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Field Hockey (Boys and Girls).
Players should wear shin guards. Many find it advisable to wear gloves for the protection of the hands. It is not necessary to buy regulation hockey sticks which are flat on but one side unless the team expects to compete with other teams outside of the school. Many students have hockey sticks that will serve the purpose very well. It will not pay to spend much time in drilling the fundamentals of the game into the players. They will learn best by playing the game. All should know how to hit the ball properly and should have sufficient instruction and practice to make it safe for others to plaT with them. The danger from "sticks" is too great to be lightly considered. Enforce the rule very strictly. Give all players some practice in "bullying." Special instruction in dribbling will be necessary for most players. The tendency is to allow the ball to get away from them. If the teams do not have uniforms, have the players wear some distinctive sign, perhaps a colored band on the arm, or a sash over the shoulder. These can be made by the girls and can be readily adjusted to any player.
Soccer Football (Boys and Girls).
Soccer is a splendid game and requires so little special equipment that it is particularly suitable for the small high school where the matter of expense has to be seriously considered. It rarely receives the objection of parents which is so often associated with the American game of football. The director of physical education in small communities is urged to give some time in organizing this game. The essentials are a football—it should be a regulation soccer ball if possible; the playground basket ball is too large and heavy for good work—two goals and two teams, preferably 11 players on a side, but this is not of great importance except in match games. The players should have heavy shoes—gymnasium "sneakers" are of course out of the question, because the ball has to be kicked—and it is desirable to have players wear shin guards coming well over the ankles. High shoes will serve to protect the ankles also. A good box toe to the shoe is an advantage. The players should receive instruction in kicking the ball with either foot and should practice kicking for accuracy more than distance. The proper way to kick the ball, using the hollow of the foot or the toe according to the kind of kick to be made, must also be drilled into the squad. Speed is of course an essential. Every player should be able to "head" the ball. The proper place for the ball to hit the head is the forehead and not the top of the head. Unless this is done, control of the ball is very apt to be poor. Dribbling is an important part of the player's attack and needs much practice. There is a great tendency
on the part of the player to let the ball get too far away from him and out of control. The ball should be at least within 2 or 3 feet all the time. Goal kicking with either foot and from a "penalty kick" will need due attention. If the school possesses several balls, the players may be divided into squads and put to work on the different styles of play. Games should be played each practice day unless there are some special reasons for foregoing the game.
Track Events (Boys).
Track athletics make a natural appeal to boys. Running is one of the fundamental activities of the human race. At almost a moment's notice, competition for individuals and for games can be arranged. It is therefore important that the person in charge of the play program be familiar with the fundamentals of coaching the different track events. Space forbids mentioning here more than a brief outline of the things that the teacher should know and be able to explain to the boys in his charge. The details of this work must be secured from books specially prepared for the teacher and giving minute directions which are supplemented by illustrations. For regular track work the candidates should have spiked shoes and wear a light running suit. In -case it does not seem advisable to ask the members of the squad to secure this equipment, the rubbersoled gymnasium slipper ("sneaker") will serve very effectively. All boys should get some of this training, regardless of whether they are trying for the team. The big thing to keep in mind is the fact that the physical education program is bound to be a failure unless every one who is physically able gets into the work. A program which does not first of all consider the whole student body is hardlyworthy of having an important place in the school curriculum, and it is a question whether it has any place at all in the official activities of the school.
(a) Sprinting.—Explain to the boys what the "scratch" is (starting line), and demonstrate how to get "on the mark," "set," and get away on the starter's signal. At the command "on your mark," each runner prepares toe holds for the purpose of bracing his feet. Possibly the holes made by another runner will be suitable. The first hole should be dug about 4 inches from the starting line and at right angles to the line. The back of the hole should be vertical, so the foot will not slip. Place the left foot in this hole, kneel—placing the knee of the right leg at about the instep of the left foot—and dig a second hole where the right foot marks the ground. This hole should also be at right angles to the track. It is obvious that the two holes should not be in line with each other. Some allowance must be made for the rear foot to pass the forward foot at the start.
ON YOUR MARK
When ordered to get on the mark, place the toes in these holes, the Hands on the line with the thumb and fingers spread so that additional spring can be secured, and kneel on left knee with trunk erect, breathing freelyandwithmusclesrelaxed. Atthecommand"getset," the runner raises his hips, partly straightens his legs—just enough to bring the back into a parallel line with the track, and yet not enough to prevent the proper leg drive at the start which can only come from the sudden straightening of the legs and the push from the hands— leans forward with the head looking down the track, and takes a deep breath, which should be held for the purpose of fixing the thorax for the supreme muscular effort of the muscles attached to the trunk. Every muscle should be tense and ready to spring into action at any moment. At the signal to start, every ounce of muscular power should be put into the drive forward. The runner does not come up to the regular running form until he has taken three or four strides. The toes should be pointed forward. This gives a better spring to the arch of the foot and, what is equally important, it gives added distance. Judges should hold a string at the finish line for the winner to breast. Yarn makes a good string for this purpose. If there are many runners, they should be grouped according to size, if the race is an informal one, and raced in heats, first place, or perhaps first and second places, allowed to qualify for
the semifinals, and all winners raced in the final. In official meets, the runners usually draw for place on the track. The following faults should be watched for:
1. Having the hips too high when "set" (tends to throw the body forward and downward on the start).
2. Having the hips too low when "set" (tends to drive the body upward rather than in the direction of the race).
3. Failing to keep the head up when "set" (more likely to stumble; like a horse with no check rein).
4. False starting.
5. Pointing the toes outward when running (shortens the stride; demonstrate this by measuring the distance covered in the two types of racing, viz, toes to the front, and toes to the side). •
6. Looking back to see where opponents are (danger of falling: also decreases speed).
7. Slowing down at the tape when leading (opponents may come up from behind with a spurt and win out in the last few feet).
8. Not running past the finish line for several feet (unwise to stop suddenly; there should be a gradual letting down of the body's muscular efforts).
Cinders make an ideal track, but schoolboys can secure valuable training and a great deal of recreation in racing on almost any dry, fairly firm, and level ground. The starting signal should be given with a whistle or revolver, at least in formal races.
(6) Hurdles.—There are two kinds of hurdle races, viz, the low hurdles, which consists of a 220-yard dash with 10 hurdles (each 30 inches high), and the high hurdles, which is a 120-yard dash with 10 hurdles, each 42 inches high. For small high schools it is perhaps better to practice with the low hurdles, and use them also in the longer distance, if that is to be run. The boys should be able to make the hurdles as part of the manual-training work. There should be at least 40 hurdles, and preferably enough for five boys to race at once, 50 hurdles in all. Hurdles are placed 10 yards apart and 15 yards from the start and the finish in the 120-yard race. The important things to teach are:
1. Swing the left leg inward and parallel with the hurdles and the right leg outward with the foot pointed outward; keep the plane of the shoulders at right angles to the direction of the track, and throw the arms outward (left arm forward and right arm backward to assist in keeping the balance) as the hurdle is cleared.
2. Practice the approach to the first hurdle and the footwork between hurdles until the proper jumping foot always hits the ground at the right time.
3. Develop confidence in rushing the hurdle with full speed.
4. Tram the boys to skim the hurdles instead of making a liigli jump, which wastes energy and takes much more time.
5. Practice with two hurdles, making the jump over the first and running past the second for speed.
The faults commonly noticed are:
1. Failing to get up speed before bucking the first hurdle (unless it is secured here, it becomes very difficult to make it up later in the race).
2. Jumping too high (wastes energy and takes tune).
3. Allowing the body to turn in taking the hurdle (tends to change the direction of the body from a forward movement down the track to a sideward movement which has to be corrected after each hurdle; moreover this results in bringing added strain on the foot in landing).