Imagine being at the top of your game, then suddenly you lose all your skills like you have never even played the sport before.

Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon as it has happened to many top sporting players and it is a condition known as yips.

What is Yips?

Yips are a state of extreme nervousness that causes involuntary muscle spasms when you’re trying to perform a specific movement.

Yips causes muscle jerks (most common) shaking or tremors twitching feeling “locked” or frozen, it is suggested that Yips in golf was where the term first originated from back in the 1920s. It generally affects golf players when they are putting.

Healthline defines yips as: ‘The “yips” is an informal term for a movement disorder involving your wrists. It causes involuntary muscle spasms when you’re trying to perform a specific movement.

Commonly, the yips are associated with baseball players and golfers. The term “yips” was coined by Tommy Armour, a professional golf player, in the early 1900s.’
Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/yips

Steve Blass was one of the best baseball pitchers of all time in the early 1970s. He was instrumental in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ World Series victory over the Baltimore Orioles in 1971. In 1972, he finished second in the National League Cy Young Award, presented to the finest pitcher.

On the other hand, Blass lost his ability to pitch a ball due to the yips correctly. As a result, he retired in 1975, earning the moniker “Steve Blass sickness.”
However, the problem isn’t limited to baseball. Other athletes may be affected by yips or wrist cramps during a particular motion.

People believed that the yips were produced primarily by anxiety and stress. Scientists have now discovered that neurological variables can cause yips.

It can almost be quite comical when people talk about’ dartitis’. It sounds like a lame excuse for playing a bad game, but is Dartitis real?

Dartitis, also known as Yips

Dartitis is most undoubtedly authentic as it is a case of a’ YIPS’ medical condition. And it doesn’t only affect just darts players as “yips” can even affect combat sports fighters. It was put down to YIPS as to why Ronda Rousey’s reason was having a downturn in her fighting career. YIPS is arguably the most devastating disease in all professional sports.

Who can Yips Affect?

As it is a nervous, mental condition, it is understandable why yips can affect fighters, as combat sports are probably the most nerve-racking of sports. Daniel Knight, the founder of Sidekick Boxing, claims he has experienced only too well what it is like to get struck by yips, yet not in kickboxing but darts.

Daniel said once the bell goes in kickboxing, all the nerves go out the window. As a keen dart player over the years, Daniel has played in pub teams and tournaments and claims that throwing a one-eighty is no longer too exciting.

It is all about the big finishes, as Daniel has pinged off the bull for a 12 dart leg. Daniel has always been quite sceptical of yips but claims he has experienced it himself first-hand.

Being capable of throwing an average of 138 in 9 consistent darts says there have been days I just can’t let go. Yips is referred to as Dartitis in darts, and it is an inability to throw or release a dart. It is usually because of a high-pressure game or a specific moment within a game.

But Daniel claims it can be the stresses of day-to-day life that can cause you to lock up and affect your game.

What Causes Yips?

There are many causes for yips, such as:

  1. Focal Dystonia
    Focal dystonia is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary spasms in only one body area. It’s frequently linked to repetitive actions.
  2. Anxiety about performing.
    This results in psychological “choking,” or severe anxiety about one’s physical performance. Anxiety might be so strong that it interferes with your capacity to function.
  3. A hybrid of the two.
    The yips can be caused by a mix of focal dystonia and performance anxiety in some persons. Focal dystonia can be worse by stress and worry.

Some sportsmen become so worried and self-absorbed, overthinking to the point of distraction, that they lose their ability to execute a talent like putting. “Choking” is a severe form of performance anxiety that can derail a golfer’s or any athlete’s performance.

However, some people are more at risk of suffering from yips if:

● They are older.
● They have played golf frequently.
● During tournament play.
● They are prone to extreme anxiety.
● They have perfectionistic tendencies.

How to Cure Yips?

The best thing you can do is take the pressure off as it’s only in your mind. Remember, most sports are only a game, but if you are a professional or fighter and want to cure Yips, it may pay to get a mind coach to help develop an iron mind.

Changing your technique or equipment may be the first step in treating the yips. To cure the condition, for example, if yips is affecting your golf performance, you could:
● Change how you hold your putter.
● Use different muscles, switch your grip.
● Use a different putter, such as one that is longer or has a particular grip.
Other alternatives for treatment include:

  1. Botox injections:These are injections that are injected into overactive muscles to relieve muscle spasms and jerks.
  2. Relaxation, visualisation, or positive thinking techniques may be used in behavioural therapy to assist control symptoms. These approaches can help athletes overcome confidence concerns by reducing worry and increasing concentration.

Final Thoughts

The yips can affect a wide variety of people who play a wide variety of sports. It is important to make sure that you know what the yips actually is and how to fix this problem if it occurs to you.
For more information, watch the video below: