SOCCER BENEFITS DESCRIBED
This is the seventh of a series of articles which will be published by University coaches on the problems and various aspects of their respective sports.
In starting an article on soccer football, and in considering the different points to bring out about the game, the first that comes to mind is the wonderful physical benefits to be derived. Imagine a sport combining the health-giving exertion of cross-country work, the team play of ice hockey and the "combination" of basketball; soccer with its two forty-five minute halves--practically without time out--provides all these features.
While soccer, to the uninitiated may seem to be a game of "kick the ball and chase it," the mere statement of the fact that in Britain, where soccer is the national sport, the record attendance at a game is 135,000 people, would show that there is a whole lot to the game. Soccer, or Association football, was introduced and developed in this country mostly around manufacturing centers by British-American employees of factories, etc., for the last decade, however, it has been taken up a great deal, especially in New York and Pennsylvania states, by the native American in grammar, high and private schools, colleges and various athletic organizations. University of Pennsylvania, for instance, this fall had four teams on its squad all season, here at Harvard we had sixty men report for the sport this fall.
Brains Needed More Than Brawn
Although by no means a mollycoddle's game, soccer is a sport where weight or height are not essential attributes of a star player. It is a fast; clean game, where brains are more necessary than brawn. Not a man of the Harvard University of Freshman squad was injured this year in a playing season lasting from October first to the end of November, with games weekly and practice daily; and it need only be said by the writer that after sixteen years playing as a professional in Scotland and England he bears not a mark, to show that the game is a clean and scientific one.
Soccer football is a game that men learn to love, which is responsible every fail for graduates, in business near Cambridge, coming out for an afternoon's sport on Soldiers Field, and with these men, one visit invariably leads to many others, for it is very hard indeed to break away from a game that stands second to none in the opinion of men who love hard, clean, manly sport--that is, soccer football.