I mean by this that there are scores of children and youths who, for one reason or another, are not included in the usual character-building organizations such as boys' clubs, Scouts and church groups, and these "left out" children are the very ones who develop into delinquents.
Only if we look at the total situation, the total community or nation, analyze the strong and weak points and devise a plan which will cover all departments and ages of children, will we solve this baffling problem.
We sometimes seem to think that just by increasing the work of the Boy Scouts or some other single agency we will solve the total problem. We certainly will not.
We must devise, perhaps through Government action, an over-all, comprehensive plan or strategy which will take into account those boys and girls who are left out of all of these organizations and plan for them a new program which will meet their specific needs and help them to grow up into normal, well-adjusted adults.
EARLE B. PLEASANT
Religion in American Life, Inc.
THE ANSWER IS MOTIVATION
Mr. Jemail gives the best answer to the question, "How can we remedy the lack of participation in sports by American youth?" and in doing so touches on a solution to the problem. He states: "Boys must have an incentive. Mere sports participation is not enough. I grew up fighting for a few privileges...." In this statement lies the answer—motivation.
We need to include more vigorous activities in our physical education programs at all educational levels. All youngsters like to play and they enjoy participating in vigorous activity where there is a challenge. However, many of our leading physical education experts frown on any activity that does not have what they call 'carryover value' for participation in later years. Therefore, contact sports as such are ruled out until senior high school level and by that time the urge to compete in a vigorous activity has lost its appeal.
My contention is that if activities such as soccer, hockey, lacrosse, boxing, wrestling, rugby and football were included in the physical education programs (under modified rules at the lower school levels) when there is intense interest there would also be an incentive to do related activities such as calisthenics which bring an excellent physical development. Remove the incentive—i.e., contact sports—and physical development lags because there is little interest in body building as such.
Secretary, National Intercollegiate Boxing
IS WRESTLING THE ANSWER?
Having worked with YMCAs, colleges and schools in developing amateur wrestling programs for our young, I can say that in my opinion no one activity can so effectively create a physically perfect generation as can amateur wrestling. Not only can the sport be started at almost any tender age, but the resultant beautiful, useful physique with its combined strong body and mind has carry-over potential in practically every other physical activity.
However, to be most effective, the wrestling must shift to the schools as part of their physical education and athletic programs.
Olympic Wrestling Committee
Many of us here have understood the value of our tennis program in building better boys and girls.