Skills-specific competitive performance profiles of winter polyathlonists

Dr.Hab. V.V. Farbey1
Dr.Hab., Professor G.N. Ponomarev2
1Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St. Petersburg
2St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg

Keywords: competitive performance, factor analysis, winter polyathlon, factorial profiles.

Introduction. In modern sports, long-term athletic training process control is largely determined by a clear picture of the structure of competitive performance, its components, which, in turn, determine eventual sports result [1, 4, 5, 7].

Analysis of a number of research papers [1-3, 6, 7], revealing the structure of competitive performance, shows that, in different sports, its effectiveness is determined by the requirements applied to certain aspects of physical fitness and potentials of individual athletes.

Objective of the study was to profile the skills-specific competitive fitness of the 21-25 year-old athletes in winter polyathlon.

Methods and structure of the study. We analyzed the factorial profiles of the key competitive performance rates of the 21-25 year-old athletes engaged in winter polyathlon, with 15 World Class Masters of Sport, 25 Masters of Sport, 22 Candidate Masters of Sport and 24 Class I-II Athletes sampled for the study.

Results and discussion. The factor analysis of competitive performance in winter polyathlon revealed that the number of factors identified and their contribution to sports results differ significantly depending on the athletes’ skill level (see Table 1).

Analyzing the factorial profiles of the top-skilled winter athletes in winter polyathlon (WCMA), we identified 4 leading factors determining their successful competitive performance.

The first factor included the following indicators: total points in winter polyathlon (r=0.847), number of pull-ups (r=0.821) and results of shooting from a standing position (r=0.814). With the contribution of 24.7%, it was interpreted as a factor of sports result.

The second factor was formed by the 3km, 5km and 10km ski race results (r=0.762, r=0.757 and r=0.712, respectively). The contribution of this factor was 22.3%, and we interpreted it as a factor of racing skills.

The third factor included such indicators as: finish velocity in the 10km ski race (r=0.682), maximum speed in lowland parts of the track (r=0.637) and step frequency stability on various parts of the track (r=0.601), so it can be called a factor of speed endurance, with the contribution of 16.7%.

The fourth factor (shooting skills) included the following indicators: the result of shooting from the prone position (exercise MV-2) (r=0.538) and rifle holding time (r=0.514) (see Table 1).

Based on the factor analysis of the highly-skilled athletes in winter polyathlon (MS), 6 factors were identified, accounting for 88.2% of the total sample variance.

The first factor - sports result - was characterized by the significant factor loading with regard to the  following indicators: total points in winter polyathlon (r=0.865), 10km ski race result (r=0.853) and the result of shooting from a standing position PV-3 (r=0.841). Its contribution to the total sample variance was 24.5%.

 

Table 1. Factorial competitive performance profiles of athletes of different skill levels in winter polyathlon: WCMS, MS, CMS, I-II Class Athletes

 

Factors

Qualification

WCMS

MS

CMS

Class I-II Athletes

Contribution  %

Sports performance

24.7

24.5

11.3

5.7

Racing skills

22.3

10.3

7.4

25.7

Speed endurance

16.7

18.4

29.6

17.6

Shooting skills

12.6

12.0

15.4

6.8

Gymnastic skills

 

13.8

18.9

14.2

Strength endurance

 

9.2

6.1

9.5

Functional fitness

 

 

 

7.4

The second one can be interpreted as a factor of speed endurance in a ski race. It included the following indicators: finish velocity and the maximum speed on the lowland parts of the track (r=0.833 and r=0.812, respectively). The contribution of this factor was 18.4%.

The third factor was characterized by the significant loading during push-ups (r=0.720) and pull-ups (r=0.713), which was interpreted as a factor of gymnastic fitness; its contribution was 13.8%.

The fourth most important factor was the result of shooting from a standing (r=0.706) and lying (r=0.693) positions. It should be interpreted as a factor of shooting skills; its contribution was 12.0%.

The contribution of the fifth factor - racing skills - was 10.3%. It included the results of the 15km and 5km ski races (r=0.630 and r=0.607, respectively).

The sixth factor included the 9-12° and 20-25° hill climbing speed rate (r=0.592 and r=0.541, respectively). This factor should be interpreted as a factor of strength endurance. Its contribution was 9.2%.

The factor analysis of the competitive performance rates of the average-skilled athletes in winter polyathlon (CMS) revealed 6 leading factors. The first factor with the significant factor loading included: finish velocity (r=0.847), speed on the standard parts of the 2.5km track (r=0.808), changes in step frequency (r=0.794), as well as maximum speed on lowland parts of the track (r=0.781). This factor can be interpreted as a factor of speed endurance. Its contribution to the total sample variance was 29.6%.

The second factor was characterized by the significant loading during pull-ups (r=0.762), arm extensor muscle strength (r=0.742) and of the abdominal muscle strength (r=0.738); its contribution was 21.9%. It should be interpreted as a factor of gymnastic fitness.

The third factor was formed by the results of shooting from a standing (r=0.726) and lying (r=0.699) positions, with the contribution of 15.4%.

The fourth factor included total points in polyathlon (r=0.696), and can be interpreted as a factor of sports result; its contribution was 11.3%.

The fifth factor was influenced by such racing disciplines as 15km and 5km ski races with the significant factor loading (r=0.635 and r=0.612, respectively). This factor can be interpreted as a factor of racing skills. Its contribution was 7.4%.

The sixth factor, strength endurance, was formed by the 9-12° and 20-25° hill climbing speed rate (r=0.670 and r=0.556, respectively). Its contribution was 6.1%.

The results of the factor analysis of competitive performance of the low-skilled athletes in winter polyathlon (Class I and II), in contrast to the previous group, revealed 7 leading factors. However, these factors differed qualitatively.

The first factor was characterized by the significant factor loading during the 15km (r=0.859) and 5km (r=0.836) ski races. Within this group, it can be interpreted as a factor of racing skills. Its contribution to the total sample variance was 25.7%.

The second factor was represented by the maximum speed on the lowland parts of the track (r=0.812) and finish velocity (r=0.791). It was interpreted as a factor of speed endurance, with the contribution of 17.6%.

Since the third factor was characterized by the significant loading during pull-ups (r=0.786), arm extensor muscle strength (r=0.617), abdominal muscle strength (r=0.562), it can be interpreted as a factor of gymnastic fitness, with the contribution of 15.2 %.

The fourth most important factor was the 9-12° hill climbing speed rate (r=0.675) and strength endurance indices, expressed in step length (r=0.664). This factor should be interpreted as strength endurance in all-round skiing. Its contribution was 9.5%.

The fifth factor showed the statistically significant factor loading in terms of functional fitness – lactic acid accumulation rate (r=0.594) and BMD (r=0.571). This factor can be interpreted as a factor of overall functional fitness, which enable athletes to fully perform all the disciplines included in winter polyathlon. The contribution of this factor was 7.4%.

The sixth factor – shooting skills 6.8% - was formed by the result of shooting from a standing (r=0.559) and lying (r=0.531) positions.

The seventh factor  was formed by the total points in winter polyathlon (r=0.524) and was interpreted as a factor of sports result, with the contribution of 5.7%.

The comparative analysis of the skills-specific factorial competitive process profiles of the sample showed significant intergroup differences.

It was found among other things that the contributions of specific events in the total scores in winter polyathlon are skill-group-specific. In case of top-skilled athletes, the top-scoring events were the all-round skiing followed by ski race and shooting. In case of the average-skilled athletes, the success was determined by speed endurance rate, pull-ups rate, functional fitness, shooting skills, total points, 5/10km ski races and strength endurance. And, in contrast to the previous groups, the low-skilled athletes’ competitive performance was driven by 10km ski race, pull-ups, strength endurance, functional fitness, shooting skills and the total standing in all-round skiing.

Therefore, the results of the comparative analysis of skills-specific factorial competitive process profiles suggest for the conclusion that the level of sports achievements in winter polyathlon was determined by the concentration of the leading factors.

Conclusion. The results of the factor analysis of competitive performance rates of athletes of various skill levels in winter polyathlon testify, first of all, to the fact that the training system and training process as a whole differ significantly both by the form of organization - planning, control, load measurement, and by the content and scope of the program of long-term athletic training in winter polyathlon.

References

  1. Guba V.P., Kvashuk P.V., Nikitushkin V.G. Individualizatsiya podgotovki yunykh sportsmenov [Individualization of junior athletes' training]. Moscow: Fizkultura i sport publ., 2009, 276 p.
  2. Dunaev K.S., Seyranov S.G. Tselevaya fizicheskaya podgotovka kvalifitsirovannykh biatlonistov [Target physical training of skilled biathletes]. Malakhovka: MSAPC publ., 2016, 368 p.
  3. Keino A.Yu., Chubukov A.S., Sychev A.V. et al. Trenirovka zimnikh poliatlonistov v usloviyakh vuza. Ucheb. posobie [Training of athletes in winter polyathlon in higher education environment. Study guide]. Moscow, 2004, 56 p.
  4. Platonov V.N. Obschaya teoriya podgotovki sportsmenov v olimpiyskom sporte [General theory of athletic training in Olympic sports]. Kiev: Olimpiyskaya literatura publ., 1997, 583 p.
  5. Stolov I.I. Sportivny rezerv: sostoyanie, problemy, puti resheniya (organizatsionny komponent) [Sports reserve: condition, problems, solutions (organizational component)]. Moscow: Sovetskiy sport, 2008, 132 p.
  6. Farbey V.V. Struktura sorevnovatelnoy deyatelnosti i spetsialnoy fizicheskoy podgotovlennosti zimnikh poliatlonistov razlichnoy sportivnoy kvalifikatsii [Structure of competitive activity and special physical fitness versus athletes’ skill levels in winter polyathlon]. Uchenye zapiski un-ta im. P.F. Lesgafta, 2011, no. 5 (75), pp. 119-125.
  7. Shustin B.N. Modelirovanie v sporte: teoreticheskie osnovy i prakticheskie rekomendatsii. Avtoref. dis. dokt. ped. nauk [Modeling in sports: theoretical basics and practical recommendations. Doct. diss. abstract (Hab.)]. Мoscow, 1995, 82 p.

Corresponding author: khubbiev@gmail.com

Abstract

Objective of the study was to profile the skills-specific competitive fitness of the 21-25 year-old athletes engaged in winter polyathlon based on a factor analysis of the key competitive performance rates, with 15 World Class Masters of Sport, 25 Masters of Sport, 22 Candidate Masters of Sport and 24 Class I-II Athletes sampled for the study. The comparative analysis of the skills-specific factorial competitive process profiles of the sample showed significant intergroup differences. It was found among other things that the contributions of specific events to total scores are skill-group-specific. In case of top-skilled athletes, the top-scoring events were all-round skiing followed by ski race and shooting. In case of the average-skilled athletes, the success was determined by speed endurance, pull-ups, shooting skills, total points, 5/10km ski races and strength endurance. And the low-skilled athletes’ competitive performance was driven by 10km ski race, pull-ups, strength endurance, functional fitness, shooting skills and total standing in all-round skiing.