Sensitive periods in schoolchildren’s physical development in Kalmykia Republic

PhD, Associate Professor M.A. Petrova1
PhD E.N. Kaldarikov2
PhD, Associate Professor E.D. Bakulina1
1Russian State Social University, Moscow
2Kalmyk State University n.a. B.B Gorodovikov, Elista

Keywords: trainees, physical qualities, physical skills, stability, body type, educational process

Introduction. At school age, the structures and functions of the body of students are formed heterochronically and unevenly [1-3, 6]. Stages of ontogenesis are interrelated and the foundations of the subsequent stage are laid within the previous one. Critical periods are the key points of ontogenesis and are characterized by an increase in the body's sensitivity to environmental factors [4, 5]. The qualitative description of the critical periods in students’ individual development is based on the percentage analysis of the study materials conducted by the method of A.A. Guzhalovsky.

Objective of the study was to determine sensitive periods in schoolchildren’s physical development.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was carried out from 2015 through 2019 at the premises of the secondary schools of the Republic of Kalmykia and involved a total of 3,254 subjects aged 7-17 years. The dynamics in the high sensitivity periods in the speed building process, affecting the 30m sprint test results, differed in the girls (females) with different body types. The schoolgirls of the digestive body type demonstrated the high sensitivity rates at the age of 7, those of the muscular body type (MBT) – at the age of 7-8, and those of the thoracic body type (TBT) – at the age of 7-9. The critical periods in their physical development fell within the age of 13 (muscular body type), 14 (thoracic body type), and 17 years (digestive body type).

Results and discussion. The 30m sprint test rates in the boys (young males) with thoracic body type were increasing throughout the school period, and their speed abilities were developed mainly during the subcritical periods of sensitivity. The high sensitivity period fell only within the age of 8, average sensitivity – at the age of 7. The schoolboys with muscular body type achieved better results in the high-speed exercises, though unevenly: the high sensitivity rates were registered at the age of 8-9 years; the subcritical periods fell within the senior school age. In the boys with the asthenoid body type (ABT), the rate of improvement in the test results did not exceed the rates registered during the average sensitivity period (14, 16 and 17 years); no critical periods of high sensitivity were detected. In the schoolchildren with digestive body type, there was a fairly uniform (periods of subcritical and low sensitivity) age-related change in the 30m sprint test results; the critical period was detected at the age of 16-17 years.

In the standing long jump exercise, the intensity of age-related development differed in the girls depending on their body type. There were mainly the periods of low sensitivity of changes in the speed-strength abilities; however, the 7-year-old girls with muscular body type were tested with the high level of sensitivity.

Among the 7-17 year-old boys, the critical periods of high sensitivity in the standing long jump exercise were detected only in the schoolchildren with thoracic body type (9 years) and muscular body type (8-9 years); the subcritical periods of sensitivity were mainly manifested in other age periods.

In the pull-up exercise, the high sensitivity rates were typical of the subjects with muscular body type (10 years old), asthenoid body type (14 years old), and thoracic body type (16-17 years old). The critical periods of increased working capacity occurred at different ages depending on the body type: 9 years - asthenoid body type, 10-11 years - thoracic body type, 16 years - digestive body type. This exercise is characterized by a wide range of indicators - from critical to high sensitivity periods, but the subcritical sensitivity periods were most frequent here.

The critical period of high sensitivity in the development of flexibility (according to the bent forward test results) was detected only in the 9-year-old girls with muscular body type. The critical periods of average sensitivity in the bent forward test were detected in the 11-year-old girls with digestive body type and 12-year-old girls with muscular body type, as well as in the 12-13 year-old boys with asthenoid body type, and 16-17 year-old boys with thoracic body type.

The analysis of the endurance indicators (based on the 1000m race test) in the boys with different body types revealed that endurance was best developed (periods of average sensitivity) in the age periods as follows: 9 years old - digestive body type, 9-10 years old - muscular body type, 12-13 years old - asthenoid body type, 15-16 years old - thoracic body type. During the exercise, the girls were mainly tested with the critical periods of low sensitivity.

According to the data obtained, the physical development process in the 7-17 year olds is age-, body-type and biological-progress-stage-specific, heterochronic and dependent on the sensitivity periods. These differences were most significant in the schoolchildren with the delayed asthenoid body type, normal thoracic body type, and accelerated muscular body type.

The asthenoid and thoracic body types were tested with intensity of the sensitivity periods growing with age, in contrast to the muscular and digestive body types tested with the relative falls in intensity. The dynamics of the mean indices of development of physical qualities in different populations coincides in the central group only.

We analyzed the stability of the main test results (30m sprint, running broad jump, stuffed ball throw) among the schoolchildren of different gender, age and body type. The testing was organized in such a way that the onset of fatigue did not affect the quality of the repeated task. The rest interval between the repetitions amounted to: 10 min in the 30m sprint test, 7–8 min in the running broad jump test, and 5–6 min in the stuffed ball throw test. Heart rate before each succeeding attempt did not exceed 120 bpm. During this time, the trainees’ physical skills could not be developed, therefore, the differences in the results were due to the level of development of their physical skills.

Within the structure of each control exercise, we singled out the most important physical skills affecting the test results: effectiveness of the start and start run, appropriate ratio between the step length and frequency (30m sprint); take-off speed, accuracy of hitting the bar, landing efficiency, realization of motor abilities in the repulsion phase (standing long jump); take-off speed, springing stride technique, effectiveness of the final effort and optimal angle of projection of the throwing implement (stuffed ball throwing).

Stability of the test rates was found to vary significantly depending on the age, gender and body types. The highest integral stability of physical qualities and skills was tested in the thoracic body type followed by the muscular, asthenoid and digestive body types. Male subgroups were tested with the high stability of physical skills than the female ones.

Depending on the age, gender and body type of the trainees, the sensitivity periods in the formation of their physical skills during the exercises varied significantly.

The increase in the test results is ensured not only by the development of physical qualities, but also by the qualitative changes in the kinematic and dynamic characteristics of a new motor structure and form. However, during physical education, the development of physical qualities is often constrained due to the formation of technical characteristics of the schoolchildren’s  motor action. This slows down the improvement of the test results, especially among the girls. During the school period, the formation of new physical skills should ensure the continuity of the kinematic and dynamic characteristics of the motor action at all stages of education and should not contradict the process of development of physical qualities.

The study materials suggest that it is necessary to solve this problem using an integrated approach to the formation of the schoolchildren’s motor abilities, when the training process is balanced between the improvement of the exercise performance technique and development of the most important physical qualities.

We propose to evaluate the effectiveness of the exercise performance technique based on determining the schoolchildren’s motor potential and taking into account a set of the most informative performance indicators in the given test. By formulating a multiple regression equation, we get an opportunity to determine the proper result corresponding to the motor potential in each physical exercise.

Models for determining the motor potential of the trainees were determined using five control exercises (30m sprint, standing long jump, standing high jump, stuffed ball throw, and PWC170), which enabled to conduct end-to-end testing.

The degree of conformity of the physical and technical fitness levels was evaluated by the ratio between the calculated and actual characteristics using the following gradations: 2.5% - matching physical and technical fitness levels, 2.6-7.5% - average degree of mismatch, 7.6-12.5% ​​- high degree of mismatch, 12.6% or more - very high degree of mismatch. In case of the positive difference between the actual and calculated results, it is the level of technical fitness that lags behind, negative difference – it is physical fitness that lags behind. With increasing degree of mismatch between the analyzed indicators, it is necessary to focus on the development of the lagging component.

Conclusion. The tests customizable to the sensitivity periods in the physical development give the means to control and manage the physical and technical training process and effectively individualize the standard school physical education service. An important quantitative indicator of the educational process effectiveness is the percentage of fulfilled requirements and drawing the optimal number of points in those sections that ensure an adequate health level.

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Corresponding author: vu2014@mail.ru

Abstract

The article analyzes sensitive periods in the physical development in schoolchildren versus their body types. It was found that the physical development process in the 7-17 year olds is age-, body-type and biological-progress-stage-specific, heterochronic and dependent on the sensitivity periods. The asthenoid and thoracic body types were tested with intensity of the sensitivity periods growing with age, in contrast to the muscular and digestive body types tested with the relative falls in intensity. Stability of the test rates were found to vary depending on the age, gender and body types, with the highest integral stability of physical qualities and skills tested in the thoracic body type followed by muscular, asthenoid and digestive body types. Male subgroups were tested with the high stability of physical skills than the female ones. The authors offer a special set of tests to rate the physical qualities in the age groups including: 30m sprint, standing long jump, standing high jump, stuffed ball throw and PWC170 tests. The tests customizable to the sensitivity periods in the physical development give the means to control and manage the physical and technical training process and effectively individualize the standard school physical education service.