As described by Yessis (who edits Soviet Sports Review, an English-language quarterly), the real ""secret"" to Soviet...

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SECRETS OF SOVIET SPORTS FITNESS AND TRAINING

As described by Yessis (who edits Soviet Sports Review, an English-language quarterly), the real ""secret"" to Soviet success is that government's commitment to win medals at the Olympics and other international sports events. The USSR has invested heavily in sports-science research and also stresses overall fitness via exercise in schools and physical culture facilities in communities and the workplace. Promising young athletes are sent to ""sports schools,"" where they are trained to aim for the Olympic gold. Through wide research, Russian scientists have developed a ""model athlete"" for each major sport. Following an extensive training period to optimize fitness and strength, Olympic hopefuls are fine-tuned to develop the speed, agility, specific musculature, reflexes, and mind-set of this model. This training involves not only scientifically correct exercise, but also a whole panoply of the most advanced techniques to measure and improve performance. Extensive psychological training to reduce stress and inspire confidence is also used. In contrast, says Yessis, US high-school and college coaches usually rely on practice and more practice, supplemented by often ""inappropriate"" exercise and warmups. Steroids and other drugs, claims Yessis, no longer figure significantly in Soviet sports--and never were a real contribution to the superiority of Russian athletes. Eye-opening; likely to create a stir in US sports circles.

Pub Date: July 24, 1987

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Arbor House

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1987