The golf season has begun again and I am getting calls from golfers, cricketers snooker players and even a baseball player from the USA asking me how I can help with this strange affliction,the yips, whereby the body seems to take on a mind of it’s own and throw in a sudden, freeze, twitch or snatch of the hand or arm just at the critical moment of delivery.
So what can be done to help this totally frustrating condition that can ruin the enjoyment of a pleasurable game and wreck the career of a talented professional? Although on the surface this is a muscular problem in my opinion it more often than not also has it’s roots in psychological issues that are lurking below the surface of the conscious mind.
Let me illustrate the type of unconscious issue that could be behind this. It is fascinating how our unconscious can derail our best work thinking it is helping us. I have seen clients with an unconscious guilt that they are always winning or taking money from their golfing friends. What better way for the unconscious to sabotage you than to throw a twitch into that normally super smooth putting stroke. If your unconscious programme is that “nice people don’t win” then you have a problem each time it comes to that crucial moment you putt for the match or throw your dart for the bullseye. You don’t consciously understand why you missed but your unconscious does. It mistakenly thinks it is protecting you.
Although there is a relationship, I don’t necessarily believe that the yips are the same as “performance nerves” because the body does not necessarily shake nervously but can for instance in golf violently throw the putter off line in a dramatic and distorted way. However I do believe there is a relationship to Focal Dystonia which typically performing musicians can suffer from. What is happening is that there is a blip in the brainwave pattern rather like the picture on your TV screen scrambling for just a split second. This then throws the brain’s neural connections into chaos and the moment will be lost.“I was in a positive frame of mind on Sunday at Muirfield and performed better than I ever have round the course. In foursomes format and playing with a 15 handicapper we shot a gross 84 in the morning and won our match and in the afternoon (with a 6 handicapper) shot a 79 gross (back in 1 over par) and halved the match. I didn’t miss from inside 10 feet in the morning, although missed a couple in the afternoon – can’t sink them all but much improved putting performance all round.” MG
To begin the process of recovery the old unconscious patterns need to be resolved. Since faulty neural pathways will have been installed these will need physically and mentally reorganised into healthy robust connections and of course confidence will need to be rebuilt. To do this I use a variety of techniques underpinned with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Hypnosis. The value of using these techniques lies in the fact that our conscious mind does not know how to resolve the issue however EFT and Hypnosis are brilliant vehicles for connecting with unconscious understandings and creative change. These techniques communicate with the unconscious mind and that is the part that has the key to help resolve these sorts of issues.
Just recently I helped turn round the game of a talented snooker player who’s cue was just “sticking” at the crucial moment. He had been struggling for over a year and was beginning to resent a game that he once loved. After just two sessions he could not believe the difference as he cleared the table while I just watched! Last season I helped club golfers make real improvements in their putting and chipping and professional musicians suffering with forms of Focal Dystonia, in the lips for wind players and hands and arms for string players, literally get their professional careers back on track.“Since we met I have worked away at the swing thoughts we spoke about and have banished completely my short game problem. I don’t even acknowledge that word anymore my game is great even if its not went as well as I would have liked. I don’t have the same feeling of dread I used to have on approaching short shots or chips and my enjoyment of the game has improved greatly. So thanks again Roger.” CW
I have worked with many amateurs and professionals looking for help to enhance their performance and my experience as a performer has helped me put together a unique and powerful set of tools and strategies designed to help my clients achieve the very best results from their chosen sport. If you would like more information please call 07970218451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be very happy to chat with you.