Sports training motivation of special (remedial) school children


Associate Professor, PhD A.V. Kornev
Dr.Hab. A.S. Makhov
Professor, Dr.Hab. V.S. Makeeva
Associate Professor O.G. Rysakova
Russian State Social University, Moscow

Keywords: motivation, children with impairments, adaptive physical education, sport activity.

Introduction. Nowadays, the government youth policy is focused on the formation of the stable, conscious and positive attitude of the rising generation to a healthy lifestyle, which is one of the pillars of modern education of children and young students. This is supported by the revival of the All-Russian sport complex "Ready for Labour and Defence" (GTO), organization of mass sports and patriotic activities using the example of "GTO race", "Race of heroes", etc., dedicated to the commemorative, historical events in our country.

Conscious, individual attitude to own physical development and training is one of the fundamental factors in physical education of pupils. A teacher has in his/her pedagogical arsenal a large number of methods and approaches that help form many-sided personalities. Among such "tools" is a personality-centered approach, which implies the implementation of the principles of self-actualization, individuality, subjectivity, choice, creativity and success, trust and support. The identification of students’ personal preferences, individual characteristics and concepts is a prerequisite for the organization of an individual learning path. For special (remedial) pupils this condition seems to be most relevant in view of particular dysfunctions and secondary health deviations.

The analysis of motivation for sport activities of special (remedial) school children is one of the methods of identification of the ways to correct motor areas in this category of children. The formation of the need for independent physical training and understanding of the value of a healthy lifestyle in children with impairments is necessary for their future successful socialization and self-actualization in society.

Currently, there are studies devoted to the processes of formation of motivation to physical education and sport activities for the deaf and hearing-impaired [8], blind and visually impaired [3, 6], those with locomotor disabilities [5]. We analyzed the aspects of motivation of children with impairments to physical exercises [1-4, 9]. However, the issue of motivation for sport activities among handicapped children from different nosological groups has been insufficiently studied.

Objective of the study was to determine motivation for sport activities of special (remedial) school children.

Methods and structure of the study. The leading motives of sport activity of children with impairments were determined using the methodology by A.N. Nikolaev [7]. For the sake of convenience of special (remedial) school children, the scale for assessment was reduced to 5 points. The methodology consisted in the estimation of 20 provisions describing the main 6 groups of motives for sport activity: motivation for: process; result; self-improvement; obligation; financial reward; communication. The study involved pupils of special (remedial) schools (I-II, IV, VI, VIII types) (n=118) and secondary school children (n=44) of the Ivanovo region of 11-13 years of age engaged in sports sections.

Table 1. Indicators of motivation for sport activities of special (remedial) school children (points)

Motivation for sports activities

Secondary school


Special (remedial) schools












Sports result
























Financial reward






Results and discussion. The analysis of the data obtained during the questionnaire survey of children engaged in sport sections has revealed almost the same level of motivation for sport activities (Table 1). The boundaries of the limiting values are within 1.3 points.

The motive for the process is the most pronounced in secondary school children (4.5±0.55), deaf and hearing impaired children (4.79±0.6) and pupils of special (remedial) VIII type school (4.2±0.7). However, in children with mild intellectual disabilities the “Process” (4.2±0.7) and “Self-improvement” (4.2±0.6) motives were equally subsumed under the priority ones. In pupils of special (remedial) IV and VI type schools it was the motive for self-improvement that was the most pronounced (4.6±0.6 and 4.2±1.1, respectively).

In secondary school children, the “Financial reward” motive was least expressed (4.1±1.17). A similar attitude to this motive was observed in students with hearing (4.2±1.16) and visual impairments (3.7±1.4). Pupils of special (remedial) IV type school gave the lowest rating of the “Financial reward” motive (3.7±1.4), compared to the average value of the rest of the motives. The “Sport result” motive was of the least value for children with locomotor disabilities (3.3±1.3), while for children with intellectual disabilities it was the “Obligation” motive that was least significant (3.9±0.6).

Interpreting the results obtained during the analysis of the most and least significant motives for sport activity, it should be noted that for children with locomotor disabilities the “Self-improvement” motive (4.2±1.1) is the most significant compared with the rest of the motives, which indicates that students aim, first of all, for strengthening of their health, development and improvement of their bodies, schooling their temper, etc. The achievement of sport results is already less important for these children and it is not the primary purpose of their training in sport sections. Among pupils of special (remedial) VIII type school, the last position is given to the “Obligation” motive (3.9±0.6). As a result of psycho-emotional disorders, children with intellectual disabilities have by-and-large a positive attitude towards learning, but some have a negative reaction, too, which depends on various factors [10]. It should be noted that those activities that are presented to students in a more complex form (in relation to individual indicators) may cause a negative attitude, as well as the activities that are imposed by a teacher or tutor with the statement: "You must". If children are brought to a sport section without their desire, such children (if they do not like physical education and sports) normally drop out of the process sooner or later.

Students’ motivation depends on the personality of their teacher, tutor or coach. According to M.A. Kozlova [2], there are three components of motivation formation in the sphere of adaptive physical education and motor activity in general that depend on a teacher, including the number of game elements, exercises in a training session, individualization of load by exercising at home and parental involvement in school sport activities.

Students’ involvement is an important component of successful teaching work. Sport activities will be more effective if a student exercises with pleasure and without negative emotions. It is probably teachers of secondary schools for healthy children, schools for the deaf and hearing impaired children and children with mild intellectual disabilities who were able to create optimal conditions for physical exercise. These children long for taking pleasure in training itself, participation in competitions, they like a training session as such, and in this case, children are more aware of the lesson aim.

The “Financial reward” motive, which implies benefits, the possibility to get sport uniform and equipment, the possibility to make different trips to training camps and sport competitions, is the least significant for almost all children engaged in sport sections.

Let us consider the second most important motives for pupils’ sport activities. For secondary school children it is motivation for sport results. This motive was also chosen by pupils of special (remedial) VIII type school, along with the motive for communication. Deaf and hearing impaired pupils put the “Self-improvement” motive on the second place (4.51±0.9). Pupils of the VI type school classified the “Communication” motive (3.7±1.1) as a priority one, which implies the attractiveness of meetings with their teammates and the possibility to expand the circle of contacts by going to sport competitions in other cities. As the priority one they also singled out the motive focused on taking pleasure in exercising (3.7±1.3). The “Process” motive (4.4±0.9) is the second most important motive for children with visual impairment.

Among the low-priority motives of student’s sport activity are “Communication” (4.23±1.1) (secondary school), “Sport results” (4.25±1.12) (I-II type school), “Obligation” (4±1.3 and 3.4±1.2) (III-IV and VI type schools), “Financial reward” (3.4±1.4 and 4.08±0.7) (VI and VIII type school).

Conclusions. The study has identified the most and least significant motives for sport activity of special (remedial) school children with no impairments, who were engaged in sport sections and attended secondary schools. The most significant motives for all students are those aimed at the process of sport activity as such and self-improvement. Students noted “Financial reward” and “Obligation” among the least significant motives.

The analysis of motivation for sport activities among special (remedial) school children can be used as a motivation forming method at the early stages of sport training, a method of identification of the ways to correct motor areas in this category of children and their adaptation to sport activities.


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