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May 16, 1966


JAMA. 1966;196(7):658. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100200098033

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The learn about adolescents the more we recognize the fact that vigorous activity and competition are vital to teen-age growth and development in all spheres: physical, psychological, and social. In stressing the importance of competition for youth, Donovan F. Ward, MD, Immediate Past President of the American Medical Association, said in a recent speech, "Competition is a part of life. To avoid competition would be to vegetate. Within limits, there is nothing wrong with competition. But I want to stress the importance of the qualifying words—within limits."

There has undoubtedly been an excess of speculation and condemnation surrounding competitive athletics among adolescents, when there should have been more consideration for ways to make the best of the situation. Adolescents are simply going to compete, with or without sanction. The positive approach of assuring adequate safeguards for normal growth and development and prevention of injury is preferable to the negative attitude

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