(Originally published in the West Ottawan, Tuesday November 22, 1966)
I have overheard boys talking in the halls with the conversation on wrestling. One boy will ask the other, “Why don’t you go out for wrestling?” The other boy will answer, “I don’t want to diet, or work too much, or not enough attention is given to the sport by the student body.”
“The important thing is the Olympic Games is not winning, but taking part. The essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well,” Baron Pierre De Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games.
With the above quote, I will try to paint out the reason why you should wrestle or support wrestling. Many times smaller boys who talk to me, try football and find that they aren’t going anywhere in particular as far as varsity status is concerned. They like the sport but are being pushed around by bigger boys on the field, or on the gym floor. I will talk to this boy about wrestling. In what other sport can a boy compete someone his own size? Very often he will gain weight through a weight lifting program and possibly win that position in football or win respect by bigger boys. This is just one of the many reasons for a wrestling program. There are others also; juvenile delinquency; another is the “physical retrogression” of our youth today. One way of doing away with these problems, I’m strongly convinced, is to introduce the most neglected, but oldest and most universal sport- the sport of wrestling. Both as a spectator sport and by participation. Many persons in the secondary and junior high levels have a growing personality. Enthusiasm is the all-important key word for development of your personality.
Wrestling I feel, is ideally suited to help wake-up many sleeping person. Wrestling provides an opportunity for every boy, regardless of size or physical condition, to be in a sport and on a team. For the girls, good healthy enthusiasm and support for the school and team. Things which will develop for the person in wrestling are, balance, coordination, agility, speed and strength. In wresting there is an opportunity for “self-expression.” Here you are on a team but yet wrestle your match as an individual, no one helps you once you step on the mat.
We have in wrestling many contributions to “character.” In our every day schoolwork we try to attain solid, character-building values. Athletics are often being criticized because of an emphasis on always being the winner. Why do you play a contest, isn’t it to win? Would it be desirable to start a task with the idea of not finishing? Why don’t you start college if you don’t intend on winning a diploma? Why prepare to be a doctor if you don’t plan on winning over death and illness? If you are enthusiastic about winning chances are or you won’t win consistently. In wrestling we have room for all size boys, large and particularly small. In following, I am trying to paint out the formula to success, especially in wrestling but also in life. How many do you have? How many could you develop? My reasons for putting this formula in, lie in the fact that athletics really comprise the training ground for lie- after school is completed. The athletic skill may be lost because of disuse, but the attributes of character and personality remain the influence your entire life. Many of the best businessmen in our country, if backgrounds were examined, were in the hot of team and individual competition.
Athletics, as a way of life, teaches us habits and ways of thinking, which we can use all through life. Two quotes from Scotts book, How to be a Christian in Sports are as follows, “Sports not only serve as a giant mainsprings for idealism and lifetime careers, but they can lead a man to god.” (2) “Sports are not ends in themselves they are only a means to an end to develop a healthy body, social skills, and spirit of cooperation, and fair play. Without these, all sports are not only nonsensical but brutal.”
God has given each of us a talent and a job to do. Are you utilizing the talent you have and doing to job you should be doing?