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Why Not a Coach In Gymnastics?



(We invite all men in the University to submit communications on subjects of timely interest, but assume to responsibility for sentiments expressed under this head.)

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

In the CRIMSON for February 24 there appeared a little news item, "Gymnastic Team Loses," and in the March 6 issue another, "Brown Won in Gymnastics." Harvard has been defeated in gymnastics by Brown and Amherst. This has been the regular story for several years. Nobody seems to care what kind of showing we make in this branch of sport.

Why not? Surely gymnastics afford a splendid test of athletic efficiency, developing co-ordination of all the muscles. This year more men came out for the team than for some years past. These men had fine natural ability. If they had had a coach, they would have developed into a well-rounded team, since there were good men for all the apparatus. Having no coach, they had to train themselves, practicing their old "stunts" and picking up a few new ones. When they met well coached teams, they were ignominiously defeated. Amherst beat them 43 to 11.

It is not the small colleges only who have coaches for their gymnastic teams. Yale, Princeton, Pennsylvania, and Annapolis, all consider this branch of sport important enough to have coaches. Dr. Schrader has very kindly helped the Harvard team, when he could find the time, but his is too busy to aid the men adequately.

Fifteen to twenty men came out for the wrestling team as compared with fourteen for the gymnastic team, which shows that the interest in both sports is about the same. Yet of the two only the wrestling team has a coach. The present objection to having a coach seems to be that the Gymnastic Association is not on a paying basis, and that more expense is not warranted. Is this reason more valid for this branch of sport than for the wrestling, which also yields a deficit annually? Besides, the gymnastic associations do not pay in the colleges where they have coaches. With good gymnastic teams, furthermore, the added expense of a coach would be justified by the increased interest we may expect in the sport. J. L. SCHWAB '15.

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