Why Do Ball Players Struggle With Easier Throws?
Trevor wrote me this week to say that the fear of the yips on the mound is not allowing him to enjoy the game…
What’s interesting is that his pitching is fine during the game, but he struggles with warmup toss, bullpens, and the warmup between innings.
“I don’t have this problem on the mound, but there is a constant fear that it will happen on a mound. Even when throwing bullpens I’m thinking about the ball flying off (even though it hasn’t happened),” Trevor said.
How is his throwing in the warmup? This is when the yips hit him…
“For me, when I first pickup a ball I have the fear. When I try to make my first firm throw playing catch, it’s like my arm doesn’t have any fluidity. I often spike it into the ground glove side and sometimes sail it high arm side. In my warmup pitches between innings I have airmailed the catcher a few times,” he continued.
This is very common for ball players…
They struggle with the easier throws, such as catchers who have trouble throwing back to the pitcher but can throw down to second with accuracy. I think catchers can throw freely when they rip it.
“I’ve literally tried every mental cue I’ve ever heard when it comes to throwing and nothing works. I am aware this is a mental problem. I don’t however know how to attack it mentally,” he said.
Why do ball players struggle with the easier throws?
It’s counter-intuitive to say the least…
My theory is that when you have extra time to think and abbreviate your arm action (in warm ups), that’s when you tend to over think and over control.
“Short throws are by far the worst. It’s the pressure and lack of confidence combined. If I can’t throw it as hard as I can like I can off a mound, there is no telling where the ball will go,” Trevor explained.
I also think with the easy throws, you’re expected to make those, which adds to the pressure and thus the fear of messing up.
Here’s what’s helped Trevor with his throwing…
“For me when I make a few bad throws, I just say ‘screw it’ and chuck it until my accuracy comes back.”
He’s on the right track here because he stops trying so hard to make a good throw. Another counter-intuitive argument here.
After the initial embarrassment of missing his target, his accuracy returns after a couple throws.
Yes, a lot of the fear and thus over control is about avoiding embarrassment.
To throw freely, you have to stop worrying about what others will think. Trevor probably realizes that nothing happens after a bad throw… No ridicule from teammates.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to be stellar in the warmup.
You don’t have to be perfect. It’s somewhat normal to feel a little tight until your find a rhythm.
But if you start to overthink your throwing, panic, and worry about what teammates think, a tense warmup can turn into the yips.
Contact me with your story about throwing troubles and I will provide some solutions.
Overcome Throwing Problems: How to Break The Yips Cycle
Do you (or a ball player) suffer from:
- 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?
- Inability to throw or pitch freely (despite the fact that you can in practice)?
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.
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 your program… he was more aware of the things that made him tight. He learned to control his breathing and control his emotions.”
“Thank you so much for talking with our team. You are a great influence. The confidence material really helped me, and I will be working on that as long as I play and after. I can now step out there and just relax and play.”
~Melissa Riesberg, Clarke College Softball
“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.”
“Dr. Cohn has put together a program that has enabled myself and our players to approach the mental game in a systematic way that is easy to use and apply. Our awareness level has greatly increased.”
~Marty Hunter, Head Baseball Coach, George Fox University