Library vol. 6

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Walter Camp published another book in 1920: Football Without a Coach. This is another great look at what it must have been like to play football during the game's early years.

Camp's advice for the young collegian:

Now, let us suppose that you want to make
a football player out of yourself. Let us
suppose that I am your coach. I say to you :

First — Cut out smoking.

Second — Eat what you like of good food,
but have very little to do with pastries. Res
are not good for the person who wants to
become an athlete. Get at least eight hours
sleep a night — get nine hours if you can.
Don't drink a lot with your meals, but drink
in the morning before breakfast, and in the
evening, and after you have cooled off from
your exercise. Drink at least eight or nine
glasses of water a day. Do not do your
football playing directly after eating. Wait
two or three hours, if possible. If not, eat
lightly before playing. I know a big, husky,
190-pound college player who developed
what he thought was heart trouble. He gave
up football, but soon discovered that his heart
was all right Playing the game a half-
hour after eating was what had sickened

You must do all these things because foot-
ball is no joke. If a man means to play the
game in earnest, he should get himself in the
best of shape.
Solid advice. Still other parts of this book illustrate the great expanse of time that's passed between the early 20th century football of Walter Camp's and the modern game.

The beauty of the sport is that there seems to
be a place on a football team for a player of
any physique, provided, of course, that he is in
normal health. The fat boy, who has been
the joke of his comrades, suddenly finds that
he is excellent material for a football center,
provided — another of course — that he works
hard and masters the position. The active
little fellow, who has not been able to hold
his own with the bigger boys in wrestling and
other rough sports, finds himself a quarter-
back through his ability to use his hands and
his head. The big slow boy gets a place as
guard, and the fast quick tackier goes out
on the end. And the boy who can kick and
forward pass finds a place for himself be-
hind the line. There Is room for all.

From general first aid to game day strategy, Walter Camp's Football Without a Coach is a great look at colege football's grass roots.



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