The yips can affect all players in all different positions. The real question is, how does a coach helps players with the yips–if that’s the real problem behind poor throwing. Some players don’t even know they have the yips and will accept that their mechanics are to blame…
Many coaches try to deny the yips by saying they just have a mechanical throwing problem. Some coaches make the players practice more to make changes, which only makes the yips worse. Now that players are acknowledging they have the yips, coaches understand that not all throwing problems are mechanical.
But are coaches handling throwing problems the right way?
Retired hall of fame coach, Bob Bennett talks about his personal experiences when he was a catcher and what his coaches told him to do to fix it at the time.
BENNETT: “Some coaches recognize [the yips] and try to develop cures for it. I personally had this problem as a young college catcher and had many outstanding coaches try to help me solve it but to no avail. Their solution was to “just throw the ball back to the pitcher,” “don’t think about it, just throw the ball,” “you’re thinking about this too much – just throw the ball,” “count to three and throw the ball back to the pitcher,” “just cut loose and don’t worry about where the ball is going.”
Bennett came to learn that his throwing problem was a mental block and not something that can be fixed physically. Coaches will go to what they know: work on mechanics to solve the throwing problem. But this approach can dig players further into a hole – if they have the yips in the first place.
BENNETT: “Many catchers have experienced having difficulties throwing the ball back to the pitcher. Infielders also experience this problem when throwing for short distances and for some throwing at any distance. Outfielders sometimes undergo this phenomenon when throwing at shorter distances. Generally speaking this phenomenon hits pitchers when they are making a short throw to first base or a short throw to home plate on a force play.”
We know that any player at any level can get the throwing yips. But today with the help of an experienced mental game coach, players can get learn to overcome it. Often team managers or pitching coaches are not trained with how to deal with the mental aspects of the yips. If they don’t recognize the throwing problem as mental, they can do more damage to the player’s confidence…
When a coach or pitching coach changes a player’s throwing action, they lose some control and consistency until they can repeat the motion intuitively. But this is not ideal if the player’s throwing problem was mental to start. That’s the major confusion because the mental anxiety and tension associated with the yips can alter a player’s mechanics. Coaches see a change in the throwing action and assume that they need to work on mechanics.
However, many baseball teams have embraced Sports Psychologists and some have one in the dugout for every game. Mental game coaches are working with players during practice and games so that they can succeed as a team. These players are also getting more help from mental coaches so they can overcome the the yips and regain their confidence and throwing accuracy.
Get Yips Coaching with Dr. Patrick Cohn Today!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome the yips cycle with personal coaching. Learn how to overcome the throwing yips and throw freely again. You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, Facetime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us at for more information about throwing yips coaching!