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The Question: How much does superior equipment have to do with improved athletic performances?

Nov. 05, 1956
Nov. 05, 1956

Table of Contents
Nov. 5, 1956

Acknowledgments
Spectacle
Events & Discoveries
The Wonderful World Of Sport
You Should Know
Sailing
The Footloose Sportsman
  • Our newest national park is a Caribbean isle brimful of breadfruit, beaches and birdsong—a paradise for skin-divers, fishermen and seekers of peace

The Outdoor Week
Sports Car Bazaar
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Mr. Caper
Pat On The Back

The Question: How much does superior equipment have to do with improved athletic performances?

J. LYMAN BINGHAM
New York
Executive Director
Olympic Committee
A great deal. The hammer is improved with one grip instead of two. The discus is streamlined with a sharper edge. Javelins, vaulting poles and hurdles are improved. Springier tracks help runners make better time. The oldtimers ran on poorer tracks covered with loose cinders.

This is an article from the Nov. 5, 1956 issue

HARRY J. ROCKAFELLER
New Brunswick
Athletic director
Rutgers University
Scientifically prepared track composition and expert maintenance have reduced running time. Starting blocks and improved shoes help greatly. In baseball, web gloves make phenomenal catches a habit, not occasional. Better construction of swimming pools has helped make new records.

HANK GREENBERG
General Manager
Cleveland Indians
Superior equipment undoubtedly helps. But that's not the main reason for better performances and the breaking of so many records. The inherent desire and zeal of all athletes to do better than their predecessors is mainly responsible. Training is more intensive and improved.

JAMES F. SIMMS
New York
Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, AAU
The natural athlete with the will to win will come through regardless of equipment. However, improved tracks, steel vaulting poles, etc. unquestionably aid him. Manufacturers hire skilled technicians and spend huge sums for improved equipment to help athletes make new records.

ED DUDLEY
Augusta, Ga.
Golf pro
Yes. Many golfers switch from inferior to good equipment and improve their hitting and control by as much as 75%. Thicker and longer club faces allow more margin for error. Shafts are easier to swing. The head of the club has three positions, so we can fit any person, according to build.

MERCER BEASLEY
Forest Hills, N.Y.
Tennis expert
In tennis there'd be no superlative players without improved equipment. There is no substitute for quality. That goes for rackets, stringing, balls, shoes, nets and even the green backstops. When a player switches to the finest equipment, he immediately plays better.

JOHN W. BUNN
Greeley, Col.
Basketball coach
Colorado State College
It plays its part, but other factors are more responsible for today's records. New-found knowledge in training and conditioning is one. Another is the application of mechanics, resulting in new techniques. A course in physics is now a requisite to good coaching and top competition.

GEORGE DAWSON
Longmeadow, Mass.
Vice President
A.G. Spalding & Bros.
Vastly improved golf balls and clubs account for lower scores. There is no question about that. It was never possible to obtain perfection in matched sets with hickory shafts. Don't forget, though, that today's stars practice and play in more tournaments than the old boys did.

CLAUDE E. CARR
St. Louis
President, Rawlings Sporting Goods Co.
Very much. Improved protective equipment, particularly face protectors and head cushions, has given football players additional confidence. Advance designs in baseball gloves have made possible new fielding marks. A perfectly shaped basketball has led to new scoring records.

ROBERT T. JONES JR.
Atlanta
Winner of golf's Grand Slam
The effect is considerable for amateurs and pros. Golf balls are better and more uniformly balanced. With the improved modern clubs, the boys drive farther and putt more accurately. However, at the big tournaments, the best place to have superior equipment is between the ears.

JOHN A. HILLERICH JR.
Louisville
Manufacturer, baseball bats
It has helped. How much varies, depending on how great a factor equipment is in a sport. Most of the credit, however, goes to today's athlete. He, in turn, owes much of his success to highly specialized coaching and training which has developed into a modern science.

ABEL R. KIVIAT
New York
Former Olympic Runner
Equipment today is far superior. Tracks are better built and faster. Spiked shoes are much lighter. But more important in new records are modern training methods. We used to train two or three times a week. Now they train daily, sometimes twice a day, often against the clock.

THIRTEEN PHOTOS

NEXT WEEK:

Which do you like better—baseball or football—and why? (Asked of women)