The drill which makes an effective unit out of an eleven; which enables it to strike fast and hard, time after time, as one man; in short, the making of the football machine, is signal practice. To start together and stay together is the first law of this drill. The plays here are run off much faster than in any game, since there is no necessity of waiting for the lining up of a defensive team. The men learn to fall instantly into their proper places, to shift with mechanical precision at the quarter back's command, and when, by this process, enough plays have been graven on their minds, they will learn new formations as if by instinct.
Trying out and developing men for the back field positions. Linemen and in fact all the candidates will be greatly benefitted by this work.
Two or three plays a day will not be too many. The rule of "hurry" must be universally applied. The slowest man must realize that he is holding back the play until he is in place and ready for action. Substitutes must be as thoroughly trained as the regulars in the positions they are expected to fill, for the entire eleven is no faster than its slowest member. The speed developed by the signal practice is speed both of action and of thought. Without one of these qualities the possession of the other is a useless asset.