This section is from the book "A Scientific And Practical Treatise On American Football For Schools And Colleges", by A. Alonzo Stagg, Henry L. Williams. Don't miss: The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.
Line up quickly the moment the ball is down and play a dashing game from start to finish.
Never under any circumstances talk about your hurts and bruises. If you are unable to play, or have a severe strain, tell the captain at once. He will always release you.
When thrown hard always get up as if not hurt in the slightest. You will be thrown twice as hard next time if you appear to be easily hurt by a fall.
When coached upon the field never under any circumstances answer back or make any excuses. Do as nearly as possible exactly what you are told.
Always throw your man hard, and toward his own goal, when you tackle him.
Never converse with an opponent during the game, but wait until the game is over for the exchange of civilities.
If you miss a tackle turn right around and follow the man at utmost speed; some one else may block him just long enough for you to catch him from behind.
Never play a " slugging game "; it interferes with good football playing.
Try to make a touch-down during the first two minutes of the game, before the opponents have become fairly waked up.
Play a fast game; let one play come after the next in rapid succession without any waits or delays. The more rapidly you play, the more effective it will be. Therefore line up quickly and get back in your regular place instantly after making a run.
When thrown, allow yourself to fall limp, with legs straight, and then you will not get hurt. Do not try to save yourself by putting out a hand or arm; it may be sprained or broken. If you are flat on the ground you cannot be hurt, no matter how many pile on top of you.
Always tackle low. The region between the knees and waist is the place to be aimed at. When preparing to tackle, keep your eyes on the runner's hips, for they are the least changeable part of the body.
Lift the runner off his feet and throw him toward his own goal. When not near enough to do this, spring through the air at him and hit him as hard as possible with the shoulder; at the same time grip him with the arms and drag him down. Always put the head down in doing this and throw the weight forward quickly and hard. Crawl up on the runner when he falls and take the ball away if possible; at least prevent its being passed.
When the runner is in a mass, or wedge, drive in and lift his legs out from under him, or fall down in front of him.
If the runner's feet are held, push back on his chest and make him fall toward his own goal.
Don't wait for the runner to meet you; meet the runner.
Always have a hand in the tackle. Don't "think" the runner is stopped; make sure of it.
Follow your own runners hard; you may have a chance to assist him, or block off for him. Always be in readiness to receive the ball from the runner when he is tackled.
Fall on the ball always in a scrimmage, or when surrounded by opponents. When the ball is kicked behind your own goal, or across the side line, do not fall on it until it stops unless there is danger of the opponents being put on side.
Put your head down when going through the line and dive in with your whole weight.
Call "down" loudly, but not until it is impossible to make further advances.
Squeeze the ball tightly when tackled, or when going through the line.
Never under any circumstances give up because the other side seems to be superior. They may weaken at any moment, or a valuable player be ruled off or temporarily disabled. Let each man encourage the others on the team by monosyllables and keep up a " team enthusiasm."
Be the first man down the field on a kick.
Block your men hard when the opponents have the ball.
Tear up the line, break through and stop every kick that is made.
Never take your eyes off the ball after the signal has been given, if you are a man behind the line.
Do not be contented with a superficial reading on football, but study it carefully, if you would master it.