Below are the best articles we could find on The Yips and performance pressure.
Some get over it; some are never the same.
It’s called the yips, and it’s a sudden inability to play. I had to find my way out of it.
The yips are a nasty ailment. They—along with the shanks—can appear out of nowhere and absolutely derail a golfer’s otherwise solid game. And worst of all, no one is safe from their wrath.
Out in the chalk circle, my vision became tunneled, my stomach tied in knots, and I felt like I couldn’t hear anything but my own racing thoughts.
Every baseball player fears the affliction, the sudden mental block that prevents them from making a routine throw. It goes by a funny name—the yips—but it is invisible and terrifying.
“We are not really good at fully understanding the relationship between the brain and the mind, or the brain and performance."
One suggested explanation is a neurological condition called focal dystonia that results in involuntary muscle contractions when performing a motor task and tends to affect a muscle group that is used frequently and repeatedly.
This is clearly not a matter of an athlete struggling with technical aspects of a skill or not being physically prepared. There’s something else at work here.
A complex system in the brain that keeps gymnasts balanced can get out of whack.
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