Here’s an interesting research article that I came across while conducting a literature review. This article is from 1991 and compares Soviet training practices to that of Western (in this case, the UK) training practices in the acquisition of gymnastics skills.
Here’s the reference:
Golby, J. and P. Hope. Effects of “Soviet” and Western coaching methodologies on the acquisition of gymnastics skills. Perceptual & Motor Skills 72 (1): 348-350, 1991.
18 young female gymnasts were randomly allocated to three treatment conditions. One group was exposed to a training regimen typical of that used by Soviet coaches, a second group was trained using a method characteristically encountered in the UK and a control group attended recreational gymnastics classes. Performance on the “core” skills of handstand, round-off, basic-swing, and chin-circle was recorded after 5 and 10 wk. Results demonstrated the overwhelming pre-eminence of the “Soviet” approach.
(I will try to track down this article and post it.)