The yips is a condition commonly cited by athletes where they cannot seem to perform at their usual level. In sports, it is as much a mental problem as a physical one as the brain seems to interfere with technique, confidence, and outcomes.
Sports are not the only area where the yips can make themselves known. Many people also find themselves struggling with a case of the yips in their day to day lives that causes them to feel as if they are consistently performing below their capabilities. Yet the harder they try to fix it, the worse their performance gets.
The Problem with the Yips
In sports, the yips have ended several athletes’ careers and they can do the same thing in life by threatening your passion for your work or activities you enjoy. The yips most often occur after a mistake or bad performance leads to an extreme loss of confidence that continues to manifest in repeated bad performances.
One of the most significant challenges with the yips is how they can impact your self confidence. The yips can cause a self fulfilling belief that you will not succeed in whatever you try. Avoiding long term performance setbacks from the yips is possible with the right strategies, including:
- Accepting the Struggle – Many people experiencing the yips will try to push harder to overcome them. Admitting that your performance may not be up to its usual standards for a while takes the pressure off.
- Change Your Focus – It can be tempting to put all your focus onto the area where you are struggling. Focusing on other activities can help restore your confidence and reduce pressure.
- Change Your Approach – When athletes have the yips, the recommended advice is to change up their technique. You can do this by approaching your problem or task in a new way.
- Consider What Else is Going On – The yips could stem from stress or upset in another area of your life. Take time to work on your overall mental health.
- Reset Your Goals – If the yips are preventing you from meeting your goals, it can be helpful to break existing goals down into smaller pieces and refocus on results rather than whatever has you stuck.
Another helpful tip with the yips is to speak with someone else. This can incorporate new perspectives and help you avoid getting caught up in the details and low self confidence. Long Island Psychology treats patients experiencing the yips in their life. In addition to our offices in Rockville Centre and Garden City, we have also added a new office in Roslyn Heights to make it easier to get the therapy you need on Long Island.