A practical charging machine is a very important addition to the training camp of any football team, and the expense connected with its construction is by no means great. The accompanying photograph shows the simplicity of the device, which can be built by any average mechanic. The weight of the machine need not be great, as a player or two from the squad can be used as additional ballast when the need for weight is felt. This will, however, be necessary only when the entire line is charging the machine, for squads of even two or three can use the machine to advantage.

The position linemen should assume just before the ball is snapped   head and eyes up, hips down.

The position linemen should assume just before the ball is snapped - head and eyes up, hips down.

The charging machine develops speed in starting with the snap of the ball, a virtue which greatly strengthens the offense of any team. Its main value, however, rests in its use for the cultivation of form on defense. In this case the charging machine represents the opponents on offense, and one of the men standing on the machine the opposing center. The line forms as if in actual play and, the moment the ball is snapped by the man on the machine, the players charge together, arms straight out and stiff, eyes to the front. This cultivates the players in the use of their arms in breaking through an offensive line, and prevents that common fault of going in with head down. The arms must be kept out stiff or the player's head will strike the machine. He must also keep his head up, in order to strike the machine in the right place with his hands. The work also strengthens the legs, arms and backs of the players, providing many of the benefits of actual scrimmage without any of its dangers.

One of the pronounced benefits of a charging machine is the fact that it also gives the coach or trainer an excellent opportunity of securing data regarding the relative speed of his candidates in charging. A player who is behind the rest can be picked out with ease and placed side by side with a faster man for the purpose of cultivating his speed. In this way a line can be taught to charge together and with speed, to keep low, to use the hands in getting through an offensive line and to cultivate form in general.

One consideration that should not be lost sight of in the construction of a charging machine is the height of the pad against which the players charge. This should be placed low, and especial care should be taken in this respect, as a large share of the benefits that might be derived from the use of the machine will be nullified if the players rise as they strike the device.

The Charging Machine 52