Men Don't Cry

Sometimes preparation is surrender, which seems inimical to the rules of society which presents that ‘lifting oneself up by one’s own bootstraps’ is tied to integrity of character. This 'rule’ is akin to the other rule that ‘men don’t cry'.' Yet there is some useful truth in every mythology.

Fielding H. Yost was the head football coach at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for 25 seasons at the beginning of the twentieth century. His remarkably successful squads (now called teams) dominated opponents and they won several national championships.

During the 1929-30 academic year, Yost delivered a speech to teachers in the Public Schools Athletic League of New York City. His “Wingate Memorial Lecture” included a prolix version of the athletic adage that states, “The will to win is less important than the will to prepare to win. Emphasis added to excerpts follow:

“The will to win. We hear a lot about that. The will and the wish to win, but there isn’t a chance for either one of them to be gratified or to have any value unless there has been a will to prepare to win: the will to prepare for service, to do the things that build and develop our capacity, physical, mental, and moral.”