Slay The Yips Monster
Updated: Sep 25, 2019
Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchill
The YIPs are a form of performance anxiety where an athlete loses the ability to perform a certain skill or action, especially in competition.
Side effects of the YIPs include: loss of confidence, self-criticism, self-doubt, emotional outbursts, avoidance, early retirement, questioning, overthinking, over analyzing, and being physical unable to perform a skill.
It can come on quickly, or build up over time. For example, Nick Anderson was an NBA player for the Orlando Magic. In game 1 of the 1995 NBA finals, Anderson would miss 4 free throws in a row with 10.5 seconds left in the game. Before this moment, he was career a 74% free throw shooter. After this clutch moment he went on to become a career 40% free throw shooter and forever be known as Nick “The 🧱 Brick” Anderson.
Tips for overcoming the YIPs:
Accept the problem.
Denial only makes it worse. So own it, ask for help, and recognize it as another opportunity to learn and improve.
Identify the moment.
Peel back they layers to uncover the moment(s) that lead to your loss of confidence and skill. This allows you to make sense of it, rationally understand why, and gives you a starting point for your comeback. This can be hard to do on your own so seek out help as well.
Work with your coach(es) and people you respect, to check your technique. Coach(es) and respected others can help you identify the physical glitches in your technique. Rewire your brain.
Break the conflict cycle.
This can be as little as changing your pre-performance routine. Send a message to your brain that you are doing things differently. Keep it simple.
Focus on what to DO not HOW to do it.
Use a cue or command like “Strike the ball” or “It’s all in the hips.” 🏌️♀️ ⛳️
Focus on the Right Now and not on the outcome.
The process in the moment is what’s important right now. Munchable chunks.
Create tiny, achievable goals that help build your confidence and keep you focused in the moment.
Breathe. When we get anxious our breathing becomes short and choppy, so take deep breaths to activate the relaxation response.
See if there are similar patterns or stressors in other parts of your life. Also, recognize how you deal with those stressors. Use your toolbox of knowledge to help you as well.
Get back up again.
Remember, success isn’t about how many times you were knocked down. What matters most is how many times you’ve gotten up.