Recreational competency of future bachelors of physical education


PhD, Associate Professor E.O. Rybakova1
PhD, Associate Professor Т.N. Shutova2
Chaykovsky State Institute of Physical Culture, Chaykovsky
2Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Moscow

Keywords: students, physical education specialists, recreation, fitness, competency, individualised training specifics.

Background. The current need for the professional recreational competency of the future physical education specialist being improved is dictated by the following considerations: growing priority given to the relevant competences by the general school, vocational and academic professional education systems; growing numbers of health and fitness centres; growing popularity of fitness technologies applied at sanatoria and resorts, in tourist industry, in the advanced education and athletic training systems etc. It is quite common for the national communities today to come up with children’s sports, recreation and health improvement projects, encourage recreational group practices for different age groups including pilates, yoga, aquatic aerobics, stretching, oriental practices and other health improvement groups; increasingly popular physical education models driven by recreational gymnastics and body-building including the ones adapted for special health groups. However, the future Bachelors of Physical Education professional training system is still largely inefficient in this context [1, 3] for the reasons that it fails to provide due recreational competences including knowledge and skills in modern health improvement training and body mass control technologies; plus gives no knowledge on the recreational process designs and practical mechanisms [1, 2, 4].

The situation is further aggravated by the fact that alumni of the academic physical education system have little if any experience in the individualised (age-, gender- and physical-fitness-specific) training programs; in the personality-focused health improvement technologies, models, sessions; and in the modern recreational forms applicable in small-size indoor facilities.

On the other hand, the valid Federal State Education Standards regulating the recreational activity (FSES-2014 for the Bachelor course in 49.03.01 Physical Education discipline) require that the specialists must be able to: design health training programs for different groups of trainees including the relevant body mass control, healthy nutrition and mental status control technologies (PK-19); design and manage the recreational process as required by the institutional form of the client organisation and the individual traits of the trainees (PK-17); select the most adequate age- and gender-specific methods and models of recreational activity to effectively improve the trainees’ health (PK-18). Therefore, the national academic education system has to develop new technologies to effectively build up recreational competences in future Physical Education specialists.

Modern recreational activity includes a wide variety of duly designed and managed entertainment, gaming, health improvement and leisure-time programs for different groups to help people recover after work from job-related stresses and reasonably progress in the educational, social and spiritual domains [4].

Physical education and recreation competency may be defined as the integrated measure of individual physical education specialists’ knowledge and skills including the theoretical knowledge of the modern physical recreation models and methods; their effects on the recreation process subjects; ways to improve the physical education and recreation process efficiency; ability to effectively apply the theoretical knowledge in practices; and duly prioritise the individual health improvement goals and mechanisms [4].

Technology (the name derived from Greek techne – art, mastery, and logos – doctrine) may be interpreted as a system of methods, tools, steps and actions which, if duly designed, help attain the process goals. Modern physical education technologies may be classified as follows: physical culture and health; athletic training; therapeutic and disease prevention; and psychological-educational ones. Modern fitness technologies may be classified into educational, recreational, rehabilitation and competitive ones [3].

Objective of the study was to develop a recreational competency building technology in application to future Bachelors of Physical Education.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was performed at Chaykovsky State Physical Education Institute. Subject to the study performed in the academic year of 2016-17 were 85 forth-year students. The recreational competency building technology of our own design was applied to train a Study Group under the elective 72-hour Fitness discipline and basic academic Physical Education discipline dominated by the 72-hour body-building course.  The Reference Group was trained in the elective academic sport groups, plus under the academic Physical Education discipline including traditional academic sports.

The new technology spells out in detail the design, content, practical tools, methods, education forms and fields of the recreational gymnastics course geared to build up the recreational competency. We have developed, among other things, short-term health aerobics, body-building, children’s fitness and “fitness class” training models; and designed the academic training models customised to the students’ specialisations including physical education; athletic training; physical culture and sports management; physical recreation; physical culture and health technologies mastering and other models.

The new technologies are designed to give the following knowledge to the Physical Education specialists: notion of a recreational activity and its constituents; benefits of modern fitness technologies including the body mass control and mental control abilities; age-specific designs and content of the recreational training courses: see Table 1. Furthermore, the Physical Education specialists must have the following skills: health training session (including individualised one) design and management skills; trainees’ condition monitoring and control skills; effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills; musical illustration design and management skills; frontal, interval and recurrent training model design and management skills; step-platform, medball, fitball, 0.5-1.5kg kettlebells and 2-7kg bodybars assisted training model design skills (PK-18); body mass control training (in small gyms) design and management skills (PK-19). In addition, the Physical Education specialists must be proficient in the following: practical procedures of different recreation technologies including leisure-time and animation trainings; health trainings; active rest; physical education; oriental health practices; physical exercise performance techniques; motor skills broadly controllable as required by the process goals; trainees’ health condition control; safety rules compliance; mental and emotional status control and correction methods and tools; and selection of the age- and gender-specific physical education models and methods to efficiently improve the trainees’ health and physicality (PK-17, 18, 19).

Study results and discussion. Given in Table 1 hereunder are the recreational competency components and the practical progress data of the fourth-year students per the academic year of 2016-17.

Table 1. Progress data of the fourth-year students in the recreational competency building: Study Group (SG) versus Reference Group (RG) data as of 2016-17 academic year

Recreational competency component, scores

RG (±σ)

SG (±σ)





1. Management skills





2. Determination





3. Fitness session management skills





4. Knowledge of gender-, age- and health-specific requirements of training process design





5. Practical skills in body mass control technologies





6. Children’s leisure-time practice management skills





7. Individual training and nutrition program design skills





8. Knowledge of age-specific and special group recreation training models





9. Practical skills in solving situational problems of blood-pressure-, age-, diagnosis-, gender-, health-specific and individual preference driven health training models





Note: mean arithmetic value, σ mean square deviation; * significant individual data difference (P<0.05); ** significant intergroup data difference

The study data yielded by the educational process experiment (see Table 1) showed a higher progress of the SG versus RG in the following aspects: fitness session management skills (Р<0.05); individual training and nutrition program design skills; and practical skills in solving situational problems of health training models (Р<0.05). These data proved benefits of the short-term training models of our own design, their practical content and efficiency of the relevant practical and personality-building components. A special emphasis in the SG training process was made on the recreational training and fitness models most beneficial for further professional career, including physical education, body-building, physical culture and sports management etc. Given in Table 2 hereunder are the professional recreational competency components rating data for the Study Group (SG).

Table 2. Professional competency components rating data for Study Group (SG) prior to and after the training course, points

Test stages



Aquatic fitness


Children’s fitness


Prior to












As demonstrated by the above data, the fourth-year subjects prior to the training course clearly underrated the importance of the key components of the recreational competency, with body-building rated by only 5.8 points on a 10-point scale; aerobics by 5.1 points; aquatic fitness by 3.4 points; yoga by 4.6 points; and children’s fitness by 5.1 points. After the training course, the SG showed progress in appreciating the relevance and efficiency of these five components of the professional recreational competency.

It should also be mentioned that the educational process experiment showed benefits of the new technology for the students’ physical fitness as verified by their practical progress in virtually every test exercise, including the body-building exercises scored in points; plank exercise rated in seconds; seated high jumps rated in reps; back-down prone trunk lifts rated in reps etc., with the progress data found significant (р<0.05).

Conclusion. Benefits of the newly developed training model was proved by the educational experiment, with particularly high intergroup differences found in the fitness session management skills; individual training and nutrition program design skills; practical skills in solving situational problems of the health training models; and in appreciation of the role of the recreational competency components.


  1. Rybakova E.O. Sovershenstvovanie professionalnogo obrazovaniya studentov fizkulturnogo vuza sredstvami fitnesa [Fitness to improve vocational training at physical culture university]. Uchenye zapiski un-ta im. P.F. Lesgafta, 2015, no. 12 (130). pp. 177-181.
  2. Rybakova E.O., Shutova T.N. Sovershenstvovanie kompetentsiy rekreatsionnoy napravlennosti v professionalnoy podgotovke bakalavrov fizicheskoy kultury [Improvement of recreational competences in professional training of bachelors of physical education]. Izvestiya Tulskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Fizicheskaya kultura. Sport, 2016, no. 4, pp. 77-84.
  3. Saykina E.G., Ponomarev G.N. Fitnes-tekhnologii: ponyatie, razrabotka i spetsificheskie osobennosti [Fitness technologies: concept, development and specific features]. Fundamentalnye issledovaniya, 2012, pp. 890-894.
  4. Sharafeeva A.B., Zagrevskiy O.I. Tekhnologiya formirovaniya professionalnykh kompetentsiy v rekreatsionnoy deyatelnosti buduschikh spetsialistov po fizicheskoy kulture i sportu [Professional competences building technology in the recreational activities of future physical education and sports specialists]. Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, 2012, no. 361, pp. 153-156.

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Objective of the study was to develop a recreational competency building technology in application to future Bachelors of Physical Education. The study was performed at Chaykovsky State Physical Education Institute. Subject to the study were 85 forth-year students. The recreation competency building technology developed by the authors was applied in the Study Group trained under the elective 72-hour Fitness discipline and basic academic Physical Education discipline dominated by the 72-hour athletic gymnastics course. 

The new technology spells out in detail design, content, practical tools, methods, education forms and fields of the recreational gymnastics course geared to build up the recreational competency.

The proposed recreational competency building technology gives the following basic knowledge: notion of recreational activity and its constituents; fitness component with an emphasis on the body mass control and mental control; and content of the age-specific recreational competency building training process. The trainees must be able to design and manage an individualised recreational training course and be knowledgeable and skilful in the education technologies in every recreational domain, in exercise performance techniques etc. 

The education process experiment demonstrated practical benefits of the new recreational competency building technology with particularly high progress in fitness session management skills; individual training and nutrition program design skills; practical skills in solving situational problems of the health training models etc.