Official Artist
James Z. Feng
Actor , Director , Screenwriter
122,974 views| 59  Posts

The Yips

     Tonight was suppose to be a productive day for Fight Life as I had a lot of work lined up to be completed. However, none of that got done because one of my buddies just came back in town and we hung out instead. Like old times, we had a bbq and watched a cartoon/anime called "Major". I won't get into the details but the general question it left me wondering was "What's your next goal after you've reached your current goal?". Before I get into that, I wanna go over "yips".     

     Lingering psychological effects of mental trauma are called "yips" in this show. Yips happen all the time in sports when players go through slumps and can't figure a way out of it. The great players usually get out of the slump and are able to reach further success in their careers. This type of mental trauma really makes the player question his abilities and often lead promising superstars into mediocrity. In sports, we call a lot of these types of players "busts" whenever high expectations were placed on promising superstars who did well in college or minor leagues. The great players are the ones that are able surpass expectations and dominate in pressure situations. Sudden injuries also have a way of turning good players who are on a roll into an insecure athlete. Having experienced this recently due to my ankle injuries, I could never figure out why I couldn't play basketball the same I had before. The truth is these last injuries have made me scared of getting hurt on the basketball court. My style of play is full of intensity and fearlessness, I'm usually the guy always taking it to the hole and falling on the ground after drawing fouls. Now I've become a jump shooter or a 60% take it to the hole player. The truth is I'm afraid oft stepping on someone's ankle and not be able to play for a few months. Now that I'm older, injuries take a long time to heal and getting hurt is constantly on my mind. I have yet figured out how to cure these "yips" myself especially since I'm not physically 100%, but the point is I understand why certain athletes could never regain their form after a major injury. Tiger Woods is a prime example of the "yips" we have in sports today(not including his personal "yips" lol). 

     When you apply these "yips" to life, it's the same concept in all of our life experiences. We are all going to go through experiences in life that will scar us and may even lead to long term detrimental effects that will stay with us forever. Whether it's a death, a strained relationship, sickness, a divorce, unfulfilled expectations, an accident, or a simple mental breakdown, we all go through these in life because nothing is perfect. In a perfect world, we can read the future and prepare ourselves mentally for what bad experiences life throws at us and build our defenses before we actually go through them. I guess the beauty of life is you don't know what you're gonna get and you can never prepare for anything. All we can really do is make the best of every situation and learn to live it. Staying positive and really believing in yourself through the hard times and getting past these rough patches are the only way we can really move on and enjoy life.

     When I think of kids and adults and what the difference is between the two and also when we stop being kids and became adults. When I look at all the people I know, I realize some adults I know are still kids, but rarely. Most people I know are quite bitter and don't have the same naive hopefulness they did when they were kids. I guess when you see the world for what it really is, you get down at reality and lose that innocence.  In my mind, I still try to think like a kid and never lose that passion for what I do. I have to admit at times it gets hard because certain realities teach me the rules of the game. In my mind, I don't want to know these rules and just want to believe that somehow someway, things are going to workout. It's like when I was a kid I wanted to become a tennis player and worked day and night towards that goal. I never had doubts I wouldn't be great and that's what made me the good player I was.

     I remember I started playing tennis at the age of 13 and everybody doubted me because I started late and was competing with kids who started playing when they are 5 or 6. Four years later, I would become top 30 in my age group in Northern California state rankings due to my hard work ethic. I always found it ironic that no one ever said I was talented until I got good through hard work. Since then, I never believed in the word "talent" because I thought it was full of bologna. I was the kid with the chip on my shoulder that everybody said would never make that liked having that chip; it made me different and gave me the drive to be better than everyone. My motivation back then was to prove to everyone "What did you say I couldn't do? In your face!".

     That attitude still carries with me today and has fused into both part of my confidence and identity. I guess the "yips" I had with tennis was when my doubles and training partner passed away from cancer. I never did recover from that and I quit tennis altogether senior year of high school. I guess in the end it all came full circle because I picked up acting/film-making to fill that void of being a professional tennis player while I became a tennis coach teaching kids in my leisure time. Everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that.

     I illustrate my own experience above only to show that nothing is impossible if you really believe in it. It's when you stop believing that your days as a blank is over. Your mind is so powerful that it can will your body through impossible things. A great example is when people who lift up cars to save someone under it. Physical impossibilities can be overcome with pure will. When we are kids, we have that will to believe in something and be stubborn enough to not listen to anything else. That stubbornness is what makes great players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Pete Sampras, and Brett Favre.

     Today on Sportscenter, former football coach Herm Edwards was giving advice to some future NFL quarterbacks and he said "Be like Brett Favre and never stop being a kid on the football field." That line had me thinking for a bit what he really was talking about. I've always watched Brett Favre and sometimes wondered "What the hell are you doing?" in certain games when he'd still be going for 50 yard TDs after being intercepted on the previous drive. After thinking about it tonight, I realized the only way Brett Favre knows how to play football is throwing those bombs and not caring whether it's TD or interception, that's his way of football. I use to never understand why his coaches wouldn't tell him "Hey Brett, can you tone down the interceptions and play a little more conservative please?" The truth is his coaches all knew he would stop being Brett Favre and lose his greatness if he changed his style. In Brett's mind, he believes every bomb he throws will be a TD, and that's what makes him so great; his stubbornness and belief in his abilities. After every interception, he's thinking like a kid "The next one we'll get it! Get me back on the field!".

     We all lose that fearlessness when we become adults no matter what we do in life, and trying to regain that and one day achieving it is what makes us great human beings and really fulfilling our potential. As people we all get caught up in the rat race and try to conform to the rules of society and what we should be doing: buy a nicer house than the next guy, buy a nicer car than the next guy, get a hotter wife than the next guy, get a higher paying job than the next guy... I guess in the end everything we do is to fulfill these expectations society sets on us telling us what we should be doing with our lives.

     When we were kids, we didn't care for any of that, and we made friends because we liked them, not because we can use them. A lot of times I go to networking events and it's so lame because people just want to meet more people to add to their "network" and possibly work together and use each other for work. I still do them because it's necessary to "network", but the reality is I don't really like a lot of the people I meet because we don't click but we do what we do because that's part of survival in the real world. It's so obvious when you meet these people from their eyes how fake they are. You ever notice how some people's eyes light up when they are meeting someone "important", yeah I've met a lot of these phonies. Everybody wants a shortcut in life and think that meeting the "right people" will help them get there. Even though that maybe true for some people, I wasn't brought up like that.

     Hard work has been my motto for success and that ain't never going to change no matter how many "important" people I meet. Some of my friends in Asia always wondered why I was never intimidated or awestruck when I met or hung out with celebrities, the truth is, I always believed I'd one day be just as successful as they are, so why should I be in awe of them? In my mind, I was just as good if not better than them. This isn't something from foolish pride or alpha-male insecurity syndrome, it's my belief. People have no idea how hard I work to have that belief, but one day they will. 

      As adults, we become users and have selfish motivations to advance our own careers and don't really give a damn about anybody else. Luckily the people I work with are all people I value and enjoy working with and I have God to thank for that. All in all, I guess in my own walk in life, I'm trying hard to hold onto my youthful spirit and believing that I can do anything I can put my mind to, but it's getting harder and harder everyday as more roadblocks come my way and I've become quite weary. I'm glad I didn't get much work done today because it was important for me to learn an important lesson in life and ask myself "What's your goal and why are you really pursuing it?"

over 8 years ago 0 likes  1 comments  0 shares
Rottendoubt a4 patrick
they talk about yips in "prince of tennis" too...
over 8 years ago


"Passion, Hardwork, Perseverance." Http://www.JamesFeng.com Http://www.fightlife.tv

Learn More

Languages Spoken
english, mandarin, shanghainese
Location (City, Country)
San francisco, United States
Member Since
July 4, 2007