Learning To Shut Off The Mental Chatter

Overcoming Golf Yips

Understanding The Yips

Are you frustrated with the yips?

You probably feel like you are one of the few that contracted this horrible golf ailment. Well, you are not alone…

Approximately 40 percent of golfers will experience the yips at some point in their career as estimated by some sport psychologists.

Most golfers avoid talking about the yips because they don’t understand the nature of the yips, such as:

  • What are the yips?
  • How and why the yips occur.
  • How to overcome the yips.

By understanding the inner-workings of the yips, you can start finding ways to counter their effects and, possibly, develop preventative strategies to keep the yips at bay.

What are the yips?

The yips are those spasms or jerks that occur in your hands right before striking the ball that interferes with a smooth golf stroke or swing.

How and Why the Yips Occur

One yips misconception is that a couple horrible shots lead to the yips.

Just because you miss a few easy putts or drove some tee shots off course doesn’t mean you have or will have the yips.

A second misconception is that anxiety causes the yips. Anxiety doesn’t cause the yips, but it can make the problem worse.

The truth of the matter is that over-analyzing and over-thinking are the biggest contributing factor to the yips.

Think of those moments where thoughts swirled around your mind about your stroke, your plan for your shot and the possible outcomes of your shot…

You probably talked yourself through the technique of your stroke as you were attempting the shot…

It is no different that hearing rude spectators talking while you play… That intrusive self-talk interferes with your ability to focus and play optimally.

It is these times where your mind is no longer your ally, but your enemy.

Dr. Debbie Crews, a sports psychology consultant for Arizona State University women’s golf team, summarizes the problem of analyzing your stroke while you are attempting your shot:

“What often interferes with performance is when the left side of the brain becomes overactive. That analytic, verbal side can’t shut down, and it tries to over-control the motion.”

When you over-analyze and over-think and try to figure “what’s wrong with you,” you will increase your anxiety and become more firmly entrenched in the yips.

Tips to Counter the Yips

  • Tip #1: You need to reduce the amount of pressure you put on yourself. Golf as if you were playing with your buddies. If you think about it, the course doesn’t change… It’s your thoughts about the game that negatively affect you.
  • Tip #2: You should find evidence to support you can make THIS shot. The yips are centered around those few times in the recent past that missed a similar shot. Recall the times when you routinely made those shots over and over in the past with no problem.

Successful golfers have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in competition. We’ve developed The Golfer’s Mental Edge Workbook and CD program to help you do this.

P.S. If you struggle with the putting, chipping, or full-swing yips, please take one minute to complete my survey. Help me to help you better: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/yips

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Anti-Yips Putting Drills

Putting Yips DVD

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