How Sax Overcame The Yips
Do you fear that a couple throwing errors will lead to more and more?
Do you start thinking about your throw as you are throwing?
Thinking about an otherwise unconscious skill (throwing a baseball) while trying to execute the throw actually interferes with the process.
The yips can emphasize the problem of over-thinking.
The yips are a phenomenon where you switch unconscious to conscious thinking.
Related Article: How Do The Yips Start in Baseball?
Consciously thinking about throwing the ball handcuffs fielders and causes routine plays to become exceedingly difficult.
Think about this for a minute, after you learned the proper mechanics of throwing the ball as a youngster, it became automatic or without conscious thought.
Despite making some throwing errors, you didn’t forget the mechanics of throwing a ball… Your thinking got in the way.
Some players respond to a few errors by paying attention to every detail of the throw from the grip and release point to the outcome.
Then, during the stress of game time, you become overwhelmed as memories of past errors flood your mind. At this point, it may feel impossible to make an accurate throw.
Steve Sax, former second baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees had a well-known case of the yips. Sax made 187 errors through the years 1981-1992.
Sax remembers when his throwing yips started. In his third MLB season, Sax fielded a ground ball with a runner on third, the runner held up at third but Sax fired the ball in the dirt resulting in the runner scoring.
Sax ruminated about that play so much that it haunted him and resulted in 30 errors that season.
Sax’s throws became so wild that people sitting in the first base stands occasionally wore helmets.
Sax had such difficulty with the yips that it put his career in jeopardy.
SAX: “I felt like I wanted to quit. It was the most horrible, humiliating, embarrassing experience. You go through so many emotions out there. … It’s absolute torture.”
Sax was anxious in the field, “I was hoping a lot of times they wouldn’t hit the ball to me.”
SAX: “I really don’t think it’s a mental block like people are making it out to be. I think once your confidence is restored, you regain that ability.”
Actually, Sax did regain his confidence and ability to make plays in the field. In 1991, Sax posted a .990 fielding percentage.
What strategy did Sax utilize to regain his form?
Instead of taking his time to throw the ball to first, Sax sped up the process, used a key phrase to help his focus and rehearsed this strategy over and over in practice until it became second nature.
Basically, Sax re-taught himself how to the ball… not technically but mentally.
SAX: “Every ground ball in practice was like a game to me. Under my breath, in my head, I kept telling myself it was a good play. It may sound corny, but it’s true. That’s how I got over this thing.”
Sax is a testament that the yips can be overcome.
Try this strategy to help in overcoming the yips:
Cut yourself some slack… Errors are part of the game.
Since you can only think a thought at a time, focus on a key word or phrase or count 1-2-3-4 as you throw the ball.
It will help you focus your mind on what you are doing and not the fear of making a mistake.
Overcome Throwing Yips: How to Break The Yips Cycle
Do you (or a ball player) suffer from:
- Inability to throw or pitch freely (despite the fact that you can in practice)?
- Anxiety, tension and over control of their action?
- Performance anxiety about what others will think?
- Super low confidence with the yips-infected mechanics?
- Feeling like an alien has taken over your body and you have no control?
If you can throw well when alone, but can’t take it to games, this is a mental game issue and not a physical challenge!
The Yips Cycle is a vicious cycle that causes ball players to stay trapped in over thinking and over control…
Learn to throw or pitch freely again with my proven audio and workbook program:
“Breaking The Yips Cycle” is a complete brain dump of the TOP Eight mental training sessions I do with my personal coaching students to help them overcome the yips and play with freedom again.
The Audio and Workbook Program Includes:
- Two CDs (CD purchase only). 120 minutes of mental training sessions to help you gain greater freedom, focus on the right performance cues, and simplify your prepitch routines.
- MP3 Audio (Digital Download). 120 minutes of mental training sessions you can download to your computer right away while you wait for the CDs and workbook to arrive. (MP3 Audio value = $149).
- An 8-Session Breaking The Yips Cycle Workbook to guide you through my mental game sessions and to overcome the throwing yips (Workbook value: $149.00).
- Bonus Session: Practice drills to free up your throwing to help you improve consistency and stop focusing on mechanics when you play.
Download Our FREE Baseball Throwing Yips Report
Do you throw accurately in practice, but lose control in games?
Learn how to over come the throwing yips!
Download our FREE Throwing Yips Report and learn how to break the yips cycle and throw freely and confidently again!
What are ball players and coaches saying?
“Dr. Cohn I’ve been tearing it up lately! Every single thing you taught me works perfectly in every situation I’ve been in. In the playoffs I’m 5-7 with 2 home runs and 5 RBIs. I feel great at the plate and focusing is a breeze now. I just wanted to thank you for everything and keep you posted with how everything was going.”
~Jalen Phillips, High School Baseball Player
Beat The Throwing Yips With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
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 for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“The mental game lessons really helped me focus on the process of my performance and not the outcome. I now realize the difference between confidence and trust, in that confidence comes before competition. Your coaching is really going to help me improve my mental game this fall.”
~Trey Mancini, Collegiate Baseball Player