Theoretical grounds of interaction of physical and sports cultures



G.L. Drandrov, professor, Dr.Hab.
V.A. Burtsev, associate professor, Ph.D.
E.V. Burtseva, associate professor, Ph.D. I.Ya. Yakovlev Chuvash state pedagogical university, Cheboksary
Key words: physical activity, motor activity, physical culture, sports culture, sport, training activity, competition, motives, material and spiritual values.

Recently the term “sports culture” has become very popular in the research and educational literature [3, 11, 12, 19, 20]. In the approaches to allocation of the essence and content of the concept researchers proceed from activity and value interpretation of the phenomenon of physical culture. And the interaction of physical and sports cultures is considered by the authors from different points of view.

In the present situation each of these notions is to be studied in view of their place and role in general personal culture, estimation of their effect on development and performance of each other within human life activity.

Thus, the purpose of the study was to analyze the subjected in the scientific and methodological literature approaches to interpretation of the interaction of physical and sports personal cultures.

The concept "culture" acts as a common generic category for physical and sports cultures. Therefore, the first task of our theoretical study is to clarify the essence and content of this concept, serving as a content-related landmark in identifying the qualitative specificity of its two types - physical and sports cultures.

Domestic scientists keep to the activity approach, to considering the culture phenomenon defined as a set of forms, methods, means and results of human activity. They characterize the concept “culture”, on the one hand, as a process and, on the other, as results of the social object’s actions on creation and preservation of social phenomena, estimated as crucial, essential values [4 – 6, 10, 11].

Numerous options are observed in the implementation of the activity approach to understanding the culture, differing mainly by the focus on effective and procedural aspects of activity, its spiritual and material components [21]. In one case culture is defined primarily as a product of human activity, its result as a set of "material and spiritual values ​​having been created and being created by mankind during the socio-historical practice and characterizing the historically obtained level of social development" [21, 22]. In another case, the focus is on the procedural aspect of culture, on the fact that it is creative, constructive activity, during which previously created values ​​are objectified and new ones are created. The process of culture development means that man simultaneously creates culture, materializing it personal intrinsic forces, and forms itself as a social being, mastering preceding culture [16, 17].

Considering culture in view of the axiological approach, material and spiritual values are distinguished in it, being created during material and spiritual activities [21]. Material values of culture cover the whole sphere of material activity and its results (instruments and means of labor, housing, everyday objects, clothes, transport and communication). Spiritual values ​​of culture cover the area of consciousness, spiritual production, act as social ideals, meanings, norms, behavioral patterns that determine the nature and direction of various forms and areas of social practice, public relations, specific types of activity (knowledge, morality, training, education, including law, philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, science, art, literature, mythology, religion) [17].

According to the activity definition of the concept “physical culture” distinguishing of its kinds is realized in view of the qualitative variety of single types of human activity.

Physical culture is one of specific types of activity. So the second task of our research is to reveal the essence and content of the concept physical culture”.

Domestic scientists determine “physical culture” as:

  •  A type of general culture, qualitative aspect of creative activity on mastering, enhancing, maintaining and restoring values in the sphere of human physical perfection on self-actualization of his spiritual and physical abilities in socially significant results, associated with performance of his social duties [16];
  •  Vital methods and results of people’s use of personal motor capacities to transform their qualities, abilities, given by nature [15];
  •  the motor culture with the goal and result of achievement of physical perfection via physical (corporal and spiritual) human transformation, expansion of his motor potential and motor range; universal social institute of development, distribution and mastering of motor culture of both single person and mankind in general; combination of material and spiritual values, society used for human physical development and perfection [18];
  • the specific activity, intended to form motor skills and abilities, improve man’s physical condition, protect and promote health, develop harmonious personality [4];
  • the activity aimed at “social transformation” of the human body, development of his physical and spiritual strength [5, 18];
  • a specific process and result of human activity, mean and method of man’s physical perfection to perform social duties [6, 8];
  • a specific sphere of transformation of nature by a man and man himself via formation of an even more perfect body, consciousness, will and development of relative traditions, institutes and organizations [6].

Comparing the above mentioned approaches to definition of the concept “physical culture”, one can mark that all researchers associate it with motor activity. V.K. Balsevich assumes that motor activity is the purposeful implementation by man of motor actions, intended to improve various indices of his physical potential and learn the motor values of physical and sports cultures [3].

When allocating the specifics of physical culture as one of types of motor activity we focus on the statement of domestic psychologist A.N. Leont’ev on the fact that the ratio of motives is revealed after the ratio of activities. Hence, the author wrote: “Actually we deal with special activities, each of which satisfies a certain need of the subject, strives to the subject of this need, fades as a result of its satisfaction and is reproduced again – can be already under different, changed conditions” [10]. So the specificity of physical culture as a type of activity is stipulated by the qualitative variety of its needs and motives.

Any human activity, including in the form of physical activity, results in certain changes not only in the environment, but also in a person as its subject. As K. Marks wrote, – “…Influencing the external nature and accumulating it, he changes his personal nature at the same time” [13].

“Changing personal nature” can be one of the motives of human behavior and activity. So as an essential feature of physical culture as a specific type of motor activity the authors of the above mentioned works allocate the orientation of physical culture to:

  • corporal (“self-realization of physical abilities”, “improvement of physical condition”, “transformation of abilities given by nature”, “human corporal transformation”, “body social transformation”, “development of physical strength”, “preservation and strengthening of physical health”, “formation of better body”);
  • spiritual (“self-implementation of spiritual abilities”, “development of spiritual strength”, “ways of people’s use of their personal motor abilities”, “formation of motor skills and abilities”, “harmonious personality development”, “transformation of man himself”, “formation of awareness and will”, “development of man as a subject of this activity”).

The results of physical culture as a specific type of human motor activity are the positive changes of the indices of corporal and spiritual development (“physical development”, “expansion of the motor potential and motor range”), which act as material and spiritual values and characterize in its combination personality physical culture.

The concept “physical activity”, determined by V.K. Balsevich as a purposeful human motor activity, acting as the naturally and socially determined necessity and need of the body and personality for maintenance of homeostasis, ensuring morphological, functional, biochemical and psychological conditions of implementation of genetic and sociocultural programs of their development in ontogenesis and coping with factors disturbing it, is close in sense interpretation of physical culture as motor activity, meant for corporal and spiritual development of man as its subject. V.K. Balsevich assumes, the concept “physical activity” involves not only motor activity itself but the category of the goal of this activity in the widest sense [3].

As B.G. Anan’ev [1] notes, man can be considered as an individual (natural creature), subject of specific activity, personality and individuality. So changes arising in man due to physical activity, can be systemized in compliance with these ideas:

  • at the level of individual – physical development, health (level of adaptabilities of single functional systems and body as a whole), motor abilities;
  • at the level of subject of activity – knowledge, skills and abilities of being able to use methods of activity;
  • at the level of personality – important for activity personal mental features;
  • at the level of individuality – properties of man as an individual, subject and personality, associated with physical activity, which are unique, inimitable and condition the rise of his social status.

Hence, summing up the above mentioned, it can be concluded that physical culture is a specific type of conscious social human motor activity, distinguished by the orientation to physical development, health protection and promotion, development of personality’s motor abilities and mental features, mastering of knowledge and ways of its organization.

The results of physical activity act as acquired human material and spiritual values of social physical culture and in the combination condition uniqueness of man as an individual, subject of activity, personality and individuality.

The third task of our study is to reveal the essence and the content of the concept “sports culture”.

Competitive activity, including competitive actions and competitiveness and cooperation of athletes associated with it, specific relations with other participants: trainer, judges, organizers, fans, is an essential feature of sport. Competitive activity is distinguished by the unification of actions it involves, conditions of their performance and ways of assessment of achievements in compliance with official rules of competitions, regulation of athletes’ behavior with the principles of nonantagonistic relations between them [9, 19]. Thanks to competitive activity sport acts as a method and form of discovery and public recognition of physical, mental, spiritual abilities within competition, competitiveness and struggle between athletes.

The mission of sport is to achieve sports mastery and high results in sports competitions on the basis of organization of training process.

Training for competitions is not an essential feature of sports activity – in its origin sport existed without the training process. Modern elite sport (game sports) is made mainly of a set of competitions with decreased number of training classes. In these conditions the priority is given to the method of integral training via participation in competitions.

On the one hand, training activity cannot exist without competitions, as competitive activity acts a strategic factor, determining the goal, tasks, content and process of sports training. On the other – training activity renders an essential influence on competitive result. So broadly defined, modern sport includes not only competitive activity itself, but special training for it too.

V.K. Balsevich believes, that sport as a phenomenon of the common human culture is a self-sufficient sphere of human activity with an individual mission, performing heuristic, aesthetic, standard, fitness and recreational, economic and entertainment functions [2].

L.I. Lubysheva notes, that the needs for self-organization of sports lifestyle, success and achievement of high competitive result are the most important for sports activity [11]. We also assume that specificity of sport as a type of activity is stipulated, first of all, by the needs and inner motives, straight prompting and directing to participation in competitions. Sports activity is attractive and important for an athlete, as it gives the chance for self-actualization and revelation of personal capacities in a competition between opponents, achievement of victory, winning.

Competitive motives, striving for success and self-actualization in selected sport stipulate the features of athlete’s sport activity, behavior and communication with other participants of sports activity, such as high physical and mental loads, observance of performance requirements, relations of competition and collaboration.

The preconditions to development of sports culturological features are being created by introducing sport into the system of culture, actualizing the value attitude to sport via the motivational sphere within sports activity, which testifies to sports culture.

The transformation of sports values from the category of public to the one of personal testifies to athlete’s sports personal culture.

As assumed by L.I. Lubysheva, personal sports culture has a specific result of sports activity, means and methods of transformation of physical and spiritual human potential via mastering the values of competitive and training activities, as well as the social relations which ensure its effectiveness [11].

The variety of sport determines the qualitative specificity of the content of sports culture. L.P. Matveev subdivides all kinds of sport, widely recognized in the world today, into five groups in view of the peculiarities of the subject of contest and type of motor activity [14]. Most of sports refer to the group characterized by active motor activity with the ultimate manifestation of physical and mental qualities. Achievements in these sports depend on athlete’s personal motor abilities. When analyzing the core of the concept “sports culture” we shall consider the sports falling into the given group.

V.I. Stolyarov, S.Yu. Barinov relate to the main values of sports culture the based on sports trainings and competitions ability to improve personal physical conditions, ability to regular work on self-perfection, skill to win and lose, without losing dignity and belief in the future success [19]. 

L.I. Lubysheva distinguishes general cultural, sociopsychological and specific sports values as a part of the general culture. The author refers to specific values of the capacities of sport to satisfy human needs for physical perfection, socialization, health formation, self-actualization and increase of individual social prestige in society via high achievements, victories, records [12].

Intellectual, intention, moral, achievement, valeological, motor mobilization values, values of health protecting technologies of sports training are being actively mastered, learnt and assigned during sports occupations [9].

As V.M. Vydrin notes, sports values can be displayed directly in health, physical perfection, certain competitive achievements (taken place, record) [7].

M.I. Ponomarev refers to the values of sport: health, physical fitness, physical development, sport-technical results, ideological, organizational, scientific and methodological grounds of sports training, functional components of sport, communication, volitional and moral qualities, social recognition, authority, dignity and call of duty, self-education [17].

V.I. Stolyarov defines as sports values social ideals, senses, symbols, norms, behavioral patterns, responsible for regulation of actions of a social subject and social relations in the sports sphere, determining its character and orientation [20].

Summing up the above mentioned approaches to determination of values, given to a personality during sports activity, they can be classified according to biological, psychological, educational and social effects.

The biological effect of sports activity is determined by “health formation”, designation of “valeological values”, “physical fitness and physical development”, “ability to improve personal physical conditions”, “satisfy the human need for physical perfection”.

The psychological effect is displayed in the skill “to win and lose, not losing dignity and belief in future success”, in the “abilities to work regularly on self-perfection”, assigning motor mobilization values”, in “self-implementation”, “communication, volitional and moral qualities”. In the psychological literature three traits of sports character are allocated (patience, self-confidence and fighting spirit), which can be called spiritual values of sports culture and considered as a psychological effect of sports activity. People with sports character are distinguished by emotional stability, shown in stability of competitive results, more efficient competitive activity under extreme conditions of its performance and the skill to lose with dignity in a straight fight.

The educational effect is in assigning “intellectual values and values of health protecting technologies of sports training”, in “sports-technical results”, in “scientific and methodological bases of sports training”, in the “self-education” ability.

The social effect consists in "enhancement of the individual social prestige in society by achieving high results, victories, record", "social recognition, authority, self-esteem and call of duty", "socialization", acquiring "moral and achievement values", in "specific competitive achievements", in "social ideals, senses, symbols, norms, patterns of behavior that govern the social subject's activity and social relations in the sports sphere". Competitive activity in extreme conditions of competition and cooperation facilitates the assignment of the rules of sports ethics as internal controls of relations with all participants of competitions.

The fourth task of our research was to determine the ratio of physical and sports cultures. Solving this task we based on the thesis of A.N. Leont’ev that the difference between types of activity is caused by different motives, inducing and directing man to their implementation [10]. It with necessity defines the differences in the essence of activity and result being obtained (Table 1).


The essence of physical and sports personality cultures

Physical culture

Sports culture

Motives of activity

Need for motor activity

Health protection and promotion

Physical development


External self-affirmation

Personality formation

Need for motor activity

Health protection and promotion

Physical development


External self-affirmation

Personality formation

Competitive motives

Success achievement motive

Personality self-actualization motive

Content of activity

Physical exercises


Physical exercises

Competitive exercises

Material values


Body built

Motor abilities


Body built

High level of development of motor abilities, important for selected sport

Spiritual values

Knowledge in the field of physical culture

Handling the ways of organization of physical activity


Interest in physical activity


Knowledge in the field of selected sport

Handling the ways of organization of selected sports classes


Interest in selected sport

Personality traits (confidence, patience, purposefulness, persistence, emotional stability, frustration sustainability)

Sports ethics

Social status


General motives for physical and sports cultures are represented by need for motor activity, health protection and promotion, physical development, communication, external self-affirmation and personality formation. These motives interacting with each other induce a person to physical activity for corporal and spiritual development.

Sports culture is formed based on the qualitative transformation of physical culture via appearance, development and dominance in the personality motivational structure of competitive motives, success achievement motive and personality self-actualization motive in selected sport.

These motives significantly change the content of physical activity. It, on the one hand, still includes “removed” physical exercises, intended to man’s corporal and spiritual development, but these exercises exist not as they are, but as an element of integral new formation – sport, in the form of training approach.

On the other hand, a principally new element – competition arises in the content of physical activity, which takes upon itself the strategic role – defines both the content and functioning of training activity, and the peculiarities of performance of motor actions, being the content of competitive exercises. The changes in the content and the process of physical activity, caused by new motives, stipulate for man’s acquisition of new material and spiritual values.

The knowledge in the field of physical culture is enriched by the knowledge in the field of selected sport, man learns the ways of organization of classes of this sport. In sports activity personality traits are being formed, conditioning favorable relations to its various aspects: to the content (interest in selected sport); to itself as a subject of activity (self-confidence); to competitive conditions (patience, emotional stability); to competitive process and results (purposefulness and persistence); to defeat and failures (frustration sustainability): to participants of competitions (sports ethics). Achievement of high competitive results ensures increase of the human social status.

As follows from the results of the study, physical culture and sport have a common object basis as types of motor activity provoked and directed by the same motives. Herewith, sport as a type of activity differs from physical culture by arising and prevailing competitive motives, success and personal self-actualization motives.

Influenced by these motives, physical culture proceeds to a qualitatively new stage of development and level of sports activity with competitive activity as a new element. Physical exercises, that are used to be for corporal and spiritual development, are in the content of sports activity in the new form of the method of pre-season training, making the essence of training activity. Sports activity results in the assignment of new compared to physical activity material and spiritual values, forming personal sports culture combined with the values of physical culture.



  1. Anan’ev, B.G. Selected psychological works: In 2 V. / B.G. Anan’ev. – Moscow: Pedagogika, 1980. – 517 P. (In Russian)
  2. Balsevich, V.K. Sports centered physical education of comprehensive schoolchildren / V.K. Balsevich. – St.Petersburg: SPbRIPC, 2006. – 67 P. (In Russian)
  3. Balsevich, V.K. Human ontokinesiology / V.K. Balsevich // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury, 2000. – 275 P.: ill. (In Russian)
  4. Vinogradov, P.A. The basics of physical culture and healthy way of life: study guide / P.A. Vinogradov, V.I. Zholdak, A.P. Dushanin. – Moscow: Sovetsky sport, 1996. – 587 P. (In Russian)
  5. Vydrin, V.M. Physical culture and its theory / V.M. Vydrin // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury – 1986. – № 5. – P. 24–27. (In Russian)
  6. Vydrin, V.M. Physical culture of university students: study guide / V.M. Vydrin, B.K. Zykov, A.V. Lotonenko. – Voronezh: Publ. h-se VSU, 1991. – 128 P. (In Russian)
  7. Vydrin, V.M. Physical culture as a value / V.M. Vydrin. – Leningrad: Znanie, 1976. – 38 P. (In Russian)
  8. Il’inich, V.I. Student’s physical culture: textbook / V.I. Il’inich. – Moscow, 1999. – 447 P. (In Russian)
  9. Kagan, M.S. Human activity / M.S. Kagan. – Moscow: Politizdat, 1974. – 328 P. (In Russian)
  10. Leont’ev, A.N. Activity. Consciousness. Personality / A.N. Leont’ev. – Moscow: Politizdat, 1975. – 304 P. (In Russian)
  11. Lubysheva, L.I.  School sports culture / L.I. Lubysheva. – Moscow: Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury i sporta, 2006. – 174 P. (In Russian)
  12. Lubysheva, L.I.  Physical and sports cultures: essence, correlations and dissociations / L.I. Lubysheva // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2002. – № 3. – P. 11–14. (In Russian)
  13. Marx, K. Complete works / K. Marx, F. Engels. – 1955. – 188 P. (In Russian)
  14. Matveev, L.P. Theory and methods of physical culture (general fundamentals of the theory and methods of physical education; theoretical and methodological aspects of sport and applied professional forms of physical culture): textbook for institutes of physical culture / L.P. Matveev. – Moscow: Fizkultura i sport, 1991. – P. 427– 429. (In Russian)
  15. Matveev, L.P. On physical culture / L.P. Matveev // Physical culture and modern issues of man’s physical perfection: Proceedings of the conference. – Yerevan, 1984. – P. 10. (In Russian)
  16. Nikolaev, Yu.M. On physical culture / Yu.M. Nikolaev // Contemporary problems of theory and practice of physical culture: views, ideas, concepts. – St.Petersburg: SPbSAPC named after P.F. Lesgaft, 1997. – P. 14-18. (In Russian)
  17. Ponomarev, N.I. Sport as a social and educational phenomenon / N.I. Ponomarev. – Leningrad, 1989. – P. 5. (In Russian)
  18. Stolyarov, V.I. Philosophic and culturological analysis of physical culture / V.I. Stolyarov // Voprosy filosofii. – 1988. – № 4. – P. 78–91. (In Russian)
  19. Stolyarov, V.I. The concept and forms of personal sports culture. The problems of development of physical culture, sport and Olympism / V.I. Stolyarov, S.Yu. Barinov. – Omsk: Publ. h-se of SibSUPC, 2009. – P. 366–370. (In Russian)
  20. Stolyarov, V.I. Sport culture as an element of culture / V.I. Stolyarov // Modern times as a subject of study of social sciences: Proceedings of the scient. conf. of Russia. – Moscow: MSCPC, 2002. – P. 28–33. (In Russian)
  21. The philosophy of culture. Formation and development / Ed. by M.S. Kagan et al. – St.Petersburg: Lan’, 1998. – 448 P. (In Russian)
  22. Philosophic dictionary / Ed. By M.M. Rozental’. – Moscow: Politizdat, 1972. – 496 P. (In Russian)

        Author’s contacts: