In recent years much has been said in the medical literature both for and against athletics in general and football in particular. Some authors extol football as a great builder of men, mentally, morally, and physically, while others condemn football, particularly because many of the injuries sustained playing football are carried over into later life. Football, however, must be accepted as an integral part of the American way of life, just as much as the automobile. Since we must accept athletics, it behooves us to find ways and means of preventing the most serious sports injuries.
There are three basic areas of prevention that the medical profession should be aware of, as both parents and physicians of the youth of America. The first, and probably the most important, is the selection of the coach. The head coach is the number-one preventer of serious injuries in athletics. He must be a