Equivalent approach to functional fitness rating model applicable in university sports

Dr.Hab., Professor Sh.Z. Khubbiev1
Associate Professor S.Sh. Namozova1
PhD, Associate Professor N.L. Ilyina1
PhD L.V. Shadrin1
1St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg

Keywords: equivalent approach, qualification rate, functionality rate, university sports.

Introduction. Solution of the problems of sports pedagogics has its foundations in the theoretical and methodological framework, which makes it possible to study quite specific though interconnected systems. An equivalent approach may be taken as the above-mentioned framework. The approach gives the grounds to find similarities/ correlations of the objects/ processes subject to analysis.

The equivalent approach is rarely used in the theory and practice of sports. For example, one of the research works contains tables of equivalent results in cross country skiing [5], while another – presents the equivalent approach association with rating in sport [4]. In the mean time, today, the equivalent approach is in high demand in the theory of interdisciplinary knowledge and methodology of educational research, in particular, in fitness model design for categorical application in university sports (US), with representatives of elite sport (ES) at one of its levels [3]. In ES, fitness models are designed, which are used to manage and control students’ athletic training process. Such models are necessary at all levels of US. What is most important nowadays is the functional fitness rating models [3, 6]. As of today, we cannot find any developments related to the design of such models, neither we can find any defined approaches to their development. All this prevents from purposeful training of student-athletes within the US system.

The existing approaches to the development of such models in ES are useless, as US are characterized by a number of features: 1) the students’ goals and objectives are determined not only by the sphere of sports activities, but also by the content, rhythm of the educational process; 2) intensive studies do not always help students improve their health; therefore, studying within the US system, they prepare for competitions, strengthen their health, improve mental capacity and academic performance; 3) the students must be able to combine high-quality studies with successful sports activities; yet, we do not have a solution to this problem, neither scientific nor technological, although it is one of the most relevant in modern sports pedagogics and psychology [8].

In view of this and the students’ sports needs, it is important to design the model characteristics for all US levels as specific guidelines in sports training. Many students want to be involved in US to meet their needs for communication with peers, physical activity, physical and motor development, health promotion. Many of them wish to achieve high sports results. To meet these needs, it is necessary to design functional fitness models. So, US must satisfy different needs of students [9].

Objective of the study was to design model characteristics of functional fitness of students depending on the university sport levels.

Methods and structure of the study. The functional fitness rating models were designed using a comparative analysis, which implied comparison of: qualification standards for sport titles and classes to calculate the "qualification rates" (quantitative measures of the ratios between the qualification rates for sport titles and classes including World Class Master of Sport, Master of Sport, Candidate Master of Sport, and I, II-III Class Athletes); indicators of the functional state of the students having different sport titles and classes [1, 2, 7] to calculate "functionality rates" (quantitative measures of their cardiovascular, respiratory systems, energy supply, physical working capacity, etc. versus the qualification standards for the sport titles and classes; qualification and functionality rates to find the degree of their equivalence.

Further, we determined the model characteristics of the given student pursuing at a particular US level to correct own functionality indices with the help of the functionality rates; there can be an opposite situation though - knowing the initial functional indicators and their growth trend, it is possible to set a course of improvement of the students’ sports qualification or their preparation within the planned training cycle to show sports results.

Results and discussion. The qualification rates were measured by comparing the qualification standards for the sport titles and classes (for instance, track and field disciplines), which revealed their average values and limit ratios of the sport titles and classes: WCMS/MS, MS/CMS, CMS/I Cl, I Cl/ II CL (Tables 1 and 2).

Table 1. Qualification and functionality rates used to design rating models for categorical application in university sports based on equivalent approach





I Cl/II Cl

Qualification rates
















Functionality rates











Legend: WCMS – World Class Master of Sport; MS – Master of Sport; CMS – Candidate Master of Sport; I Cl – Class I Athlete; II Cl – Class II Athlete; III Cl – Class III Athlete

As seen from Table 1, the compared rates are equivalent to some extent. Therefore, they can be used to design the model characteristics within the US system. When planning the training process we will have grounds to focus on the average functionality rates, individualize the student-athletes’ training process by designing the reference functional characteristics with due regard to their functional state and US level.

We have discussed the models of physiological characteristics of the students’ fitness. But it is equally important to design the models of psychological characteristics of training. In modern scientific literature we can find recommendations on elite athlete’s psychological profile design, when in critical situations occurring during competition, other things being equal, the key characteristics are the athletes’ psychological characteristics. In our case, it is necessary to take into account that the student-athletes need to simultaneously realize two equally important activities: study and do sports.

The model characteristics of US should be designed using such psychological characteristics as motivation for learning and sports and their correlation; well-formed "healthy" coping strategies as the ability to cope with stressful situations; volitional qualities; adequate self-esteem. More detailed development of the fitness models for the student-athletes depends on the specifics of sport. Thus, in team sports, to preserve the students’ physical and mental health, and therefore their academic and athletic successful performance, it will be necessary to consider the level of aggressiveness/ proneness to conflict, level of leadership qualities, style of communication. In US, the athletes’ psychological characteristics enable them to successfully combine their learning and sports activities with no harm to their health. Undoubtedly, the degree of formation of the necessary psychological qualities should be taken into account at different levels of US and differentiated depending on the training program and workload. The athletes’ psychological characteristics should by no means be a limiting factor or an excuse to recommend them to avoid sports activities and increase focus on learning. In terms of the equivalent approach, the coach should use the psychological and pedagogical measures to form the necessary qualities in the student-athletes or take due organizational and methodical measures to implement the educational and training process.

Conclusion. The study actualized the problem of creating modern health-and-fitness and sports university environment. It was found that quality, efficiency, sport achievements and health-improving effect of training within the university sport system are determined by the categorical application of the students’ model functionality characteristics.


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Corresponding author: khubbiev@gmail.com


The study analyzes benefits of the equivalent approach to the functional fitness model design for categorical application in university sports. The approach gives the grounds to find similarities/ correlations of the objects/ processes subject to analysis. In the model piloting project, the following parameters were analyzed: qualification rates for sport titles and classes including World Class Master of Sport, Master of Sport, Candidate Master of Sport and Class I-III Athlete; actual functionality rates of the qualified university athletes, i.e. the objective qualitative measures of their physical and mental performance to benchmark them versus the formal sport qualification standards; and qualification rates were benchmarked versus actual functionality rates to find the degree of their correlation/ equivalence. Furthermore, we offered categorical (skill-specific) model rates for university athletes as the reference points for the individual functionality correction based on the actual functionality rates.