Pitchers With The Throwing Yips
Did you ever suddenly become unable to find the target when pitching?
Instead of throwing the ball you try to aim it or guide it towards the catcher’s mitt but the ball seemed to have a mind of its own.
You try to force the ball in the strike zone but it feels like you have forgotten how to pitch. It seems like you haven’t thrown a strike in forever and your control is shot.
You wonder how you suddenly lost your ability to throw a strike but there is no particular reason or explanation you can find.
You very well may be experiencing the “pitching yips.” The pitching yips are a sudden, unexplained loss of control or inability to throw the ball accurately.
The pitching yips manifest itself in the inability to throw strikes or throwing a high percentage of wild pitches.
One thing is for certain, if you didn’t suddenly change your pitching mechanics, the major cause is probably mental.
The pitching yips have ended many pitching careers. The yips can get into your head causing you to lose your confidence and mess with your mechanics.
As your muscles tighten due to the heightened anxiety, you force pitches and try to make the perfect pitch. Instead of trusting your pitches, all you can see is the ball landing everywhere but where you want it to go.
In baseball circles, the yips are not discussed. It’s like that family secret that boils just under surface. It is often a difficult issue to overcome because it is never truly dealt with by most baseball players.
Refusing to admit there is an issue keeps you stuck in a loop of fear, freaking out and failure. Call it what it is… the yips and start moving forward.
Related Article: Ankiel And The Throwing Yips
Rick Ankiel was a highly-touted pitcher with a bright future for the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2000, 20 year-old Ankiel pitched his first full season and posted an 11–7 record, a 3.50ERA and 194 strikeouts in 30 games started. Ankiel struck out batters at a rate of 9.98 strikeouts per nine innings and allowed only 7.05 hits per nine innings.
Ankiel started Game One of the National League Division Series against Atlanta Braves.
In the third inning, Ankiel fell apart allowing four runs on two hits, four walks and throwing five wild pitches before being removed with two outs. From that moment on, Ankiel battled the yips eventually causing him to switch positions.
Ankiel’s yips spiraled out of control:
- Throwing five errant pitches in the first inning of Game 2 in the 2000 NL Championship Series
- Throwing two more wild pitches in the seventh inning of Game 5 National League Championship Series.
- Walking 25 batters and throwing five wild pitches in 24 innings in 2001.
- Being sent down to the minors in 2001 and walking17 batters, throwing 12 wild pitches and jacking up his ERA to 20.77 in 4.1 innings.
- Walking 49 batters and throwing 10 wild pitches in 54.1 inning in his 2003 minor league stint.
During that 2000 playoff run, Ankiel outwardly denied any mental block but inwardly could not move past his pitching yips.
ANKIEL: “I’m not worried at all. I just know what I was doing. I knew what I was doing before, but I went out and threw again today and it was the same thing, throwing the way I wanted. I just have to carry that into the game. I just didn’t finish the pitch.”
The first step is to admit you have a mental block. You don’t need to put a label on it but you do need to face your performance issues so you can mentally attack them head on.
How to Counter the Devastating Effects of the Throwing Yips:
Ask yourself, “Did I suddenly lose the talent I once displayed?” or “Is there a lingering injury altering my mechanics?”
If not, your solution lies in your mental game. Accept it and work through.
Write two columns: “My mindset pitching my best games” and “My mindset when I yip.”
Determine the differences in your thought processes, focus and approaches to these opposite performances.
Remember, your mental game requires the same attention as you give your physical game.
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?
“Patrick–something seems really weird here. You are giving out so much good material to help with the yips, and I feel like I am stealing from you! I really like your style! You don’t see that very often–ever as a mater of fact! You are an amazing guy!”
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?
“After completing ‘The Confident Athlete’ series, I noticed a dramatic improvement in my level of play or should I say consistency. I play NCAA Division I baseball for Lamar University, and even my coaches have noticed a change in the way that I approach the game – my attitude and confidence at the plate. It has also helped me reach a new level of focus. I am able to get into that zone where I am able to narrow my focus on to the task. Thank you for helping in my continuing goal to mental toughness.”