Improved precompetitive training system for elite orienteering sport

PhD, Associate Professor V.S. Sherin1
V.A. Belousova1
D.M. Zagorodnikova1
A.N. Petrov1
1Tomsk State University, Tomsk

Keywords: orienteering sport, precompetitive training, elite orienteering sport athletes, intellectual performance, map and compass reading skills

Background. Modern competitive orienteering is the specific sport discipline highly demanding to physical and mental stress tolerance to meet the sport-specific challenges in practical competitions. The athletes are expected to run the competitive distances and locate every mapped check point for the shortest possible time [3]. Individual performance on distance may be very diverse since the athlete needs to analyze the terrain, check the landmarks (high points, vegetation, hydrographical specifics, etc.) to find the best possible route, read the map, map out every segment on the distance, control ascends, descends and direction [1]. For a competitive success, the athlete has to run fast and work hard in many aspects plus intensively and effectively think over every action so as to comply with the rules of competitions and make the most effective technical and tactical decisions to speed up the competitive performance and win [2].

The precompetitive conditioning systems need to be highly efficient to give chances for the competitive success. It should be noted, however, that currently the precompetitive training systems are not popular any more in the elite sport community and their applications are normally limited by the physical warm-up trainings only – despite the fact that such physical fitness only may not always guarantee a good competitive performance. Therefore, modern precompetitive training systems need to updated with a special attention to the intellectual performance excelling elements viewed as indispensable for the competitive fitness of the orienteering sport elite.

Objective of the study was to test benefits of the improved precompetitive training system for the orienteering sport elite.  

Methods and structure of the study. The study was run at the Tomsk Regional Orienteering Sport Federation training base in the period of 10.09.2018 to 17.05. 2019. Sampled for the study were the Tomsk Oblast orienteering sport team (n=20) split into Experimental and Reference Groups (EG, RG) of 10 people each.

The RG precompetitive trainings were standard and traditional for the amateur and professional sport communities; and the EG precompetitive trainings were complemented by a new model of our design giving a special priority to the mapping and compass application skills mobilizing elements.

We believe that the competitive progress may be efficiently secured by the modern precompetitive training system prioritizing the mapping and compass application skills with the special warm-up practices to activate the visual analyzer and the imaging, fast thinking and memorizing resource by means of the competitive mapping and analyzing exercises with a special focus on the potential errors prevention and route mapping aspects. To prevent the competitive errors and secure competitive progress in the modern orienteering sport, we developed a special precompetitive training model for the orienteering sport competitors to mobilize the intellectual resource in harmony with the traditional physical conditioning procedures. The model offers special thinking process activation practices including the mapping and compass application ones to mobilize the visual memorizing, image processing and fast thinking skills by the following compulsory precompetitive training actions:

  • Take the azimuth and check it on the run by compass;
  • Rate segments on the competitive map by approximation and compass ruler;
  • Map and mark the route on the move; and
  • Visualize the run on distance in mind.

Results and discussion. As a result of the new model testing experiment, the EG was tested with the statistically significant (р<0.05) progress in competitions, whilst the RG progress was statistically insignificant (р>0.05): see Table 1 hereunder.

Table 1. EG and RG pre- versus post-experimental competitive success rates

 

Events

Groups, tests

X±mх, s

t

p

1

Е4 Cup, 10.09.17

RG (n=10), pre-experimental

234,6±19,78

0,34

>0,05

Tomsk Oblast Championship, 13.10.18

RG (n=10), post-experimental

225,0±20,15

 2

Е4 Cup, 10.09.17

EG (n=10), pre-experimental

211,0±18,63

2,12

<0,05

Tomsk Oblast Championship, 13.10.18

EG (n=10), post-experimental

152,6±24,01

The model testing experiment showed benefits of the warm-up precompetitive training model with the mapping and compass application practices as demonstrated by the statistically meaningful competitive progress of the EG in the orienteering sport events for the study period with the error rates being notably scaled down on the distance.

Conclusion. The study showed benefits of the improved precompetitive training system as verified by the competitive progress of the Experimental Group versus Reference Group in the race time and error elimination aspects.

References

  1. Zenina T.M. Study of relationship of individual psychological characteristics and sports activities in orienteerers. Collected scientific papers of young scientists. SSIPE publ.. Smolensk, 1995. no. 2. pp. 66-69.
  2. Zenina T.M. Reasons for athletes' mistakes in orienteering competitions. Collected scientific papers of young scientists. SSIPE publ.. Smolensk, 1996. no. 3. pp. 48-50.
  3. Kazantsev S.A. Orienteering. Sports Improvement. NSUPESH publ. St. Petersburg, 2010. 60 p.

Corresponding author: vladimirsherin@yandex.ru

Abstract

Modern competitive orienteering is the specific sport discipline highly demanding to physical and mental stress tolerance to meet the sport-specific challenges in practical competitions. The athletes are expected to run the competitive distances and locate and register at every mapped check point for the shortest possible time. Objective of the study was to test benefits of the improved precompetitive training system for the orienteering sport elite.

Subject to the experimental study was the new precompetitive training system for elite orienteering sport. The study was run at the Tomsk Regional Orienteering Sport Federation training base in 2018-19. Sampled for the study were the Tomsk Oblast orienteering team (n=20) split into Experimental and Reference Groups (EG, RG) of 10 people each. The Reference Group precompetitive trainings were standard, and the Experimental Group precompetitive trainings used a new model with a special priority to the map and compass reading skills. The study showed benefits of the improved precompetitive training system as verified by the competitive progress of the Experimental Group versus Reference Group in the race time and error elimination aspects.