At the present advanced athletic era there are very few who do not understand that a certain amount of preparation is absolutely essential to success in any physical effort requiring strength and endurance. The matter of detail is, however, not faced until one actually becomes a captain or a coach, and, as such, responsible for the condition, not of himself alone, but of a team of fifteen or twenty men.

Experience regarding his own needs will have taught him the value of care and work in this line; but, unless he differs greatly from the ordinary captain upon first assuming the duties of that position, his knowledge of training will be confined to an understanding of his own requirements, coupled with the handed-down traditions of the preceding captains and teams. When he finds himself in this position and considers what lines of training he shall lay down for his team, unless he be an inordinately conceited man he will wish he had made more of a study of this art of preparation, especially in the direction most suited to the requirements of his own particular sport.

Many inquiries from men about to undertake the training of a team have led me to believe that, even at the expense of going over old ground, it will be well in this book to map out a few of the important features of a course of training. It should go without saying that there are infinite variations in systems of this kind; but if a man will carry in mind the reasons rather than the rules, he has always a test to apply which will enable him to make the most of whatever system he adopts.

He should remember that training ought to be a preparation by means of which his men will at a certain time arrive at the best limits of their muscular strength and activity, at the same time preserving that equilibrium most conducive to normal health. Such a preparation can be accomplished by the judicious use of the ordinary agents of well-being - exercise, diet, sleep, and cleanliness.

One can follow out the reasons for or against any particular point in a system rather better if he cares to see why these agents act towards health and strength.

Exercise is a prime requisite, because the human mechanism, unlike the inanimate machine, gains strength from use. Muscular movement causes disintegra tion and death of substance, but at the same time there is an increased flow of blood to the part, and that means an increased supply of nourishment and increased activity in rebuilding. As Mac-Laren has expressed it, strength means newness of the muscle. The amount and quality of this exercise will be treated of later in this chapter.

In considering the matter of Diet, a captain or coach should think of this question not according to the tradition of his club, nor according to his own idiosyncrasies. He should regard the general principle of not depriving a man of anything to which he is accustomed and which agrees with him. Of course, it is advisable to do without such articles of food as would be injurious to the majority of the men, even though there might be one or two to whom they would do no harm. Men should enjoy their food, and it should be properly served. I remember once being asked my opinion regarding a certain team at the time in training, and I expressed the conviction that something was wrong with their diet. The team, as a whole, were not seriously affected, but some three or four were manifestly out of sorts. I heard the coach go over the bill of fare, and it sounded all right. I then decided to take dinner with them and see if I could discover the trouble. One meal was sufficient, for it was a meal! The beef-and an excellent roast it was, too - was literally served in junks, such as one might throw to a dog. The dishes were dirty, so was the cloth. Vegetables were dumped on to the plates in a mess, and each one grabbed for what he wanted.

Some of the men might have been brought up to eat at such a table, still others were not sufficiently sensitive to have their appetites greatly impaired by anything, but the three or four who were "off" were boys whose home life had accustomed them to a different way of dining, and their natures revolted. So, too, did their appetites. As it was then too late to correct the manners of the mess, I simply advised sending these men elsewhere to board, and they speedily came into shape. I cannot too strongly advocate good service at a training table. The men should enjoy their dinners, should eat them slowly, and should be encouraged to be as long about it as they will. As food is to repair the waste, it should be generous in quantity and taken when the man will not, from being over-tired, have lost his appetite. Sometimes a team is not overworked, but worked too late in the day, so that the men rush to the table almost directly from the field, and fail to feel hungry, while within an hour they would have eaten with a zest. This course persevered in for several days will show its folly in a general fall-ing-off in the strength as well as the weight of the men.

To train a football team should be, in the matter of the diet at least, the simplest matter compared with training for other sports, because the season of the year is so favorable to good condition.

A. J. Cumnock. Harvard.

A. J. Cumnock. Harvard.