Wheelchair Sports Tips

Read these 18 Wheelchair Sports Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Wheelchairs tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Is there a rough-terrain sport for wheelchairs?

Using All-Terrain Wheelchairs For Handcycling

If the lure of dirt, competition, and rough-terrain sound like a satisfying challenge, consider looking into the all-terrain wheelchairs for handcycling. These all-terrain wheelchairs are three-wheel off-road bicycles, with a single wheel in the rear just like mountain bikes and two wheels in the front to keep the rider stable. Handcyling wheelchairs work well for trail riding. Riders use their torsos to steer the handcyling wheelchairs, which have handlebars similar to a regular mountain bike. Handcyling has become a popular sport since the first handcyling World Championship was held in 1998.

   

Using All-Terrain Wheelchairs For Handcycling

All-terrain wheelchairs, for the more subdued user, can still take you along trails, to the water's edge at the beach, and let you explore the outdoors. In fact, higher quality all-terrain wheelchairs will allow you to climb curbs in the urban environment, just as easily as they will have you speeding down uneven terrain away from the city.

   
What kind of adaptive dancing can I participate in?

Get Into The Groove With Adaptive Dancing

Who says you can't sit down and dance? If you want to get involved in the world of adaptive dancing, you certainly can dance with your wheelchair. A number of locations throughout the United States offer some form of adaptive dancing. For instance, the Universal Dance Center in New Jersey offers wheelchair dancing. You can learn everything from preparation for dancing during your wedding to performance oriented wheelchair dancing. Dancing Wheels in Ohio offers adaptive dance for children and adults. Choose from classes in ballet, hip hop, ballroom dancing, and modern dance.

   
Is there a professional organization for wheelchair basketball?

National Wheelchair Basketball Association

If you're really serious about playing or watching wheelchair basketball, check out the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA). They have over 185 basketball teams for men, women, colleges, and children. They have three men's divisions and three juniors divisions, so there is a team that exists for every skill level. In addition to competing within the United States, members of the NWBA compete in wheelchair basketball internationally. From the Paralympic Games to the Pan American Games, the NWBA selects and trains members to play wheelchair basketball around the globe.

   
Can you give me an idea of what wheelchair sports I can participate in?

Wheelchair Sports You Can Participate In

If you're interested in participating in wheelchair sports, you'll find countless opportunities in nearly every type of athletic activity. You'll find everything from team wheelchair sports to individual wheelchair sports. Check with your local rehabilitation center or park and recreation center to see if they have wheelchair sports classes or teams. For instance, Sharp Rehabilitation Center in San Diego offers numerous adapted wheelchair sports for anyone who enjoys active endeavors. Their offerings include quad rugby, power soccer, adapted water sports, and wheelchair tennis. The Park and Recreation Department of San Diego offers adaptive volleyball, bowling, biking, wheelchair basketball, and over-the-line rugby.

   
Can you tell me about wheelchair bowling?

Join A League And Participate In Wheelchair Bowling

For a team sport that could be right up your alley, try wheelchair bowling. You can play wheelchair bowling even if you have a high level quadriplegic injury with the proper equipment; with a power wheelchair and a device called the IKAN bowler, even bowling strikes are more than possible. One way to get more involved in wheelchair bowling is by joining the American Wheelchair Bowling Association. Check out their free newsletter or find out more information about membership, tournaments, and related equipment.

   
Can you tell me about wheelchair tennis?

Wheelchair Tennis

For athletes who enjoy the intensity of a one on one sport, get on the court and play wheelchair tennis. If you're not so familiar with the game, wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as mainstream tennis, except as the player, you're allowed to have the tennis ball bounce twice, rather than once. You'll play on a regular surface court with no modifications needed to the tennis racket or tennis ball.

You can start playing tennis with your day wheelchair and then get a tennis wheelchair when you decide to play more seriously. If you'd like to get more involved in the sport, the International Tennis Federation contains a host of information, including complete rules and regulations, recent news, rankings, and how to get started in the sport.

   
What type of wheelchair works well for sports on the court?

Sports Wheelchairs For On The Court

For those who like to shoot a game of hoops or perhaps play a game of tennis, sports wheelchairs are your best bet for the moves you need. Lightweight and mobile, yet built with a frame made to withstand impact, sports wheelchairs will give you the control you want when you engage in athletics. Features like adjustable seat heights, adjustable footrest, and an anti-tip bar make playing on the court a breeze. For basketball, put on an offensive bumper. For tennis and other non-contact sports, you can remove the offensive bumper.

   
How can i avoid injury during wheelchair racing?

Wheel Chair Racing and Safety

When your mom admonishes, "I don't want you wheel chair racing, you could get hurt," you respond smartly, "I'm already in a wheelchair!" As usual, Mom is protective—and right. If you've been in ill-fitting wheelchairs or if you've been sedentary, you may be at greater risk for fracture or muscle tears when you take up wheel chair racing.

If you still want to race, do so safely by following these tips:

• Adhere to the safety standards set by the officials. They'll rule on whether or not your sport wheel chairs are safe.

• Don't forget to wear a helmet, racing gloves, and elbow and knee pads.

• Go to a sports camp or borrow a friend's wheelchair and burn rubber. You need to know if the chair will fit you, because if it doesn't, or if you can't maneuver fast or brake quickly, you'll find out on the track.

• Contrary to wisdom, some coaches recommend used sport wheel chairs first. They're cheaper and easier for training, and you can trade them in for a newer chair.

• Always loosen up your muscles with gentle stretching. Get out of the chair if you can and move around. Warm up with a few slow laps around the track.

• Make sure that your lower limbs are securely inside the wheelchair or they could fall out during the heat.

• A fixed position foot tray will prevent foot injuries.

• Make sure you have back support accessories or adequate back support in your racing sport wheel chairs.

Now when you win your first wheel chair racing heat, you can roll up to the camera and say, "I love you, Mom, this one's for you!"

   
How can sports wheel chairs help me play wheel chair basketball?

Shooting Hoops in Sport Wheelchairs

You're ready to get it on and shoot some hoops with wheel chair basketball. What do you need to know to shoot all your free throws?

First, basketball sport wheel chairs can only help you make those free throws by letting you practice, practice, practice.

Second, select one that can also be used in everyday life. If you're in the process of selecting sport wheel chairs, Colours ZEPHYR Everyday Sports Chair is a smart investment in your game on and off the court.

Choose chairs with adjustable height seats—and they're out there, designed by players for players. You're not going to look like Rick Fox or Allen Iverson, but you should be able to dribble, throw and carry the ball with the same comfort.

If you're a serious pro player, heat treated wheels for all that offensive and defensive action will keep you from getting benched if your wheelchair needs repair.

Above all, conduct yourself with more grace and class than the NBA players (this should be easy), and you'll be a champion.

   
Can I be reimbursed by Medicare for sport wheel chairs?

Sport Wheel Chairs and Medicare

Sad to say, Medicare still doesn't see the benefit of having another wheelchair just for wheel chair racing or wheel chair basketball, never mind that participating in sports can improve overall health and mood.

Sport wheel chairs are designed to suit the track for wheelchair racing, the court for wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball, and oh yes, sport wheelchairs are designed to fit you. When selecting sport wheel chairs remember that manufacturers of sport wheel chairs customize sport wheelchairs to your needs. Naturally, all this specialization comes at a price—$2,000 to $8,000. Medicare and insurers usually don't reimburse.

If you're a casual weekend warrior not looking to become the next wheel chair basketball Shaq, a rigid lightweight chair for everyday and wheel chair basketball is a good choice. They're fast and maneuverable. Many athletes use them in competition, and they're perfect for everyday use because they're made of near-indestructible aluminum.

Kids especially like lightweight sport wheel chairs because they keep up with the constant running around kids seem to do. The important thing with a sport wheel chair is to stay active, and you don't necessarily need the specialized high-impact sport wheelchairs you see in films like "Murderball" or in the Special Olympics.

The whole point of playing sports is so you won't feel excluded from life...so don't let fretting about money keep you from shooting hoops.

   
How can I play wheelchair ball if I'm an amputee?

Sport Wheelchairs and "Murderball"

They've been on "Larry King," they've been on Fox News, they've been everywhere. It's the cast and crew of the movie "Murderball," giving hope to quadriplegics and amputees who want to play wheel chair baskteball and do wheel chair racing but need to find another athletic alternative. It's not impossible. As star Andy Cohn says, "Your mind becomes a bigger disability than the physical stuff."

If you can't play regular wheel chair sports, wheelchair rugby and especially quad wheelchair rugby may light your fire after you see the true story of four guys who became disabled and kicked butt everywhere from middle America to Athens, Greece and called their sport "Murderball." Specially designed wheelchairs allowed Mark Zupan and his cohorts to smash each other and go full throttle just like, well, like guys obsessed with sports. And yes, sometimes sport wheelchairs get smashed.

While you may not be able to afford destroying sport wheel chairs in full-contact WWE Smackdown! style, you can still play, participate and get out there. If you're playing quad wheelchair rugby or wheelchair rugby as an amputee, you still need to wear elbows and knee pads. Choose a durable wheelchair such as the Lasher Sport BT-G Tribal or the Hammer by Colours in Motion. Many high-impact sport wheel chairs can also be used for everyday life--hey, anything to get around insurance loopholes.

So let "Murderball" inspire you to play sports and get a new sport wheelchair that will help you reach for your dreams.

   
What's a good beginner wheel chair racing vehicle?

Your First Wheel Chair Racing Vehicle

Your first racing wheelchair...ah...actually, you haven't started selecting sport wheel chairs for racing yet. While your niece whips along in her Quickie T-Tube Racer, you're still shopping and comparing online.

Actually, take a cue from your NASCAR niece. The Quickie T-Tube Racer, from one of the oldest and most respected wheelchair lines, is regularly used in wheel chair racing. It's designed for use by kids and adults. You can even get a used one if you're just starting out.

With all racing sport wheel chairs, the important thing is to remember those soapbox derby racers you crashed as a kid. The large front wheel gives you power, speed, and maneuverability.

Should you choose power sport wheel chairs for wheel chair racing? Power wheel chair racing is an extreme sport, as in X-Treme, and if you're a beginner, that may be like jumping right into Dale Earnhardt Jr's car. Sites such as ExtremeChairing.com can give you more information about this new high-octane sport.

Avid mountain biker? You might want to work up to mountain bike racing on four wheels. But for now, ask your niece to take a spin in her chair.

   
Can I still climb mountains and do I need a sports wheelchair?

Wheel Chair Mountaineering?

When you developed fibromyalgia or were injured in that motocross spill or car crash, you thought you should say goodbye to summiting K2. Not so. You might want to stay away from extreme cold, but you can still rappel with the best of them.

Wheelchair-bound adventure athlete/filmmaker/motivational speaker Mark Wellman has climbed El Capitan and Half Dome. He designed adaptive climbing gear, which you'll need along with good sports wheelchairs. This isn't a huge step from wheel chair racing and wheel chair basketball. Okay...the huge vertical drop may be a step you can't surmount with a portable wheelchair ramp. But observe the regular rules of mountain climbing (and don't offend the Sherpas), and you can follow Mark Wellman's example.

Some thoughts on climbing every mountain in a wheelchair:

• Buy adaptive pull-up bars to aid in your rappelling.
• Avoid chafing and abrasions with leg chaps.
• As before, chest harnesses and even leg harnesses will increase safety.
• Use fold-up lightweight sports wheel chairs for base camps and that glorious moment at the summit.
• Visit your doctor before your attempt, and bring a medic or nurse to base camp if possible.
• Never summit alone. This is good advice for all mountain climbers.

Above all, remember that the best equipment you can have is perseverance, cheerfulness and determination.

   
What organization sponsors wheelchair marathons?

Go The Distance With Wheelchair Marathons

More interested in going the distance than riding with speed? If so, consider participating in wheelchair marathons. The Achilles Track Club is a non-profit organization that provides expertise and supports training for wheelchair users and people with other disabilities who are interested in long distance running. They have local chapters throughout the United States, whether your ultimate goal is to participate in wheelchair marathons or you're just looking to try out the sport. You'll have access to one sponsored organized workout a week to help keep you motivated. In addition, there are regularly scheduled long distance running events and a division for children as well.

   
Are handcycles expensive and which ones do I choose?

Handcycles and Wheel Chair Racing

When you developed fibromyalgia or were injured in that motocross spill or car crash, you thought you should say goodbye to summiting K2. Not so. You might want to stay away from extreme cold, but you can still rappel with the best of them.

Wheelchair-bound adventure athlete/filmmaker/motivational speaker Mark Wellman has climbed El Capitan and Half Dome. He designed adaptive climbing gear, which you'll need along with good sports wheelchairs. This isn't a huge step from wheel chair racing and wheel chair basketball. Okay...the huge vertical drop may be a step you can't surmount with a portable wheelchair ramp. But observe the regular rules of mountain climbing (and don't offend the Sherpas), and you can follow Mark Wellman's example.

Some thoughts on climbing a mountain in a wheelchair:

• Buy adaptive pull-up bars to aid in your rappelling.
• Avoid chafing and abrasions with leg chaps.
• As before, chest harnesses and even leg harnesses will increase safety.
• Use fold-up lightweight sports wheel chairs for base camps and that glorious moment at the summit.
• Visit your doctor before your attempt, and bring a medic or nurse to base camp if possible.
• Never summit alone. This is good advice for all mountain climbers.

Above all, remember that the best equipment you can have is perseverance, cheerfulness and determination.

   
Can you tell me about wheelchair racing?

Wheelchair Racing

If speed is requisite to your athletic endeavors, try out wheelchair racing. One organization based in British Columbia, the BC Road Racing Series, promotes wheelchair racing through organized events both on the road and on the track. Organized wheelchair racing makes efforts to accommodate athletes with varying levels of disabilities competing against one another and provides for classifications based on the amount of physical impairment a particular athlete has. A racing wheelchair has three wheels with an extended mainframe connecting to the front wheel. The rider sits between the two rear wheels of the racing wheelchair and uses his body to assist in steering.

   

Sports Wheelchairs For On The Court

If you're looking for the latest and greatest in sports wheelchairs, look for a model that you can alter to your every need. Sports wheelchairs are just the tools to get you moving, but engaging in any sport will keep you, and your self-confidence, at a healthy level. Whether you're into biking, racing, basketball, or any other game, you'll be able to find a sports wheelchair that will give you a competitive edge.

   
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