Team form of coaching work organization in children and youth athletic sport schools



PhD, Associate Professor S.D. Zorin
Dr.Hab., Professor G.L. Drandrov
PhD, Associate Professor N.V. Igoshina
PhD, Associate Professor V.Yu. Igoshin
PhD, Associate Professor O.A. Chernoyarova
Chuvash State Pedagogical University n.a. I.Ya. Yakovlev, Cheboksary

Keywords: coaching team, training stages, track and field, Children and Youth Sport School, Physical Education teacher, professional capacity, athletic specialization, responsibility-and-role-specific contributions

Background. Usual challenges of the junior athletes’ training process control are known to be largely due to the extreme age-specific volatility of the children and adolescents’ learning abilities and the long period that the training process takes (up to 6-8 years) with its different stages including preliminary conditioning, primary sport specialization, comprehensive training in vocational sport and at sport excellence stages. A variety of sport-specific requirements may further complicate the athletic training process control. The more versatile is the content of one or another sport discipline, the broader is the scope of professional knowledge, skills and experience the coach shall have and give to the trainee. Track and field is a good case in point in this context as it includes a few largely different athletic events like running, jumping and throwing. Further significant specifics and requirements are found in every track and field event. These are mostly the reasons why it is so difficult for a coach to be fully professional in the athletic training process control in every of the track and field events. Therefore, it is quite natural for a coach to come to the dilemma: whether to try evolve to a universal specialist in every of these events or concentrate on one of them to develop highest possible professionalism, particularly on the event he/ she specialized in the past athletic career. In finding the ways to solve the above dilemma, track and field coaches have successfully developed and applied new, more efficient forms of cooperation in their joint service to the Children and Youth Sport Schools (CYSS), particularly in the long-term junior athletic training process control based on their responsibility-and-role-specific contributions to the coaching teamwork [1, 4, 5].

Objective of the study was to identify and give theoretical substantiations for the track and field coaching teamwork formats at Children and Youth Sport Schools.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was performed at the Children and Youth Sport School #2 in the city of Novocheboksarsk of the Republic of Chuvashia. Coaching teamwork format is referred to herein as the joint cooperative activity of the coaches designed to effectively control the training process of the same CYSS trainees to attain the same objective – that is to train a high-quality potential athletic reserve for the sport. We have developed the following three formats for the coaching teamwork [2].

The first format of the coaching teamwork is applicable at the preliminary conditioning stage; it implies the coaching team being composed of a CYSS staff coach and a non-staff physical education teacher of the general education school engaged in the CYSS training process on a freelance basis. Training groups is composed of 25-30 trainees of both sexes trained together. The coaching responsibilities/ roles in the team are shared in the following way. The CYSS staff coach acts as a team leader responsible for the team strategy and the interim and current goals of the athletic training process being set for the relevant training stages and, hence, for the education and training process design and scheduling. The education and training process is managed jointly by both coaches working at stations. Schedules and content of the teamwork at the stations will be specified by the CYSS staff coach. The non-staff physical education coach is responsible for the general school physical education lessons being designed so as to select the gifted children to be qualified for the CYSS track and field training process. The education and training sessions take place both at the general education school and the CYSS sport facilities as the occasion requires. Upon completion of the preliminary conditioning stage, the physical education teacher enters into a new team with a new CYSS staff coach and starts his/ her activity from the primary training teams being formed. The CYSS staff coach continues his/ her work at the next sport specialization stage with the trainees who were selected on a competitive basis for further education and training. The same junior athletes are considered trainees of the coaching school teacher at the same time, and this fact is taken into account in the relevant formal sport qualification (athletic ranking) process.

The second format of the coaching teamwork is applicable at the primary athletic specialization stage, with the coaching team being composed of two CYSS staff coaches that made it through the preliminary conditioning stage. Top priority in the coaching team formation is given to the versatility of their professional potentials that means that the coaches should ideally be specialized in different track and field events and differ in sex, age, process management styles (broadly varying from the democratic to authoritarian ones) etc. The difference in their styles will help them not only complement each other in the process but mutually spur up their professional growth. A team leader is nominated in the team to bear responsibility for the training process control and supervision. The team coaches may rotate in taking the leading role when explaining and demonstrating to the trainees the education material that falls within their specific vocational fields. In other situations they will ideally work together complementing each other in the specific aspects of the training process with due respect to professional knowledge, skills and experience.

The third format of the coaching teamwork is applicable at the comprehensive training stage. In contrast to the prior format, the coaching team is made of two coaches specializing in the same track or field event, with the leading role being assigned to the coach having a higher professional rank/ potential. Notwithstanding the rotation of the coaches in the training process, the junior athletes are still considered the trainees of the same coach who trained them at two prior stages, with the relevant implications, i.e. qualifications, rankings, honorary titles, bonuses etc. The coaching teamwork at the comprehensive training stage are formally completed when the trainees are qualified for the sport excellence groups. Then the coach goes back to the primary conditioning stage and restarts his/ her teamwork with the school physical education teacher to select gifted prospects for the preliminary groups.

Normally, every coach may work for two-three coaching teams at a time: at the preliminary conditioning stage he/she works with the school physical education teacher; at the primary specialization stage – with the coach of different sport specialty; and at the comprehensive training stage with the same-specialty coach. The wide versatility of professional responsibilities and roles in close cooperation with coaching colleagues gives every opportunity for each coach to excel his/ her knowledge, skills and experience and fully mobilize the individual creative potential [3].

In the coaching team formation process, due account is made of the following aspects: willingness of the coaches to join the team; interpersonal relationship of the coaches; potential individual differences in the professional qualifications and track/ field specialties of the prospects for the coaching team; whether or not the roles and responsibilities of the coaches match with their professional interests and capacities; strict equality of the team members in terms of coaching qualifications, honorary titles, bonuses etc.; business relationship of the coaches with other relevant coaching teams and CYSS education staff of the whole as a key condition for success in their responsibilities and roles in the CYSS staff.

Practical efficiency and benefits of the above coaching teamwork formats were assessed by a 10-year-long developmental education experiment that involved trainees and coaches of Study Track-and-field Group; Reference Swimming Group 1 of the Children and Youth Sport School #2 in the city of Novocheboksarsk of the Republic of Chuvashia; and Reference Track-and-field Group 2 of the Republican Olympic Reserve Children and Youth Sport School. The Study Group coaches worked as provided by the above coaching teamwork formats, whilst the Reference Group coaches worked in the traditional individual coaching formats.

Study results and discussion. Having analyzed variations of the Study Track-and-field Group performance efficiency rates for the period of the experiment, we found a notable efficiency growth trend, with the formally qualified Class Athletes numbers reported to increase from 31.16% to 39.48%, as compared to Reference Swimming Group 1 that showed no progress with the proportion of the formally qualified Class Athletes for the last two years of the experiment reported at 29.25% and 28.66%, i.e. showed some sagging trend.

Furthermore, it was found that for the period of experiment the track-and-field division coaches have trained 19 Class I Athletes, 5 Candidates for Master of Sport and 3 Masters of Sport. The relevant progress rates of  Reference Track-and-field Group 2 of the Republican Olympic Reserve Children and Youth Sport School were notably lower: 10 Class I Athletes, 2 Candidates for Master of Sport and 1 Master of Sport trained for the same period.

In addition, the Track-and-field coaches have improved their formal qualifications for the period of experiment, with the proportion of the top-ranking coaches increased from 9.09% to 54.55%. Moreover, the Track-and-field coaches have been surveyed as highly satisfied with the interpersonal environment in the division (0.89 points versus 0.65 points scored by the reference swimming division); they reported being better aware of the personal and business qualities of one another (0.50 points versus 0.44 points, respectively); showed higher motivations for cooperation with their colleagues both in the business and interpersonal domains (0.45 points versus 0.36 points, respectively). Furthermore, they showed higher emotional devotions to their vocations (1.00 points versus 0.76 points, respectively); and were found more satisfied with the business management style (0.61 points versus 0.49 points, respectively) and the professional growth opportunities offered by the job (0.50 points versus 0.41 points, respectively). The Track-and-field Division coaches were tested with the higher combined social-and-psychological environment attraction rates (0.59 points versus 0.50 points, respectively); higher overall subjectively measured job attraction rates (6.54 points versus 5.27 points, respectively); and higher values-and-priorities-driven unity rates (0.60 points versus 0.43 points, respectively).


  • Operations of the CYSS coaches may be designed in the three different coaching teamwork formats with due allowance for the individual assets of each coach in terms of professional knowledge, skills and experience in the relevant track/ field event; so that at the primary athletic conditioning stage the team is composed of a CYSS staff coach and a school physical education teacher; at the primary sport specialization stage, two CYSS staff coaches of different track/ field specialties forms the team; and at the comprehensive training stage, the team is composed of two differently ranked CYSS staff coaches of the same track/ field speciality.
  • Optimized responsibility-and-role-specific contributions of the CYSS staff coaches to the coaching teamwork in the above formats helps create good synergy for the long-term junior athletes’ training process efficiency being improved, on the one hand; and the professional qualifications of the coaches, social-and-psychological environment, subjective teamwork attractiveness, job satisfaction rates and team spirits being built up, on the other hand.


  1. El'yanov Ya.I. Brigada: kakoy ey byt'? (Team: what it should be like?) / Ya.I. El'yanov, S.P. Styrkina // Legkaya atletika (Athletics). – 1985. – № 8. – P. 26–28.
  2. Zorin S.D. Primenenie brigadnykh form raboty trenerov v upravlenii mnogoletney sportivnoy podgotovkoy uchashchikhsya detsko-yunosheskikh sportivnykh shkol: monografiya (Team forms of coaching work in management of long-term training of children and youth sport school students: monograph) / S.D. Zorin, G.L. Drandrov, V.A. Burtsev. – Cheboksary: ChSPU, 2014. – 140 p..
  3. Samotesov V. Brigada: kakoy ey byt'? (Team: what it should be like?) / V. Samotesov // Legkaya atletika (Athletics). – 1986. – № 12. – P. 125.
  4. Filin V.P. Teoriya i metodika yunosheskogo sporta (Theory and methods of youth sports) / V.P. Filin. – Moscow: Fizkul'tura i sport, 1987. – 128 p.

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This article discusses three forms of organization of teamwork of children and youth sport school coaches with regard to individual peculiarities of their professional capacities in a certain type of athletic exercises and stages of long-term sport training, "coach and physical education teacher"; "coaches of various athletic specializations"; " trainers of same athletic specialization differing in professional competency level". It has been established that these forms of organization of teamwork applied create conditions for better management of long-term sport training process. This is due to the rational distribution of the creative professional capacities of coaches; the interchange and mutual enrichment of the teaching experience; the collective impact of the coaches on the each student's personality formation. Team forms of organization of the coaching work in children and youth sport schools facilitate the formation of a favourable social and psychological climate, raising the value-orientation unity of the coaching team and enhance the subjective attractiveness of this kind of work in a children and youth sport school.