Jon Lester Picked a Guy Off, and Other Tales of Athletes Who Beat the Yips (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

Go get ’em, Jon

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The Loop / Golf Digest — Jon Lester, who is an 1860-era Civil War cannon masquerading as a pitcher and part of the Cubs’ really quite unfair 2016 pitching rotation, is known both for being a competitor of unusual ferocity and his inability to throw from the mound to first base, a condition that commonly travels under the deceptively adorable name of the “yips.” Separate from performance anxiety, nerves and good old-fashioned choking, the yips are a mental condition that manifests itself in people who are paid grotesque amounts of money to play a game sudddenly suffering a random, inexplicable and often traumatic inability to perform a small part of it. It’s neither curious nor rare; researchers at the Mayo Clinic have said that the affliction grips between a third to a half of all serious golfers, which translates into a lot of people suddenly unable to do the thing they drove to a club to do. The problem, researchers say, is some as-yet-undiscovered short-fuse in the mind, a mental hiccup or thorn, some synapse firing right instead of left. Watch how many quotes here regard a player’s brain instead of his hands.

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About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

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