Dr.Hab., Professor Sh.Z. Khubbiev
PhD, Associate Professor N.S. Panchuk
PhD, Associate Professor A.S. Sidorenko
PhD S.A. Khismatullin
Saint Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg
Keywords: professional athlete, professional sport, training and competitive activity, sport education.
Background. Professionalization is viewed as a natural trend of the modern sports system. Success of the initiatives to establish professional sports in the country depend on how clearly the professional training and competitive activity is prioritized as a specific form of labour that deserves to be listed in the national Code of Professions; whilst a professional athlete is to be socially protected and his/ her labour to be duly remunerated. Such recommendations have been made in the comments to the draft Legal Fundamentals for Professional Sport .
Objective of the study was to analyse the professional versus amateur athletic training system specifics.
Methodology of the study was based on a theoretical analysis and summaries of the available research reports.
Study results and discussion. The historical evolution of the professional athlete’s status for the period of 1988-2014 may be outlined as follows: 1988: instructor athlete’s activity is qualified as profession in the national Code of Professions ; 1993: athletes are given the right to qualify for professional sports ; 1999: status of a professional athlete is formally set forth and the relevant key qualification criteria are listed ; 2007: formal definition of professional sport is updated ; 2008: sport activity is qualified as a core business of a professional athlete run on contractual terms and conditions including the labour remuneration, with the relevant social benefits and medical insurance ; 2014: “Professional Athlete Standard” is approved .
The logic of the above events calls for due priority to be given to the institutional aspects of a professional athletic training in the existing national educational system, and with this purpose a new Federal State Education Standard (FSES) must be developed and implemented. The existing amateur athletic training system is unable to do that as stated by O.A. Shevchenko who finds next to no correlation of the sport background with the actual sporting activity .
Therefore, the relevant national educational establishments need to draft a new FSES based on the existing “Professional Athlete” Standard and apply it to put together vocational education programs to shape up high professional standards for the high-ranking athletes all the more that their athletic activity has always been viewed as highly professional. It should be noted that the modern sport education suffers from crisis as the actual demand of the sport sector is poorly satisfied by the supply from the training system .
A professional athlete produces a sport show as a commodity for sale, and the performance success may be interpreted as an essence of his/ her activity, with the quality of the product he/ she makes being dependent on the individual mastery of the athlete, competition and marketing.
In amateur sports, coach may be viewed as a training/ competitive process subject, and the athlete – as its object, and they both as connected with direct and feedback (FB) links (see Figure 1 hereunder).
Figure 1. Amateur training process as a coach-athlete interaction
In the current training/ competitive process, an amateur athlete is unprepared for a professional cooperation with the coach for the lack of necessary competency within the primary sport education system as verified by the formal CYSS certificate that he/ she normally holds – with the relevant formal physical quality rates and recommendations on further sport excellence career. When the athlete holds a Children’s and Youth Olympic Reserve School certificate, the latter additionally certifies his/ her athletic/ academic accomplishments and athletic qualification (4). And even national Olympic Reserve Colleges, Sport Excellence Schools and special physical culture institutions, academies and universities fail to give a high-quality sport education as such.
It is natural that an amateur athlete acquires certain competitive experience for his/ her long-term training/ competitive career, but the experience is normally shorter than that of a professional athlete. Furthermore, he/ she may improve his fitness, skills and performance standards in the training process at sport centres and even national teams, but his/ her competitive professional background will remain at the primary level for the reason that he/ she rather works than learns in the process.
Therefore, an amateur sport discipline mostly forms the athletic performance skills that comprise only a part of the competences that a professional athlete must have; whilst the secondary and higher professional education system forms an educational mastery as the other part of the professional competences. Fully fit athlete engaged in the professional sport system must have all the above competences.
As provided by the modern education paradigm, the professional athlete – coach system of interrelations will be designed for cooperation of two equal subjects of the training/ competitive process. It should be noted that professional athlete is rather an active subject of the training/ competitive process than an executor, i.e. he/she acts as a co-creator of the system and co-owner of the competitive accomplishments produced. It is the competency levels; sport discipline apprehension as a socio-cultural and educational phenomenon; realistic conceptions of the sport world and the role of a human actor in the latter, sport culture, athletic fitness standards etc. that determine efficiency of the cooperation of the two subjects to the process. When the coach-athlete subjective cooperation is designed so that the former acts as a director/ moderator of the training/ competitive process, and the latter – as an active follower and contributor to the joint creative training/ competitive project design and implementation efforts, both of the actors may play these roles good enough only when they got a fully-fledged professional sport education.
It may be pertinent to note that their cooperation is much the same as the interaction of a stage director with a well-educated professional actor. The only difference is that the parties to the stage produce a theatrical performance, whilst the parties to the sport process produce sport competitions and accomplishments. Furthermore, the theatrical performance evolves as prescribed by a ready script and the spectator often knows the process outcome well before, whilst an athlete is restricted by the rules of the competition, albeit the process and result is never known neither to him nor the audience. And this is one of the most important factors of the always great interest to competitions. Audience of Olympic Games may come to many billions of people the world over, and it is the unpredictable and indefinite process and results of the events, the creativity, high professionalism and mastery of the athletes, unique and perfect athletic skills and high sporting spirit that comprise the key motivators and values appreciated by these billions. And it is only the athlete trained under a special professional athletic training system who can meet these popular demands.
However, amateur sport training systems will hold their position in the modern sport practices since they are needed by amateur sports that produce reserves for the professional sport system.
Therefore, a professional athletic training system may include the following stages: stage one is the amateur sport period including primary athletic education received from CYSS or CYORSS; and stage two is the professional sport period that implies full secondary (physical culture college) or higher (institute, academy, physical culture university) professional sport education designed to furnish the professional athlete with precious experience and necessary competences (of a bachelor, master or specialist) that will determine his personal career and sport accomplishments (see Figure 2).
Figure 2. Professional athletic education process
Having acquired a professional education, the competent certified specialist will start his/ her career at a professional sport institution where his/ her cooperation with the coach as a second subject to the training/ competitive process is established. Furthermore, the professional athlete will improve – on his own or under control of the coach – his/ her professional athletic and other personal qualities to mobilize the individual educational and competitive potential at the Russian and international competitions for the benefit of national sports; contribute own success to the glory of national sports and feel happy with the personal self-fulfilment and accomplishments to delight of the spectators and fans with the competitive successes and perfect performance. His/ her mission is to demonstrate the athletic and motor creativity; unique motor skills; ultimate devotion; individual and team mastery in every action; top-quality manifestations of sporting behaviour, thinking culture, sport emotions and willpower and other appealing standards of sport behaviour and movement culture in the extreme and highly uncertain competitive environments under the highest physical and mental stress.
Therefore, it may be concluded that an amateur athlete and a professional athlete are to be trained in the systems totally different in terms of their objectives, structures and practical contents. The amateur training system gives the top priority to formation of certain executive functions inspired by creativity, independence and initiative; albeit the competences obtained beyond the frame of the professional sport education system make it impossible for the amateur actor to design and implement a training/ competitive process so as to reach the level of creative professionalism. This mission is up to a professional athlete only. This is the reason why we recommend a special professional education system being established based on a set of new Federal State Education Standards (FSES).
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- Prikaz Goskomsporta SSSR ot 9. 04. 1987 # 228 «O vvedenii v deystvie Polozheniya o detsko-yunosheskoy sportivnoy shkole, spetsializirovannoy detsko-yunosheskoy shkole olimpiyskogo rezerva, spetsializirovannykh klassakh po vidam sporta (s izm. i dop., vnesennymi Prikazami Goskomsporta SSSR ot 06.06.1988 # 229; ot 30.06.1989 # 269; ot 12.09.1989 # 381)» (Order of the USSR State Committee 9.04.1987 № 228 "Concerning the implementation of provisions on children and youth sport school, specialized youth school of Olympic reserve, specialized sport classes (rev. and ext., as amended by the Orders of the USSR State Committee 06.06.1988 # 229, 30.06.1989 # 269, 12/09/1989 number 381).
- Prikaz Ministerstva truda i sotsial'noy zashchity RF ot 7 aprelya 2014 g. # 186n «Ob utverzhdenii professional'nogo standarta "Sportsmen"», zaregistrirovan Ministerstvom yustitsii Rossiyskoy Federatsii 22 maya 2014 goda, registratsionny # 32397 (Order of the RF Ministry of Labor and Social Protection April 7, 2014 № 186n " Concerning the approval of the "Athlete" professional standard"," registered by the RF Ministry of Justice May 22, 2014, registration number 32397).
- Federal'ny zakon «O fizicheskoy kul'ture i sporte v Rossiyskoy Federatsii» ot 29.04.1999 g. # 80 (Federal Law "On Physical Culture and Sports in the Russian Federation", dated 29.04.1999, № 80).
- Federal'ny zakon ot 04.12.2007 # 329-FZ «O fizicheskoy kul'ture i sporte v Rossiyskoy Federatsii» (Federal Law 04.12.2007 # 329-FZ "On Physical Culture and Sports in the Russian Federation").
- Federal'ny zakon ot 28.02.2008 # 13-FZ «O vnesenii izmeneniy v Trudovoy kodeks RF» (Federal Law 28.02.2008 # 13-FZ "On introducing amendments to the Labor Code of the Russian Federation").
- Federal'ny zakon ot 28.02.2008 # 13-FZ «O vnesenii izmeneniy v Trudovoy kodeks RF», v posledniy vklyuchena glava «Osobennosti regulirovaniya truda sportsmenov i trenerov» (Federal Law 28.02.2008 # 13-FZ "On introducing amendments to the Labor Code", included in the last chapter "Peculiarities of athletes and coaches' labor regulation").
- Shevchenko O.A. Professional'nye standarty sportsmenov i trenerov: budushchee natsional'noy sistemy kompetentsiy i perspektivy razvitiya (Professional standards for athletes and coaches: future of national system of competences and development prospects) / O.A. Shevchenko // Sport: ekonomika, pravo, upravlenie (Sports: economics, law, management). – 2013. – № 4. P. 25-28.
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The article considers professionalization as a natural trend of the modern sport system and ex-plores the evolution of the professional athlete’s social status for the period of 1988-2014. Spe-cial emphasis is made on the institutional aspects of a professional athlete training in the existing national educational system, and with this purpose a new Federal State Education Standard (FSES) is proposed to be developed and implemented. The existing amateur athletic training system is unable to do that. It is further emphasised that it is the educational establishments that will draft the new FSES based on the existing “Professional Athlete” Standard and apply it to put together the vocational education curricula to shape up high professional standards in the athletes – all the more that their athletic activity has always been viewed as highly professional. It is noted that the modern sport education suffers from a crisis as the actual demand of the sport sector is poorly satisfied by the supply from the training system. The study shows that an amateur athlete’s fitness level gives no way for efficient cooperation with the coach in the training and competitive process for the lack of key professional athletic competences. An amateur athlete normally gets only primary athletic background from a Children’s and Youth Sport School (CYSS) or Children’s and Youth Olympic Reserve School (CYORS) ; and even national Olym-pic Reserve Colleges, Sport Excellence Schools and special physical culture institutes, academies and universities fail to give him/her the education necessary for a professional career.