15-17 year old taekwondokas: success factors analysis

Dr.Hab., Professor M.A. Vershinin1
A.S. Gladkikh2
S.A. Davydov2
E.V. Nikolaev2
1Volgograd State Academy of Physical Education, Volgograd
2Volgograd State Technical University, Volgograd

Keywords: taekwondo, 15-17 year old competitors, anthropometric characteristics, technical/ tactical skills, competitive success factors.

Background. Since the competitive taekwondo was listed with the 2000 (Sydney) Olympic Games program, a special attention in the sport science has been given to the sport discipline. Modern studies demonstrate the individual anthropometrics being one of the key success factors in quite a few sport disciplines [5, 6, 4, 8, 10, 11], with the junior taekwondo being no exclusion. Correlations of the body length and body mass with the competitive success rates in taekwondo were proved by S.V. Vandyshev [3]; and D.A. Saraykin study [9] found the individual functionality being equally important for success. G.I. Anisimov [1] and V.I. Balandin [2] prioritized in their studies a few psychophysical factors of influence on the competitive performance; and S.V. Pavlov [7] analyzed the role of some physical, mental, technical and tactical fitness factors for competitive success.

Objective of the study was to analyze the factors of influence on the competitive success in the junior (15-17-year-old) taekwondo competitions.

Methods and structure of the study. Detailed anthropometric characteristics of the sample were mined for the study purposes in the medical reports of the health clinics; and the physical, mental and TT fitness rates were obtained by analyses of the competitive bout video replays. Each of the factors was rated using the formulae offered by S.V. Vandyshev [3] and S.V. Pavlov [7].

Thus the anthropometric success factor (ASF) was calculated as follows:

HC – hip circumference; SC – shin circumference; LL – leg length;  FL – foot length; and VVI –Vervek-Vorontsov index

Technical fitness rate (TFT) was calculated as follows:

TPCR – technical performance contribution ratio;

TPVR – technical performance versatility ratio;

ASR – attack success ratio;

DSR – defense success ratio;

CSSR – combat skills success ratio; and

ER – effectiveness ratio.

Tactical fitness rate (TFR) was calculated as follows:

TPCR – tactical performance contribution ratio;

TPVR – tactical performance versatility ratio;

STS – specific tactic success factor;

TAF – tactic adaptation factor;

SSTR – situation-specific tactics ratio; and

PTR – preparatory tactics ratio.

Mental fitness was rated as follows:

,ECR – emotional control factor;

IF – insistence factor; and

CF – courage factor.

Individual competitive success data and the above factors were mined in and calculated based the formal competitive records of the Youth (15-17-y-o) Russian Taekwondo Tournaments in Tyumen (2017) and Novocheboksarsk (2018), with 270 competitive bouts of 168 athletes (some of whom competed in the both tournaments and in a few bouts). The sample was classified in Group 1 qualified for semifinals and finals (medalists); and Group 2 that failed in the quarterfinals, with both of the groups composed based on a normal data distribution and traditional weight categories. The data were processed by the standard mathematical statistics toolkit, with the intergroup differences rated by the Student t-criterion.

Results and discussion. The study findings are given in Table 1 hereunder

Table 1. Factors of influence on the competitive success, with the intergroup difference meaningfulness rates

 

Factor

Group 1, n=84

Group 2, n=84

Tcalc

p

1

Anthropometrics (ASF*)

86,2±2,8

79,1±2,5

1,9

<0,05

2

Technical fitness rate (TFR*)

2,2±0,4

2,5±0,5

0,5

>0,05

3

Tactical fitness rate (TaFR*)

3,6±0,7

3,9±0,5

0,3

>0,05

4

Mental fitness rate (MFR*)

2,6±0,8

2,2±0,4

0,9

>0,05

 

Note:* see the acronyms decoded in the above text

The Group 1 and Group 2 anthropometrics were rated with 86.2 and 79.1 points, respectively, that means that the higher-skilled athletes were generally tested with the higher body lengths and body masses giving them some advantage in the technical/ tactical performance. The intergroup anthropometrical data difference rates were above 95% for each of these parameters.

The technical fitness rates showed insignificant intergroup differences, with Group 1 and Group 2 technical fitness rated by 2,2±0,4 and 2,5±0,5 points, respectively. This finding may be interpreted as indicative of the technical fitness playing insignificant role in the age-specific competitive success.

The tactical fitness rates showed insignificant (р>0,05) intergroup differences, with Group 1 and Group 2 tactical fitness rated by 3,6±0,7 and 3,9±0,5 points, respectively. This finding was confirmed by the expert examinations of the bout replays that were tactically indiscriminate as both of the groups were found to apply the relatively limited technical/ tactical toolkit, with their win tactics dominated by the top-intensity actions and pressure. This finding may be interpreted as indicative of the tactical fitness playing insignificant role in the competitive success in these age groups.

The mental fitness rates showed insignificant intergroup differences, with Group 1 and Group 2 mental fitness rated by 2,6±0,8 and 2,2±0,4 points, respectively. This finding may be interpreted as indicative of the fact that mental fitness in this age, however significant it may be in general terms, still plays virtually no role in the competitive success in this age.

Conclusion. Anthropometric characteristics were ranked among the key competitive success factors for this age group, whilst the statistical data analysis found insignificant correlations between the technical/ tactical/ mental fitness test rates and the competitive accomplishments. The study found a few cases of the undoubtedly higher technical performance (in terms of scope, versatility and effectiveness), albeit the actual contributions of these individual performance rates to the group totals were still negligible. The top-eight group was tested with virtually the same technical, tactical and mental fitness rates, with the clear advantage secured only by the anthropometrical characteristics. The authors believe that further analyses of the competitive success factors shall give a special attention to the sport-specific perceptions and responses including the anticipatory responses to the pre-attack body language, good timing and killer instincts in response to the opponent’s blunders.

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Corresponding author: mikhail0871@rambler.ru

Abstract

Since competitive taekwondo was listed with the 2000 (Sydney) Olympic Games program, a special attention in the sport science has been given to the sport discipline. The article analyzes the success factors for the 15-17-year-old taekwondokas classified into the anthropometric characteristics, technical and tactical skills and mental fitness related ones. The study was based on a comparative analysis of the Youth Russian Taekwondo Tournament records for the last two years to find correlations of the classified factors with the competitive accomplishments. Anthropometric characteristics were ranked among the key competitive success factors for this age group, whilst the statistical data analysis found insignificant correlations between the technical/ tactical/ mental fitness test rates and the competitive accomplishments. The authors believe that further analyses of the competitive success factors shall give a special attention to the sport-specific perceptions and responses including the anticipatory responses to the pre-attack body language, good timing and killer instincts in response to the opponent’s blunders.