System analysis of orienteering coach's activity


S.A. Kazantsev, professor, Ph.D.
P.F. Lesgaft National state university of physical culture, sport and health, St.Petersburg

Key words: sports orienteering, trainer, training system, system approach.

Introduction. The application of the system approach in studying the orienteering trainer’s activity is stipulated by the system structure of sports orienteering as a kind of sports and recreational activities. Therefore, training is multicomponent and multifactorial and justifies the use of the system approach in studying it.

System approach is the use of system methods for studies of real physical, biological, social and other systems.

The research problem statement in the terms of the system approach assumes answering to the questions on the setup, function and structure of an object.

The purpose of the study was to prove the possibility of application of the system approach in definition of orienteering trainer’s activity.

The theoretical and methodological basis of the study was presented by the works:

  • System description in psychology (V.A. Ganzen).
  • System approach in psychology of industrial training (Shadrikov V.D.).
  • Theory of functional system (Anokhin P.K.).
  • Psychology of sports career (Stambulova N.B.).
  • Theory of physical education and sports training (Matveev L.P., Kuramshin Yu.F. et al.).
  • Theory of sports training in sports orienteering (Cheshikhina V.V., Voronov Yu.S.)

Results and discussion. The work of the orienteering trainer is associated with performance of a great number of functions, which can be defined by means of activity. V.D. Shadrikov [6] identified the following levels of description of activity to examine the work of an employee, a trainer in particular: personal-motivational, component-target, structural-functional, information, psychophysiological, individual psychological.

We assume, the analysis of trainer’s activity is to be started from the component-target level since criterion functions, parameters and other characteristics of activity are defined at this level. According to the theory of adaptation of functional systems by P.K. Anokhin [1], training exercises offered by a trainer should be adequate to target functions and parameters of competitive activity.

Competitive activity in sports orienteering is the integration of spatial, temporal, energy and information characteristics. In this regard, to describe competitive activity in sports orienteering the following system basis can be applied: substrate - space - time - energy - information (SSTEI) proposed by V.A. Ganzen [2].

The content of competitive activity is discussed at the level of the concept of "substrate". The concept of "space" gives an idea about different types of locality where competitions are held, length of competitive distances, etc. During competitions an athlete works in two spaces: the real 3-dimensional space of locality and the scaled 2-dimensional space of the map. These spaces are specifically related: scale, height, symbols. The essence of the process of orienteering is in the continuous mental mutual transformation of these two spaces. According to psychologists it is a complex intellectual process. The trainer’s professional competences lie in understanding the content of each of these spaces and adequate to them organization of training process. The concept of "time" includes results of competitions, but apart from that time is a major stress factor that determines faults at the competitive distance. Trainer’s professional competences regarding knowledge of energy sources of the orienteerer’s organism are displayed in the concept of "energy". Running speed in cross-country terrain with the heart rate at the level of anaerobic threshold and maximum alactate power (strength) of working muscles are the defining indicators of physical fitness. The concept of "information" includes athlete's ability to "read" a map on the run and take decisions under conditions of lack of information. All system definition blocks are interdependent and define the integral structure of competitive activity in sports orienteering.

The next level of the professional coach's activity analysis is structurally functional. At this level the trainer’s functions are identified in connection with the essence of activity in sports orienteering. According to N.B. Stambulova [5], the essence of training is in psychological support of sports career of his students throughout the long-term sports activity, including: upbringing, education, training, management of competitive activity, psychodiagnostics and psychological correction of difficult psychological states.

Describing the specifics of the psychological study of activity, S.L. Rubinstein [4] noted that it is primarily related with the study of the issues about the purposes and motives of human activity, with its internal meaning content. In this regard, a personal-motivational analysis of trainer’s activity is required, during which the role of professional activity for the trainer’s personality is established, the components of activity serving the source of his labor activity are revealed. As in our study we mean a specific activity - training in the sphere of sports orienteering, the sources of labor enthusiasm are to be found in the conscious and unconscious needs in different types of activity, namely: mental, physical, socio-environmental, creative. And all of these types of activity should be present in the system manner.

At the level of information analysis the ways of accessing the data useful for training are identified, as well as the methods of handling the information obtained during work.

In terms of studying the trainer’s ability to access and handle information his learning and innovation abilities are considered.

At the level of the psychophysiological activity analysis the attention is to be focused mainly on the study of information and energy relations, i.e. studies of information handling processes within physiological, psychological and emotional stress.

Obviously, the study of activation mechanisms does not exhaust the psychophysiological activity analysis. Psychophysiological analysis of the processes of information reception, handling and storage and the mechanisms for programming and control of mental activity are also important for sports orienteering.

At the level of psychological analysis individually unique ways of activity are studied, a ​​certain typologization is made and trainer’s individual qualities are revealed, stipulating for some style of activity. Here the individual style of activity can be studied in terms of its conditionality, both by some specific individual qualities and their individual interaction.

Conclusion. Proceeding from the subjected outline of the analysis, the orienteering trainer’s work is a complex multilevel and poly-structural formation.

The allocated levels within the activity analysis indicate to the ways of study and organization of trainer’s vocational training, including motivation of activity, study of the role of structure factors in organization of vocational training, analysis of the information base of professional activity, study of psychophysiological technologies of learning and system expressions of motivational, activation and information relations.

The level activity analysis of an orienteering trainer gives the grounds to formation of trainer’s professional teaching competences, laying the basis of the work programme of trainer’s vocational training in the system of higher physical education.


  1. Anokhin, P.K. Essays on physiology of functional system / P.K. Anokhin. – Moscow: Meditsina, 1975. – P. 17–63. (In Russian)
  2. Ganzen, V.A. System descriptions in psychology / V.A. Ganzen. – Leningrad: LSU, 1984. – 176 P. (In Russian)
  3. Kazantsev, S.A. Theory and methodology of sports orienteering: guidance / S.A. Kazantsev, P.F. Lesgaft SPb SUPC. – St.Petersburg: 2007. – 76 P. (In Russian)
  4. Rubinstein, S.L. The basics of general psychology / S.L. Rubinstein, 2nd ed. (1946). – St.Petersburg: Piter, 2002. – 720 P. (Series ”Masters of psychology”).  (In Russian)
  5. Stambulova, N.B. Psychology and sports career / N.B. Stambulova. – St.Petersburg, 1999. (In Russian)
  6. Schadrikov, V.D. System approach in psychology of industrial training: abstract of doctoral thesis (Psychol.). LSU, 1976. (In Russian)


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