A girl wants to be beautiful; a boy desires to be strong, with a nice-looking physique. These are natural desires-they are ranked at the top of the list as highly valued possessions by youth themselves. Providing that no pathologic condition is involved, a strong physique can be obtained in a comparatively short period of time. Masculine bodies can be made strong and flexible in a matter of months; Atlas does it. Girls’ appearances can be improved both in body form and in basic movements of standing, walking, and sitting; modeling schools do it.
Through the cooperation of the physical education and the home economics departments, public schools usually have professional personnel trained for development and maintenance of beautiful physiques for both boys and girls. Guidance in grooming and nutrition coupled with proper body building programs, as determined from testing results, can be one of the most worthwhile endeavors in our entire education regimen. We must take advantage of this know-how if physical education as a profession is to achieve its greatest potential.
Strength as basic to good performance in skills
Strength is basic to performance in activities. By measuring we can determine the status of our pupils and hence construct a more effective program to meet pupil needs. By first assaying muscular development, it can be determined whether pupils are ready for instruction in sports skills. A pupil will not be able to hold the tennis racket as instructed if he has not sufficient strength. How can a pupil learn to pole vault if he cannot hold his own weight? Moreover, lack of sufficient strength results in rapid muscular fatigue, which limits the amount of practice time available for learning skills.
Proper muscular development helps to prevent muscular imbalances that may result in compensating movements when a child is attempting to learn new skills. We have all seen injured people favoring their good (strong) sides. A similar compensating mechanism may result if a youngster does not have sufficient strength to hold the tennis racket as instructed. In order to hold the racket he will compensate by calling into play more muscles than would properly be necessary. These compensating mechanisms may result in imbalances which, if not corrected, become progressively more difficult to rectify.