Mastering Running Technique by Football Players of Specialized Children's Sport School of Olympic Reserve

Mastering Running Technique by Football Players of Specialized Children's Sport School of Olympic Reserve


V.A. Smirnov, postgraduate
A.M. Tikhonov, professor, Ph.D.
Perm State Humanitarian-Pedagogical University, Perm

Key words: subjectivity of activity, running learning technique, self-control of motor action, self-evaluation of running technique.

Introduction. Football player spends most of the playing time without a ball. He has to move constantly at different speed, solving tasks emerging during the game. Therefore, speed of movement of a football player is an important component of his sports skills. In connection with this, physical training plays an important role in the training of young athletes. But, while spending time for development of motor characteristics, trainers completely forget to work on the technique of movements, although it is known that optimal technique provides not only the gain in speed, but also saves power. The situation is aggravated by the fact that young football players themselves are reluctant to deal with treadmill training, considering it to be of minor importance for their sports career. As a result, according to the researchers' data, only 31.6% of the involved ones cope with the required standards in the women's 30 m distance run (satisfactory - 18%, good - 9.1%, excellent - 5.5%) and even less in 7x50 m shuttle run - 4.5%.

In connection with this, we assume technical training in running to be a hot topic of the research.

The purpose of the study was to develop a science-based methodology of improvement of running technique of football players of specialized children's sport schools of the Olympic reserve.

Materials and methods. Having analyzed the literature data on the issue of formation of motor skills, we singled out the factors influencing the effectiveness of training. They can be represented as follows.

1. Formation of a skill runs faster, the skill gets more flexible and thus truly voluntary only if a student acts as an actual entity engaged in activity [4].

And by activity we mean a 6-stage sequence which a student has to pass himself: desire, motive –> goal –> actions, operations –> tools –> subject –> result –> evaluation [6]. Here, self-reflection should also be added as it is to accompany a student at every stage of activity arrangement, since if he is not able to identify own mistakes and their causes he will not reach the required level of goal achievement either.

2. There is a connection between athlete's self-control and his qualification: more skilled athletes have better self-control and self-evaluation capabilities [7].

3. Action formed on verbal instruction is more generalized and flexible, i.e. it can vary depending on the situation. In late preschool age (6-7 years) less effort is needed to master a movement, the skill is developed faster if not demonstration but verbal instruction is used during training.

4. If an exercise is performed consciously (at the first stage of training), a movement is more precise, more subtle and more differentiated [3].

5. Motor skill quality is much determined by perception of own mistakes. The faults can be intentional (which is in common practice within certain training systems including sport). It is not an exercise (movement) that is mastered but a correcting action [5].

6. The better the image of a skill is defined, the higher its quality is. The theories of formation of recommended grounds of activity were developed, which comprise the major control points. Volitional movements of a person are made consciously. Their determinacy by living conditions is realized by means of reflecting these conditions [1].

7. Training efficiency is higher if students have an opportunity to display their creativity [2].

Proceeding from the above mentioned provisions, we designed the training process based on the solution of problems in a certain sequence:

1. Problem statement. At this stage it was necessary not just to set a problem before athletes, but to make them realize it and accept it as their task. Currently, it is important to find the way to justify the need for speed of movement of football players in flat race. Without this stage, involvement in the subjectivity of activity would be impossible.

2. Comparison of different types of learned motor action. Most football players (including elite ones) are not able to move accurately in flat race. But each of them makes different mistakes, that is why their running technique differs too. At the initial stage, trainees try to carry out all the action options. This is done in order to: a) learn to single certain elements out of the whole motor action; b) enable voluntary motor control; c) enable intellectual development: perception, imagination, creativity. The need for development of new actions, with alteration of their existing elements, implies analytical skill. Synthetic work is preliminary to development of new actions, and it may comprise imagination processes (the basis of creativity).

At this stage, the following tools of monitoring of running learning technique are used:

1) evaluation of accuracy in performing an element. That is when students learn to estimate another person's actions. The first half of the group perform an exercise one at a time, while the second half evaluate their actions on "right-wrong" basis by means of preselected signs. This allows determining how adequate athletes can estimate another person's actions;

2) accurate performance of an element;

3) ability to explain any type of the learned action in the form of instruction.

3. Bringing effective elements to the front.

At this stage of training the goals are as follows: a) to enable developing of the skill to define a problem; b) to learn to determine elements that affect motor action effectiveness.

Monitoring of mastering of technique at this stage (hereinafter - "control"): ability to determine how accurate running technique elements are performed relying on own feelings.

4. Accurate performance of effective elements.

The goals of this stage are as follows: 1) to develop reflexive thinking (verbalization of feelings); 2) to learn to evaluate how accurate a motor action is performed by another person; 3) to learn to evaluate own actions (self-evaluation); 4) to be able to explain why an element is performed in a certain way.

Control. Ability to set an exercise goal. Ability to verbalize own feelings. Objectiveness of evaluation. Objectiveness of self-evaluation. Development level of explanatory (theoretical) knowledge.

The result of the realization of the first three stages: understanding of what determines the effectiveness of a motor action (elements conditioning its effectiveness); ability to see another person's mistakes and own ones. Having determined the mistakes (wrong elements), it is necessary to select the exercises that will help to eliminate them.

5. Practicing of elements (technical training).

Goal: ability to select exercises for practicing elements, for eliminating mistakes.

Control. Ability to select the exercises that will help to eliminate mistakes in motor actions and to perform them correctly, accurate performance of the whole motor action.

Results. The primary diagnostics of special fitness was followed by the correlation analysis of the results. It showed that 30 m and 50 m flat race at high level of significance (p < 0,01) correlates with 30 m distance run with a ball and 7х50 m shuttle run with a ball. In addition, a correlation of standing long jump and triple jump with the types of running with a ball in question was indicated at the high level of significance.

This was the first step towards the involvement of athletes in the training process. The results were introduced to the students and discussed with them. The correlation analysis proved the importance of flat race (included but not limited to) in special training, which was realized and accepted by football players.

Then the sprint race technique was trained in accordance with the developed methodology.

The results of the study of effectiveness of development of football players' self-evaluation of running technique are represented in Table 1.

Table 1. Average number of mistakes in self-evaluation of running technique by football players from experimental and control groups.












4,23 < 0,01






According to the results of statistical analysis, the athletes from the experimental group evaluate own running technique more objectively: they make fewer mistakes in self-evaluation as compared to the athletes from the control group.

The experiment helped to evaluate running technique of football players before and after the experiment. The results of the trainer’s evaluation of running technique are represented in Table 2.

Table 2. Sprint race technique in both groups before and after the experiment


Experiment stage











2,56< 0,05










0,15> 0,05






The sessions aimed at development of self-evaluation of running technique and at practicing the accuracy of performing elements led to improvement of running technique in the experimental group by 1 point, which is significantly reliable in relation to the data obtained at the beginning of the experiment. In the control group there were no significant changes in running technique.

The results of 30 m distance run in the experimental group increased by a significantly high rate, while in the control group the increment was random. Similarly, the results in other test exercises improved: 50 m distance run, 30 m distance run with a ball, and 7x50 m shuttle run with a ball.

Conclusions.  The technique of teaching motor actions, based on the involvement of athletes in the training process, definition of the main reference points together with a trainer, that later turn into criteria of control of correctness of performance of an exercise, promoted the improvement in the running technique, that entailed better results not only in flat race, but also in running with a ball.


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