Adaptation is the key

With any exercise for an adaptive athlete you are given a choice, don’t do it or modify it around the functional capability of the person.

I’m a big fan of option 2…adapt the exercise. Karla has functional issues with her legs. When we sat down and worked out her functional capabilities and goals for the program, she wanted to address strength and functional imbalances and develop her limited leg function.

I am a huge fan of the “Big 3” lifts (bench press, deadlift and squat) however I realised Karla wasn’t ready for a squat and goblet squats are also out due to other limb functional limitations.

After a few test runs, we decided the seated leg press was the best option. Even then we had to make some adjustments for Karla. The photo below shows you what I’ve done.

The red theraband holds her feet into place and the green theraband stops her right leg from moving medially / towards her left leg and creating a weird angle between her hip, knee and ankle and turning it into an unsafe exercise, with a high risk of injury.

This allows her to complete a leg press with solid form whilst we work on the associated issues causing the imbalances.

A win!

Developing pathways

Over the last 18 months G.A.S has had a partnership with Tennis Australia and Geelong Lawn Tennis Club to create and run a local wheelchair tennis program.

We meet each week and have a mix of juniors and seniors players come down for specialised coaching and free gameplay.

A key part of our current plan is to ensure our players have a development pathway for competitive play. Thanks to Greg Crump and Holly Tawse from Tennis Australia (TA) we are now a regular feature in the TA junior development sessions.

We have also have been able to have TA coaching staff attend our local sessions for coach development and we are starting to reap the rewards.

Last week two of our players, Arlo and Hamish, travelled up to Melbourne for a development camp and we received great feedback on their skill development. Greg Crump commented in a text “The juniors from Geelong have improved so much. Good one”.

This feedback is great to receive and is a testament to the great program we have here. This will spur us on to keep on track.

Thanks too to our parents and supporters for helping us get to where we are today.