How to Overcome The Throwing Yips
Routines make playing baseball much easier. Imagine if you had to think about how to hold a ball… Or your stance in the batter’s box… Or the act of throwing a ball…
If you had to think of every detail of every act throughout a baseball game, you would become mentally overloaded and exhausted.
That is why routines and habits are so important.
Motor memory allows you to file away repetition from practice so you can act as if on autopilot.
Habits allow you to focus on the more important aspects of performance such as game situations.
Unfortunately, sometimes something invades your mind and blocks that reflexive action. For a pitcher, that invasion is called the yips.
Just ask Los Angeles Dodger pitcher, Brandon McCarthy, about his recent problems throwing the baseball…
McCarthy is 33 years-old and was drafted in 2002. In his 2003 minor league season, McCarthy posted impressive stats (101 innings, 125 strikeouts and only 15 walks). In 2004, McCarthy led all minor league pitchers with 202 strikeouts.
McCarthy made his Major League debut in 2005 and, in his 11 MLB seasons, McCarthy has pitched over a thousand innings with 771 strikeouts.
Imagine how many additional times McCarthy has thrown the ball considering his little league, high school and collegiate experiences.
Everyone would agree that throwing a ball for McCarthy has become an unconscious habit and he no longer needs to think about all the details and mechanics of pitching a baseball. It is as simple as see the target, throw to the target.
But for McCarthy, throwing the ball is not as simple as it once was and that mental block, or the yips, is more devastating than returning to pitch after major shoulder surgery.
McCarthy: “Coming back from Tommy John [surgery], you’re not worried your career is over. The yips was a whole different thing. [With the yips, you’re thinking], ‘I don’t ever know if I can throw a baseball in a competitive Major League Baseball game.’”
A task McCarthy has done tens of thousands of times, now seems practically impossible…
When you have extreme difficulty doing something you have done with ease countless times, you begin to wonder what’s wrong with you.
The answer is that nothing is wrong with YOU. The issue lies in your thinking. Motor memory allows you to perform without conscious thinking.
When you start thinking about how to throw the ball or the mechanics of pitching, you create mental interference which disrupts your well-learned action.
You turned a non-thinking action into something that you over-analyze. Think back to when you learned the skill of pitching… It was probably one step forward and two steps back. Once you honed your pitching skill, you started getting consistent results.
The answer to the yips is to not think.
Instead trust that skill you have trained to become a habit.
Related Article: Two Strategies To Beat The Pitching Yips
A Strategy For Overcoming The Yips Cycle:
Remember that focusing on mechanics creates mental interference and disrupts your ability to throw the ball. And when you focus on the result of your pitch, this creates anxiety and muscle tension.
Instead, you want to trust your motor memory and not try to release the ball properly.
Focusing on your prepitch routine can help you stop thinking about outcomes. You also want to focus on the pitch and target, which can help you go on auto-pilot with your action.
To break the yips cycle, you have to let go of the outcome, what others might think, and free up you arm so you can get back to auto-pitching.
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?
“Your response to the throwing problem in front of the coach covers so many situations in life…that is the beauty of playing sports…the life learning experiences. Keep up the good work…you are the best coach.”
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?
“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!”