Sport has always played a special role in society today. Its impact is widespread and its development is closely related to social activity, the economic base of society, social relations, objectives, politics, health, education, and cultural needs. All this is observable and can be followed in the development of the physical culture. Exercise and sport have always had different roles in human life. At the dawn of the birth of human civilization, it was indispensable to ensure survival. While in prehistoric times, survival, hunting, preparation for combat in antiquity were essential, so it dominated, while in the Middle Ages it became a persecution. Physical cultural knowledge and sports pedagogical knowledge were in the hands of man from the very beginning. The theory and practice of sports pedagogy has been present in human life since ancient times. We must look for the roots of education, conscious teaching, and even the germs of institutional education in prehistoric times. At the dawn of human development, movement teaching played an important role in the struggle for human survival. Teaching is mostly through the transfer of experience, by acquiring realistic knowledge. In ancient societies there have been intense theoretical discussions about physical training and education. Educational methods such as playful method, motivation, discipline have appeared, and teaching has often been supplemented by physical punishment (abuse, starvation, cold water bathing). The perception of ancient nations about education differed most widely depending on the purpose and structure of society. In Athens, the openness of intellect, the development of moral sense, and the sensitivity to beauty raised the young man. The goal was to educate a harmoniously developed person in the ideal of kalokagathia. In other nations, however, as in Sparta or Rome, serving the interests of the state was first and foremost.

Military education, discipline, obedience, patriotism, respect were preferred in education. Many of the ancient philosopher, like Plato or Aristotle, trusted in the power of education. It was considered necessary because it was believed to make the man really human. In the Middle Ages, on the other hand, emphasis was placed on the development of morality and will against the knowledge and the physical culture. In the early Middle Ages, they did not seek to develop harmoniously, but to purify their souls from the contamination of life on earth. Instead of physical and mental development in the medieval education, the decay of will and morality became the most important.

It was the merit of the humanists that they were dealing with physical education again. Philanthropists have created a modern system of physical education at school. During the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, the issue of physical education became more and more important, and the importance of its role in education became more prominent. The development of sport pedagogy and sport science developed in the 19th century, reinforcing each other.

By the 18th and 19th centuries, the various scientific disciplines have emerged, but unfortunately the political and scientific ideas of the era unfortunately did not create the condition for the science of physical education and sport. Though the international debate on the creation of an independent sports science has been going on since the 1930s, it was still awaited. The birth of the competitive sport and the Olympic Games have given great impetus to the development of disciplines in sports science, including sports pedagogy.

The idea of Olympism and education were connected. Pierre de Coubertin and his followers saw the main motive for reviving the Olympic Games in the educational values of sport. Coubertin and in Hungary, Ferenc Kemény also believed that educating young people in the world could be achieved most effectively through sport. The sport carries countless values: for patriotism, for honest games, for rules, for the opponent and for the judges, for self-discipline. Through sport, we can learn to win and defeat both with dignity, to practice the knighthood - the dreamers of Olympism have admitted. Different approach to the sport is an important tool, it is possible to preserve the health of spending free time, entertainment. Ferenc Kemény, who agrees with Coubertin both in the field of educational reform and the Olympic thoughts, has become a founder of pedagogical and physical education reforms in Hungary.

His research and educational activities were carried out in order to improve the world, the school opportunities for peace movement, physical education, the realization of Olympism, and the whole issue of pedagogy. He worked to make the world a better place, which is manifested both educational and journalistic oeuvre. One way to solve the peace problem; The World Academy and the Philosophy of War were also nominated for the Nobel Prize.

In 1903 he became a member of the Hungarian Pedagogic Society, and from 1901 to 1906 he was editor of the Ungarische Pädagogische Revue. He played an important role in promoting the results of foreign education in Hungary. His versatile pedagogical, publicist, and Olympic public life activities had an impact on education, physical culture, and the life of Hungary and the development of sport pedagogy. From the beginning of the 1910s, the “Hungarian physical education system” emerged, which was based on the elements of the Swedish and German gymnastics and mostly on the medical bases, but had pedagogical, psychological and aesthetic value. This took into account the age-specific characteristics, facilitated the physical development of the pupils, and tried to counteract the harmful effects of school and extracurricular life.

Until the First World War we can talk about individual research in the field of sport.

The first books on sports pedagogy appeared. In 1930, his book “Sport Pedagogy” by Pierre de Coubertin was published in Hungary. In this year, lectures on physical education pedagogy were held in Hungarian grade teacher training institutes. The foundations of physical education universities and colleges across Europe have promoted the development of research (including sport pedagogy) and the development of sport science. In Hungary, the establishment of the TF (Physical Education College) in 1925 has greatly helped to advance research in the fields of sport, physical education and sport pedagogy. After World War II, individual research was increasingly replaced by collective collaborations and complex collective research teams. Most of all, there was interest in the development of performance sport, but besides this, the pedagogical, didactic and methodological issues of sport and physical education were again highlighted. By the middle of 1950s, there was a growing demand for the exchange of international literature, cooperation between them, and international scientific ancestors. This has increased the need to establish an international scientific organization in the field of sport and PE. In 1956, the first World Physical Education Congress was held in Melbourne before the Olympic Games, with the theme of “scientific research in physical education” and “the place of physical education and sport in public education”. For two years, in 1958, the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) was founded in Paris, and was set up by a team of eight internationally renowned professionals, including Ferenc Hepp from Hungary. The creation of independent sports pedagogy can also be done for this period, the 1960s. The process of autonomy in the field of sports pedagogy began, the task of which was to delineate the subject of research in the field of sports pedagogy. Meanwhile, at the colleges and universities, the teaching of sport pedagogy started at the TF on the 1965/66 academic year.

Ferenc Hepp writes in 1956 as follows: “… We have to fill the great gap that exists between theory and practice. The theory must be raised for his apostasy. Therefore, the aim of future research is not only to discover the unknown, but also to make concrete progress in both theory and practice. It also determines the controversial issue of the independent existence of ‘sports science’, the direction of the future development of physical education and sport and the worthy evaluation of its role in universal human culture 1.”

This young discipline began to emerge in 1956. In Hungary, the most commonly used term was physical education science, while it varied from country to country, but the name of sports science was more popular. The concept and existence of physical education science was also a much controversial issue at this time. In 1956, the name of physical education science was used instead of sports science, but in terms of its content it did not only deal with the issues and problems of physical education, but of course with sports.

Cold war rivalry, as it has been in the field of sport, has contributed to the development of sport science research. In order to achieve the best possible performance, the top sport had to be placed on a scientific basis. Sports language has begun to emerge, and the number of scientific works in this area has increased. Organizations that have contributed to the further development of sport, physical education and sports science have evolved.

Research focused on the following areas: physical education and physical activity, its historical, biological, psychological, and biomechanical aspects. The Physical Education Theory has been the subject of theoretical, didactic and organizational knowledge related to the practice of physical education, which is part of educational science. Behind the research in the field of didactics, the results of research have been lagging behind in organizing education. Outstanding research on compulsory physical education in kindergarten, elementary school and college has emerged, and its practical results are expressed in terms of curriculum and content. Articles and studies in the field of physical education have appeared in the Hungarian literature.

The development of sport pedagogy has been hampered by the over-biologicalization of physical education, formalism in the teaching of physical education and the narrowing of the educational values of sport to moral education. This has encouraged sports education professionals to focus on exploring the mental and aesthetic potentials of sport and physical education. Through research, they sought to underline the importance of mental and aesthetic education in physical education and their interactions. International co-operation begins, in which the Hungarian sport pedagogical specialists join the leadership of Edit Bironé Dr. Nagy.

The 70’s and 80’s domestic sports pedagogical researches were mostly characterized by cooperation with socialist universities and colleges. The focus of the research was on the activities of the coach, the physical education teacher, the interaction of the coach-student and the teacher-student, as well as the characteristics of the training process of the sport specialists. The greatest advancement of the 90s was achieved, in 1994 the scientific training of sports professionals, the PhD, could be launched, although not in the field of sports science, but as a subprogram of the ELTE educational program. Sport pedagogy has gained acceptance. Even this year, sports professionals are preparing a program called “The Empirical and Theoretical Issues of Sports Science”, which was adopted by MAB in 1997 after a long review. Sports science (discipline) has been officially accredited within the framework of educational science. Subsequently, a government decree of 2000 included our discipline in the field of philosophy, called education and sports sciences, and then placed a new government decree in 2004 on social sciences. According to the decision of the MAB Plenary, the discipline was named Sport Sciences. In 2016, the most recent review of the discipline classification was in the medical science field. All this illustrates the interdisciplinary nature of sport science and the fact that it has still not found its place in the science system. The academic recognition of sports science as an independent science is still awaiting.


Already in the previous chapter, we encountered a number of concepts related to sports science and sports pedagogy, so it would be appropriate to define them.

Let us briefly review the definitions relevant to the topic.

Sport science is a multi- and interdisciplinary science, the subject of which is the field of sport from various aspects. Sport science is “a part of the universal culture of human society, a system of ideas for mapping physical culture – a combination of scientifically proven, systematic, generalized principles, theorems, laws, and laws, theories and methods 2.”

Physical culture is one of the most important and commonly used expressions of sports science. Physical culture is an integral part of universal culture. It includes a culture of health and movement. It is the sum of all the spiritual and material values that human society has created and preserved in the process of its development. The meaning of physical culture embraces activity in society through physical activity. This human activity within society is aimed at preserving his health, physical condition, developing his abilities, and improving his performance, using exercise and sport as a toolbox 3.”

Pedagogy was born from the composition of the words “pais” and “agein”. His meaning leads to a child. Pedagogy deals with the personality development possibilities of education and the purpose of education, dealing with its theory and practice. It includes the theory of education (the contexts of education, the laws, the general principles of education, the system of goals, tasks and tools, the rules and methods that ensure the implementation of the basic principles of education) and the practice of education (education-education-training practice).

The subject of pedagogy is the process of shaping and developing a child and shaping its value system. Pedagogy includes several specialist disciplines, general pedagogy, educational theory, educational history, didactics, methodologies, special education, pedagogy of ages, school organization, and pedagogical education.

Although the term pedagogy and education science is often used as a synonym, its content is not the same. “Educational science studies the activity of purposeful shaping of human. It examines the relationships of personality shapability, developability, causal factors, regularities, factors that influence the process of education, their system and mechanisms of action.”Educational science is the theory of pedagogy. Educational science deals with basic questions, goals, tasks, and tools of education. Sport pedagogy is a pedagogical science that deals with the study of sport and the athlete from a pedagogical point of view, and aims at solving pedagogical problems in sports. Border science between education science and sports science. It is linked to pedagogy through pedagogy. While the subject of ‘educational science in general is the purposeful development of personality, and sport pedagogy examines sport activity as a personality development factor.’ In terms of its connection to sports science, it can be said that its sub-discipline (Figure 1). It examines sport and its participants from a specific aspect.


The subject of sport pedagogy, as mentioned earlier, is the pedagogical examination of sport. What do we mean by sport? The concept of sport has been defined by many, so it is characterized by diversity. In a narrower sense, it is generally understood to be performance sport, competitive sports, and in a broad sense, physical activity.

Sport is a widespread social phenomenon. In terms of both its material factors and its intellectual products, it is an integral part of universal culture, a specific human activity that plays a very complex and multifunctional role in society. When we talk about sport in the ordinary sense, we mean competitive sports, leisure sports, and even school sports. They are basically similar, because we are talking about physical activity, but they differ in their purpose. While competitive sports, and elite sports 4 , the goal is to achieve the highest possible level of performance, until then spiritual-mental health in leisure sports, and versatile personality development at school physical education and sport, and to promote healthy physical and mental development.

The subject of sport pedagogy is the examination of theoretical and practical questions of personality development. It examines certain stages of personality development, such as the pedagogical aspects of the sports scene, the process of school education, physical education, and the content of education. It also examines the process, management, organization, planning and pedagogical characteristics of education (student, athlete, coach, teacher). This analyses the educational methods and the relationship between the teacher and the student - coach and athlete.
The aim of sport pedagogy is to contribute to the effectiveness of sport education, to solve pedagogical problems in sports activities and to increase the effectiveness of pedagogical activity by revealing new knowledge.


Exploring, analysing and systematically integrating pedagogical principles in the athlete’s training process; based on these, defining specific pedagogical requirements and procedures. In a very important scene of personality development, using the pedagogical problems of sporting activity on the paths of general pedagogy, use millennial experiences and scientific results (Biróné, 2011). From the observation of sport activity, with the help of its analysis, it is possible to find new pedagogical consequences that can help us to discover new pedagogical relationships typical of special situations of sport. CONCLUSION

Physical cultural knowledge and sports pedagogical knowledge were in the hands of man from the beginning, and the theory and practice of sports pedagogy had been present in human life since ancient times. By the 18th and 19th centuries, some areas of science have already emerged, but unfortunately, the political and scientific ideas of the era did not create the condition for the science of physical education and sport. This also made it difficult to develop sport pedagogy. Sport pedagogy is a pedagogical science that deals with the study of sport and the athlete from a pedagogical point of view, and aims at solving pedagogical problems in sports. Sport pedagogy is a border science between education science and sports science. The subject of sport pedagogy is the pedagogical examination of sport. The task of sport pedagogy is to explore, analyse and systematize pedagogical principles and factors in the process of athlete training; based on these, defining specific pedagogical requirements and procedures. The aim of sport pedagogy is to contribute to the effectiveness of sport education, to solve pedagogical problems in sports activities and to increase the effectiveness of pedagogical activity by revealing new knowledge.

CHECKING ISSUES 1. What role did physical exercise and sport play in different ages in a person’s life? 2. What was the task of education in prehistoric times, in ancient times, and in the middle ages? 3. How do Olympic Games and Sport Pedagogy relate? 4. When did sports science come into being, which discipline? 5. How can you determine what sports education is? 6. What is sports science? How does sports pedagogy relate to sports science? 7. What is the difference between pedagogy and education science? 8. How does sports pedagogy relate to the process of personality development? 9. What is the purpose of sport education? 10. What is the field of sport pedagogy?

  1. Hepp F. (1956): Modern irányzatok a testnevelés – kutatásban. Testneveléstudomány. A Testnevelés Tudományos Tanács folyóirata. 1956 2 (6). 491. o.↩︎

  2. Biróné N. E. (2011) Sportpedagógia. Dialóg Campus Kiadó. 16.o↩︎

  3. Takács F. (1972): A testkultúra fogalma és néhány tudományelméleti problémája. TF Közlemények, 95–100.↩︎

  4. Based on the performance, the top of the competitive sport is the elite sport.↩︎