Ankiel And The Throwing Yips
What do you do when one errant throw leads to another… then another… then another?
More importantly, what do you think about when you make a string of throwing errors?
Most likely, it gets in your head and you start thinking about what might happen on your next throw or you try to talk yourself through the mechanics of the throw.
This overthinking is at the root of the throwing yips.
Consciously trying to make that pinpoint accurate contributes to yipping… There is more pressure when you try to make the “perfect” throw…
You may try to walk yourself through the throw in your mind and guide the ball to the target.
This overthinking causes your physiology to change. Increased muscle and mental tension, changes your release point. When your release point changes from throw to throw, your results become inconsistent as well.
You haven’t forgotten how to throw the ball or suddenly lost your ability to make accurate throws.
It is your conscious thought is interfering with your mechanics and causes you to yip.
The reality of the yips have motivated researchers to delve into the problem to study the process of the yips.
In one study, Leiden University scientists Bruno Bocanegra and Bernhard Hommel examined the difference between exerting mental control (thinking yourself through a throw) and being on “autopilot” (just reacting and unconsciously throwing the ball).
Bocanegra and Hommel determined that thinking about performance in the middle of performing a relatively routine activity impaired performance and could cause the yips.
In baseball terms, when you think about throwing the ball in the middle of a game (a routine activity that you have repeated thousands of times over the course of years), you throws become less accurate.
Mental effort is not needed to throw a baseball. It is already a habit you have formed through repetition.
Rick Ankiel, Life Skills Coordinator for the Washington Nationals understands the mental side of baseball and how the yips can affect a player’s career because it altered the course of his career.
Ankiel was a top left-handed pitching prospect for the St. Louis Cardinals before developing a debilitating case of the yips.
Ankiel lost command of his pitches so badly that he was reassigned to the minor leagues and never regained his pitching form.
To Ankiel’s credit, he reinvented himself as an outfielder, made it back to the big leagues where he played from 2007 to 2013.
Now, Ankiel teaches players effective mental skills in order to perform optimally on the field.
ANKIEL: “A lot of it is dealing with adversity, a lot of it is dealing with performance anxiety, everything baseball players go through. Dealing with being out there on the field nervous in a certain situation. Self talk, self coaching, the language that they’re using with themselves in the heat of the moment.”
If you learn how to manage adversity and anxiety, you can take charge of your game and overcome the yips.
Strategy for overcoming the yips
The most important thing to realize is that your thinking either contributes to the yips or combats it. One double clutch or throwing error is not an indication of bad things to come unless you allow your mind to run wild.
After a bad throw, tell yourself “It’s just one throw.” Clear your mind. The great thing about baseball is that there will be another pitch and another opportunity to make a play..
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!
More Tips to Beat the Throwing Yips
- Get Our Free Baseball Baseball Yips Report.
- Read Other Articles About Baseball Yips.
- Watch Throwing Yips Videos.
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.”