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FROM THE ARCHIVES From the October, 1953 issue of The First Aider

November 6, 2017


So-called staleness may come from a mental complex – a lack of being able to concentrate 100% on the game. It could be trouble at home or with the girlfriend, or worry over studies, or squad friction.

Staleness may come from other causes – overwork, bad teeth, a lack of sleep, irregular eating habits, over-confidence or an inferiority complex, or injury – all resulting in a loss of enthusiasm.

If an entire squad seems stale it very likely comes from overwork or a lack of variety in practice – a monotony of repetition, which dulls the mental processes.

Quite often youngsters take offense at some comment or criticism regarding their play. Psychologically, they build up a complex, which takes a part of their time and energy. In college they gripe to the athletic trainer and it’s his job to placate them. In high school they just continue to stew.

Staleness has become one of those intangibles of sports. It is experienced in tennis and golf – without any obvious reason. Even coaches suffer with it on occasion – especially when they lay awake nights dreaming up plays.

It is unquestionably contagious, and the alert coach is constantly on the lookout for it and tries hard to combat it, usually by eliminating routine and monotony for a few days.


Without exercise muscles become flabby and bulky. They do not hold their shape.

Exercised muscles cling closer to the bone structure and are more compact.

With exercise, nerves and blood vessels function with daily increased tone to build and to replace burned up tissues.

With exercise, the tendons of the muscles increase their efficiency and their origins and insertions build resistance to pulls and strains.

With exercise, the ligaments and capsules of the joints grow stronger, more resistant, less brittle, better able to cope with added daily work.

With proper daily defense against changing weather conditions, consistent exercise builds a machine of championship proportions.


Eddie Wojecki, head trainer, Rice Institute, when lecturing at the Kansas Coaching School, said:

“You, as a high school coach, must decide whether a player is in poor condition or has poor health.

“Bad teeth, an asthmatic condition, improper elimination, poorly fitted equipment, dissipation in eating and sleeping – any one or all of these may cause a deterioration of physical condition.

A weight chart, properly kept from day to day, will single out these cases. Improperly kept up, it is a waste of time.”