Eliminating the YIPs


The dreaded yips are the fear of even the greatest golfers. Yip is a term used to describe the experience we have when we have a hiccup in our putting stroke. It might be more appropriate to use the word YIPES! because thats really the feeling we experience over the ball! Either way, the experience is one of anxiety that often produces a swing that is tentative and pushes the club- face off line.
One golfer recently made this comment:
I miss putts that I should be making. I want to make them and I know I can make them so I dont see what the problem is! Ive read everything I can get my hands on and listened to every tape I can find and I still miss putts I know I can make! I know its not in my mind because I know Im capable of making them
Okay. Heres the problem. Everything is based on cause and effect. There is no such thing as a yip without a cause for a yip. Period. The cause? Very simple. FEAR AND DOUBT. Either way you cut it its one and usually both causing the problem. Whether its doubt leading to fear or fear leading to doubt; it makes no difference. The bottom line: missed putts due to a tentative stroke.
The player quoted above did not want to hear that she was fearful over her putts. As long as she denied this, she continued to miss putts due to a tentative putting stroke. Even if you do everything correctly, you can still miss putts but missing putts because of a tentative and fear-based stroke creates the yip putts. Think about it. A yip putt usually feels like youre pulling off the ball or pushing it, right? Well, what would make you do that? You would only pull off the ball if you didnt trust it. You dont trust it because youre experiencing some level of doubt or fear over it. Its very simple when you really look at it.
While fear and doubt are a cause of the yips, there is a ROOT CAUSE factor creating the fear and doubt. Fear is caused when we focus on results instead of the process steps that will take us there. The yips are triggered when we focus on making the putt or needing to make the putt. Its a basic mind/body reality. Focus on what you cant control and you set yourself up to experience doubt and fear. This is the ROOT CAUSE.
From now on, bring your attention back to process (i.e. what you have control over such as line, pace, imagery, breathing, balance over the ball) and you will begin to roll the ball better. Like I said, you can do this all perfectly and possibly miss putts but you could trigger the yips and definitely miss putts! Set yourself up for the opportunity for success. Focus on process and you will begin reduce the yips and the YIPES!
Copyright 2004 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers a highly acclaimed Perform In The FlowZone' program for sports and business. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio, etc. For more programs/services/products or sign up for a free newsletter (write newsletter in subject box). Also, review the new series of Performance Training Manuals available online! Contact: David Breslow at 847.681.1698 Email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715