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Coaches: A Missing Link in the Health Care System

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(10):1130. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160220016003.
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Sir.—Richard Adams, MD, Director of Health Services for the Dallas (Tex) Independent School District, shared with me the interesting article by Brown and Butterfield.1 I was pleased to see that the authors realize how important coaches are as role models, instructors, and general disseminators of vital information to youth. It is indeed time to realize that our society wants the best of two worlds: a strong, well-planned, effective program that balances academics and athletics.

Health care has been an issue with coaches and athletes as long as competitive athletics have existed. When I was a junior and senior high-school athlete in the 1950s, my coach demanded that each of his athletes develop proper attitudes, and corresponding habits, toward maintaining a healthy body and mind. These attitudes included recognition that smoking was hazardous to our health, and that proper rest, diet, and sleep were vital to it. Using alcohol


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