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The Yips

I want to grow up and be a goldfish.

A goldfish mentality keeps the Yips at bay.

Everybody gets them, some last longer than others, some are born with them while some never get away from them.

In sports, the yips are a sudden and unexplained loss of ability to execute certain skills in experienced athletes. Symptoms of the yips are losing fine motor skills and psychological issues that impact on the muscle memory and decision-making of athletes, leaving them unable to perform basic skills of their sport, according to the internet.

The Eagles, Cowboys and Browns, all had the Yips in the 2024 NFL Wildcard showcase.

The Yips are, in Yogi Berra terms, 125% habit and 75% mental.

As horseplayers, 'I can't hit water if I fell out of a boat' scenario

We have all had 'The Yips'.

No one is immune to the Yips.

Yips can live rent-free in someones life, some are born with the yips, while some are born with a four leaf clovers in their navel, skating through life on the proverbial skateboard, but as whole, the Yips are hiccups you just have to deal with, until they go away.

I have known a few horseplayers with a bad case of the yips, they are the ones that always have a bad beat, blame a jockey, or accuse a trainer, track, you name it, for cheating.

The Yips change you, makes you second guess, some bathe themselves in the Yips, so that they actually manifest themselves in their body language.

A horseplayer, Lloyd, once told me, he and his friend were asking for donations at the track so they can bet the last Superfecta on Belmont Stakes day.

"We got over $300 in donations and play the super to close the day and get out.'' He said gleefully, ''but we lost''.

That is what we call the Go Fund Me Yips.

There is a also a number of international yips, the French Yips, is the most popular.

"Oaklawn and Fair Grounds, I never win there", heard it before? those are the 'French Yips', you just simply give up before you even started.

Yips ruin a handicapper, a gambler. They are losing before they even bet.

The worse case is when a known Yips carrier goes out of his way to tell you he likes your horse. "Genius think alike,'' he says smiling. He probably was on the Titanic in another lifetime.

Good news there is hope for the Yips.

I have had the Yips, but the best cure is you ignore them. You don't call your, misery loves company, buddy and share bad beats. You don't plaster the walls of social media with 'I lost my bet because of ________ [fill in the blank]'', it just feeds the Yips, it gives it legs, because the alternative of saying I simply suck is not an option.

You must move on, you shake it off, you act like you have been a winner before, and everyday is a brand new day. You continue what has made you successful. Worth ethic and positive zen.

Go on social media and you can identify ten people in 5 minutes on a big race day. The Yips brigade are on parade.

Yips can stop a winning streak, cold, but it doesn't have to be that way.

If you have witnessed Ted Lasso on Apple TV, you have learned that a goldfish has the shortest term memory of any species.

Be a Goldfish.

Short term memory helps the best athletes to succeed, a Hockey Goalie, for example, gives up a soft goal and in the next minute he is making a fabulous save.

Be a Goldfish. Do what you do best, do what you know, regardless if you won or lost last time.

I have known life long infected Yips carriers bet every race in the planet, and wonder why they lose, and they rinse and repeat the very next day.

I marvel at their inability to see the Yips in front of them their whole entire life. The Yips are like family to them, they have a Yips family portrait in their living room.

I don't embrace losing, I hate losing, but everybody loses, it's how you handle it.

I do something about it, I make sure I keep a positive outlook, always, if you saw me everyday or talked to me, you wouldn't know if I won, lost or didn't play at all. Don't brag, don't call yourself the best or the worst, and for F!@#$# Sakes don't ever say the word 'Yips' out loud.

Be a goldfish


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