps must be provided.
  • Parking- disabled bays must be marked and made available.
  • Provision- lifts must allow access to upper floors, disabled toilets must be provided, there should be specific activities, clubs or classes that are particularly suited to the disabled.
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Physical differences

  • Men have higher maximal strength- Women have a lower maximal strength.
  • Men have higher muscle mass-Women have lower muscle mass.
  • Men have lager lungs-Women have smaller lungs.
  • Men have a broader physique-Women have a smaller physique.
  • Men have lower levels of flexibility-Women have a higher level of flexibility.

Perceived differences:

  • Women have often been seen as the 'weaker sex' and not allowed the same oppurtunities as men.
  • They were not allowed to compete in distance races greater than 800 meters in the Olympics until 1960- the 1,500 meters was added in 1972 and the 10,000 meters in 1988.
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Body types

There are 3 different somatotypes:           

Endomorph:                                               Ectomroph:

  • pear shaped.                                        - Long slender, thin with narrow  
  • easily gain muscle.                                 shoulders and hips, thin arms 
  • short legs.                                               and legs.
  • wide hips and wide shoulders.              - flexible-gymnastic
  • sumo wrestler, weight lifters.                 - long distance runners.    


  • swimmers
  • wedge shaped.
  • narrow hips.
  • broad, wide shoulders.
  • muscled arms and legs.
  • Minimum of fat.
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Weather: you need the correct weather for sport e.g a skier would need cold and snowy weather whereas a tennis player would need warm and dry conditions. weather effects both training and competing separately.

Pollution: air pollution can affect both training and competing because it is a serious health risk for anyone taking exercise in such conditions.

Altitude: This is the height of an area above sea level. Training and performing at high altitude can be a real benefit for someone taking part in endurance events.

Humidity: This relates to the amount of water vapour that is in the air. Humidity combined with heat makes conditions very difficult for performers to keep there bodies cool enough to avoid dehydration.

Terrain: The landscape you require may be crucial to your sport because, for example, a skier would need slopes and snow and a surfer would need sea and surf.

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Risk and Challenge

Challenging activities- challenge within activities can also be a factor. To tackle a bigger opponent in rugby is a physical challenge, as is to run excess of 26 miles in a marathon.

Risk assessment- Before you participate in sort make sure that your environment has no hazards or dangers that could cause injury e.g make sure that when you play tennis the court is clear of any balls that you could trip on.

Risk control- players have you perform within the rules of the game and play in a safe manner once the risk assessment has been carried out e.g make sure the players have warmed up properly and make sure players aren't wearing jewellery.

Safeguards- Its is important to always have a first-aid kit available and be aware of where qualified first-aiders or telephones are located in case you need to contact emergency services. 

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Activity Levels and Needs

Activity needs:

Competitive activities that need you to be highly committed as they need to train to compete e.g if you were county at netball you would need to commit to alot of training and would have to make sure that matches always came first and that you could make it to training sessions.

Recreational activities are not demanding as they do not have to played at high levels and does not need any special training or preparation e.g Bowls is a recreational sport because it is often played by old people and does not have a high levels of physical demand.


Competitive: an activity that involves some form of contest, rivalry or game.

Recreational: any form of play, amusement or relaxation performed as games, sports or hobbies.

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Activity Levels and Need

The level at which you perform is going to have an effect on you:

  • High levels of activity will benefit  your fitness if hight levels of activity are on regular basis. Also it would give you the benefit of enjoyment when taking part with others.
  • Low levels of activity will have little or no effect on you, which would make you unfit.
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Level of participation

People that train at hight levels of activity need to train on a regular basis and to do so they would have to consider periodsation, to ensure that they peak at the right time. This takes into account their competitive year, which would consist of the following:

  • The pre-season- increasing fitness for the season ahead and developing technique.
  • The peak season- main competitive season and ongoing fitness sessions.
  • Post season- this is the rest and recovery season but still need to keep general fitness levels up.
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Time Available:

  • The time available is very important.
  • If you played county netball you would need alot of time because you have to trian on a regular basis, and if you dont make the training sessions you may be asked to leave the team.
  • In order to become a better performer you have to trian alot which would also need alot of time.
  • For example swimmers have to train very early in the morning before the pools are open to the public so that they can acheive maximal levels of training.

Available funds:

  • The amount of money you have in very important aswell.
  • If you were to train at high levels and needed specialist training this would cost much more that just going to your local gym or lesiure centre.
  • This is why sport performers have a sponsership, so thy can afford to train at high levels.
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