"Golden Age" of Russian sports science and journal "Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kul'tury" (1969-1980)


Ph.D., Associate professor S.А. Pronin
P.F. Lesgaft NGU (National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health

Keywords: XXII Olympic Games, Complex Scientific Group, Journal "Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury".

For the purpose of strengthening the international authority of the Soviet Union, the latter made a decision to make Moscow a capital of Summer Olympic Games in 1969. This goal was achieved but not at the first try. The decision about staging of the XXII Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980 was made at the 75th session of the International Olympic Committee in Vienna on October 23, 1974. This future event was the main dominant which defined all basic aspects of physical culture and sports activities in the Soviet Union.

The new management of the Physical Culture and Sports Committee at the USSR Council of Ministers headed by Sergey Pavlovich Pavlov started changing the whole system of physical training and sport in the country in 1968. Moreover, the best things in this area were preserved and creatively increased.

The results in all kinds of sport had grown a lot in the 60s—70s of the ХХ century. Mainly it was due to the introduction of the recommendations based on scientific researches in the training process. It was clear to the sports management of the country that it was impossible to reach great Olympic victories without serious scientific innovations. They had an essential progress in this direction but an integral system of the target reproduction of scientific advance in physical education and sport was required.

Coordination bonds of research activities within the given system were established with the help of special All-Union conferences. Their number increased almost 1,5 times in the early 70s, and, nota bene, they became of a special subject nature (S.А. Pronin, 2010).

Regularly published special theoretical and methodological collections of articles were to play a subordination role in scientific and technological activities within certain sports. Such editions devoted to a number of sports were sporadically published and became very popular in the 60s. Since 1970 they were published annually.

Complex scientific groups (CSG) founded in 1973 for all combined teams of the USSR were on the top of the whole system. They started carrying out scientific and technological activities for making recommendations to the coaches of the combined teams of the country [3]. Participation of the best scientists in the CSG was of so important that the university teaching staff could work with combined teams as a part of teaching load [4].

The journal “Nauchno-sportivny vestnik” (“Science and Sports Herald”) started to be published in 1974 with 3000 copies to stimulate the research on the empiric basis of picked teams. Despite its status «Not for public use» it was very popular in the scientific community as it made it possible to allocate the priority in researches on private subjects.

Competition with new editions had not decreased the number of copies of the journal TPFK. Moreover, it had increased almost up to 20000 copies. It is proved not only by its increased authority predefined by great demand and quality of the information published in it but also by the fact that the journal had gradually become an expert filter.

In the 70s the major scientific and technological task of improvement of the highly-skilled athletes' training system was to «… learn to manage shape development including all its components» [10, p. 5]. This task could be solved just by controlling athlete's training and competitive activities. Actualization of this problem required the main kinds of control and directions to be defined, impartial activity characteristics to be pointed out and estimation scales fixing important criteria to be developed. All these and other relevant complex problems had to be solved very quickly.

Theoretical problems of sports training were discussed in the Journal TPFK [7—9]. It is worth noting that papers [1, 2, 6] from the Discussion, Dispute Section were the most cited in theses. More and more place on the journal pages was given to such papers. The discussion and sometimes even pioneer nature of the materials published in the journal allowed looking at many aspects of the sports activity from a different perspective and setting priority approaches to solve the problems of the training process management, which were directly or indirectly used for the leading athletes' training.

The USSR picked team had won enough medals in all Olympic Games from 1972 to 1980. That progress was mainly predefined by creation of a successful integral system of scientific support of training of national picked teams. One of the most important components of this system was the journal TPFK which, figuratively speaking, as an engine promoted all other components of sports science.

The seventies are sometimes called «a golden age» for national sport both due to the progress level and the amount of assets invested in it. It appears that this metaphor fully suits the Russian sport science too, but the difference is that the athletes' results have already gone down in history, and many scientific regulations made that time are still urgent and in demand.


  1. Zatsiorskiy, V.M. Voprosy teorii i praktiki pedagogicheskogo kontrolya v sovremennom sporte (Theory and practice of pedagogical control in modern sport) / V.M. Zatsiorskiy, V.A. Zaporozhanov, I.A. Ter-Ovanesyan // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kul'tury. – 1971. – № 4. – P. 59–63.
  2. Kuznetsov, V.V. K probleme model'nykh kharakteristik kvalifitsirovannykh sportsmenov (Model characteristics of skilled athletes) / V.V. Kuznetsov, A.A. Novikov // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kul'tury. – 1975. – № 1. – P. 59–62
  3. Neverkovich, S.D., Rodionov, A.V. K istorii vozniknoveniya otechestvennoy prikladnoy sportivnoy psikhologii (Genesis of Russian applied Sport Psychology) / S.D. Neverkovich, A.V. Rodionov // Sportivny psikholog. – 2009. –№ 2. – P. 5–7.
  4. Pavlov, S.P. Glavny rezerv – organizatsiya (General reserve - Organization) / S.P. Pavlov // Nauchno-sportivny vestnik. – 1974. – № 1. – P. 3–7.
  5. Pronin, S.A. Dvadtsaty vek rossiyskoy nauki o fizicheskoy kul'ture i sporte. Kn. 2 (1970–1984 gg.): bibliograficheskiy ukazatel' (Twentieth Century of Russian science of physical culture and sport. Vol. 2 (1970-1984): Bibliography) / NSU n.a. P.F. Lesgaft / S.A. Pronin. – St. Petersburg: Olimp-SPb, 2010. – 307 P.
  6. Ratov, I.P. Perspektivy preobrazovaniya sistemy podgotovki sportsmenov na osnove ispol'zovaniya tekhnicheskikh sredstv i trenazherov (Prospects of conversion of the athletes training system using technologies and simulators) / I.P. Ratov // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kul'tury. –1976. – № 10. – P. 60–65, 2 obl.
  7. Farfel', V.S. Diskussiya o kriteriyakh trenirovannosti (Discussion on fitness criteria) / V.S. Farfel' // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kul'tury. – 1972. – № 1. – P. 69–72.
  8. Farfel', V.S. Diskussiya o kriteriyakh trenirovannosti (Discussion on fitness criteria) / V.S. Farfel' // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kul'tury. – 1972. – № 4. – P. 50–53.
  9. Farfel', V.S. Diskussiya o kriteriyakh trenirovannosti (Discussion on fitness criteria) / V.S. Farfel' // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kul'tury. – 1972. – № 6. – P. 60–62.

Corresponding author: pro-555@mail.ru