Make sure you read the comments below and feel free add your own…
Dear Dr. Tom Hanson,
I am a senior in high school, and the yips are killing me. I first experienced them at the end of summer baseball last year, and they have carried the entire summer over to the high school season. As the starting catcher for the high school team last year, i am expected to do big things this year. However, I just cant seem to have any confidence throwing the ball back to the pitcher. I just end up moonshotting it there and hoping that nobody says anything.. it is killing me inside. If there is something you can do or say, please help me!
Sorry to hear about that, Kyle. I literally get 2 to 5 emails just like yours every day.
I’m on a roll fixing them, though. The last couple of years I’ve done tons of work in this area and have developed some ninja moves that work pretty well.
I’m getting close to creating a new self-study program, but nothing takes the place of 1-1 coaching. Let me know if that’s of interest to you.
I am freshman in high school and I’m tying to get the starting job. But one problem, I can’t throw back to the pitcher!! Please help me, reply as soon as possible.
I’m starting to have trouble throwing batting practice. It all started 3 years ago when I first had to throw bp to Greg Maddox and he said whatever u do don’t hit me. Since then it’s never been fun again. I’m still can do it and everyone says I do it well but it stress me out every day for 162 games.
Most people have one particular moment, or at least one particular day when it started.
The roots of it are deeper than that, as the predisposition (psychological make-up) to get the yips has to be there.
But then one day, one event, kicks it in and slowly (or quickly) there after the dam breaks down and the yips develop.
Got to clear out that source day, then all the collateral damage it has caused since.
Best is to call me to discuss: 813 968 8863
Hi Dr. Tom, I have had the yips on and off for almost four years through high school. I am currently in my first year in college in Noorth Carolina and I have them again. I dont know how to overcome them. when I first begin to warm up , the ball goes completely off to the right. Eventually it starts to get alittle better but not great. I am a right handed pitcher, and my greatest passion is baseball.I am completely miserable. when I begin to throw , its as if I have already set myself up for failure. Please help!
I hear you, man. It’s really painful and not many people really get what’s going on. Often players feel very alone.
Best is to call me: 813-968-8863.
Dear Dr.Tom Hanson I am a sophomore in college and I think I have the yips. In high school throwing was not a problem.I could throw with my eyes closed. But since fall ball of my freshmen in college I can’t seem to stay confident in my throwing. The ball often just feels weird coming out and goes far right and high. I have a real strong arm but in fear of not knowing where the ball will end up I hold back but that only seems to make it worst. I thought it was mechanics but that’s not problem . I have no confidence in my arm. My hands are even jittery on the ball sometimes. Help please!
Hi, Dr. My name is Phil and I’ve been looking at your website. I honestly feel like you are talking to me. I verbally committed to UoP my sophmore year and at the beginning of my senior year, it seemed as if I literally forgot how to throw a baseball. I started the year as the ace of my team’s staff and by my third start, I was no longer a pitcher. The last time I pitched in a game was April 21…(weird how I remember that), but more importantly, I threw 1 2/3 innings with 8 walks 3 hit batters and a whopping 17 wild pitches (a majority of which were not even remotely close to the strike zone). I was dropped from my offer and am now at a junior college trying to figure it out, but as you said, simple words do not help. Baseball simply isn’t fun and every time I step on the mound, or even the foul line to play catch, I find myself praying that the ball will somehow find its target. Now, before I enter the bullpen or step onto the mound, I tell my teammates jokes about how poor my performance is going to be…or was afterwards, so they won’t laugh at me. I miss the days when pitching was fun. If there is anything that can be done to remedy my problem I’ll do it. Please help!
Wow, Phil that’s a rough stretch to go through.
I’m sure I can help you though, do it every day. Call me to discuss 813 968 8863.
Hey Dr. I’m in high school and I’m a catcher and until about two weeks ago I cannot make a throw back to the pitcher. My throws down to second are almost always perfect but no matter how much I work on it and how much I’m talked to about it, it can’t be fixed. I need help as soon as possible because I’m trying to play varsity this Spring and this is the worst and most stressful time of my life. I’m embarassing myself every time I go out there. If there’es anything you can do, I would appreciate it. Thank you so much.
Hey David — I hear you. No fun. Best is just to call me to talk it over.
813 968 8863
I live in Georgia and play baseball for east cobb. I have been reading your cite and it defines me perfectly. Im a junior in high school and play second base. Starting a few months ago i just started feeling scared to throw the ball to first. On easy ground balls i will field it and make a 30 ft bad throw and it’s humiliating. I want to go to the next level with baseball but that wont happen if i cant make a throw. Please help me.
I hear that a couple of times a day — I’m sure I can help you. Best is to call to discuss. 813 968 8863. We’ll get you squared away. Dr. Tom
I have an 11 year old boy playing travel ball in the tampa bay area. He currently works with Brian Duboise on hitting and Brian gave me your name. My son Mitchell does well at his lessons with Brian but in games he “cant hit the side of a barn”. This weekend he got so frustrated when he struck out that he threw his bat and got thrown out of the game. My wife and I are so frustrated and dont know what to do, he loves BB…… Is there a number or office location that I can reach out to speak with you? Jim LeRoy. Thanks
Yes, you can just call me at 813-968-8863. It’s less common, but guys can get hitting yips. Normally it’s just a slump and doesn’t have the signature anxiety associated with the yips.
It’s been many years. Hope all is well with you.
As a Guest Editor of a Special Issue for Case Studies for The Sport Psychologist, I would like to ask if you would review a manuscript about an intervention for yips that was submitted. Here is the abstract:
This study explored whether a meridian-based intervention termed the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) could reduce Type I ‘yips’ symptoms. EFT was applied to a single figure handicap golfer in an attempt to overcome the performance decrements the player had suffered. The participant underwent 4 2 hr sessions of EFT. The EFT involved the stimulation of various acupuncture points on the body. The appropriate acupuncture points were tapped whilst the participant was tuned into the perceived psychological causes (significant life event) associated with his ‘yips’ experience. Dependent variables included: visual inspection, putting success rate and the evaluation of motion analysis data. Improvements in ‘yips’ symptoms occurred across all dependent measures. Social validation data also illustrated that these improvements transferred to the competitive situation on the golf course. It is possible that significant life events may be a causal factor in the ‘yips’ experience and that EFT may be an effective treatment for the ‘yips’ condition.
Let me know if you can, and I’ll send you the manuscript. Thanks,
I am having a very difficult time with my dart game. i started throwing darts for fun with my friends who were all on leagues. I got very good very fast so I was invited onto a team expected to be dominative. first few weeks were great i was throwing better than i ever have and then Boom!! something happened at the line and now i am a head case. i concentrate so much on my mechanics and what i want to do and need to do rather than just doing it. I can’t take out my 301 games, I’m choking on cricket numbers I know i can hit any day of the week and im dissapointing myself and my team. when I am not competeing and just throwing for fun then I’m back on my “A” game and people question all the time but my only answer is that I am a nut job at the line its like a mind block. this has been going on for about a year now and i have my state tournament coming up in 2 months so i need help fast
You ARE a nut job! But no more so than me or anyone else. And you’re right it is a block. An energy block.
I work with it all the time with guys throwing a baseball. Same issue — an block in the energy flow through your body.
“No flow, no throw.”
The Chinese doctors say, “Where there is no flow, there is pain. Where there is flow, there is no pain.”
The answer of course is to remove the block. Contact me directly if you’d like my help.
To: Dr. Tom Hanson
From: Dave Holt
Subject: An Interview, Dr. Hanson
Hi Tom, my name is Dave Holt and I run a youth baseball training and development service in Charleston, SC and website called coachandplaybaseball.com. I came across your site while searching information on baseball playing and coaching, and I was blown away by your knowledge and expertise on the subject especially throwing problems. I think my readers would love to learn more about you; would you be open to an interview with us?
If so, we can send you 5 to 10 questions by email, and you can send them back at your convenience. Your answers can be brief and it shouldn’t take up much of your time. In return for this interview, we’d let you plug your website, baseball services and information, and anything else that might benefit our readers.
Please let me know what you think.
I look forward to working with you and hope you’d like to participate. Thanks for your time and have a great week.
Sure, Dave, would be happy to.
Write me at DrTomHanson at gmail.com or call 813 968 8863.
Hey doc, i am a sophmore in college and i haven’t researched this problem before until today because i thought i was the only one going through it and was way too embarassed to talk about it with anyone else. The problem started on my elite team before college i made an awful throw home and got ripped out by the coach and it stuck with me the whole season it went away until spring in college it was all i ever thought about and i just cant get rid of it, it forced me to quit and not play anymore i love this game more than anything and i dont want my career to end so soon please help! thank you
Classic stuff. I’m sure I can help you. If you haven’t, fill out the form on the right and we’ll set up a conversation.
I am a senior first baseman for my hs team. I dislocated my shoulder 2years ago sliding in to base. It popped back in and kept playing. At one game made a couple bad throws to second base and got pulled and screamed at. After that game went to dr. and PT. Was out for three weeks. Ever since I have struggled with the yips on and off. The season is just starting and I can’t play catch without throwing wild. We are just doing winter workouts, so I have time. I am nervous now every time I throw. How do I kick this. I am going to a small college to play next year.
You aren’t alone. I’ve spent this whole morning talking with players that sound (or used to sound) just like you. A DI softballer, one of the best recruits in the country, a DI freshman baseaball player who could have gone anywhere he wanted. A small college softball player — in tears b/c she can’t throw (also a Freshman — I’d say over 50% of the more than 60 players I worked with last year were Freshmen).
And a golfer who has yipped for 20 years.
I know that doesn’t help you that much — you’re still alone in your own world. But often players feel better to know they aren’t freaks. (You won’t be joining the circus as a side show.)
I just got off the phone with a first session with a good college player who for the first time in 2 years is excited to go throw. We’ll see how it goes, it isn’t often one session gets the job done, but my goal on the first call is for the person to be excited about getting out there to the field or course.
Call me if you’d like to discuss: 813 – 968-8863
I am a sophomore first baseman at a junior college. I have had two labrum surgeries in my past, neither of which were major surgeries, but required plenty of PT and eventually a two year recovery. I am throwing as pain free as I ever have with newly developed mechanics to help my shoulder. When I warm up I struggle with my first few throws. I don’t know where the ball is going. I will airmail one high and to the right and the next one will be in the dirt to the left. Once I have warmed my arm up and gotten loose the throws gradually get more consistent. Also when I practice my throws as a first baseman I make them nearly every time, yet when push comes to shove in a game situation I spike the ball ten feet short into the dirt to second base on a double play. It doesn’t make sense to me. It has been a long, frustrating, and embarrassing road. I’m hoping you can help me get out of my funk before the season gets underway.
I hear you, Chris. Few things, at least in sportsworld, are more painful than the yips. It spreads to the rest of your life like a cancer.
I’m slammed with players I’m coaching now as everyone tries to get ready for the start of the season. Just call me though to discuss options for how I can help you.
Freshman catcher at a D-1 school that needs help with recent issues getting the ball back to the pitcher. I had this issue once before when I was about 13. Did fine in high school and now struggling again. Would really like some help before the season actually starts. I was fine during fall ball. Thanks
Left handed pitcher at a D-1 school that needs help with the yips. I am afraid to hit a batter. I can throw perfectly fine to just a catcher but as soon as a batter gets in everything goes crazy. I focus too much on what other people think of my performace and that really gets to me. Please let me know what I can do to fix this.
My highschool jv teams tryouts start monday and we have been throwing in conditioning for about a month with no problems, but yesterday throwing felt as if i had never done it before. I was throwing the ball straight into the ground and overthrowing my teammate the whole time we were throwing.
The same thing happened to me last year because i think i was freaking myself out about making the team, but this year i have nothing to be stressing about. This is aggravating as im looking like idiot trying to throw and its happened before around the same time.
Please let me know what i can do to get rid of this relatively fast.
Dr., I’m a sophomore in high school, and have a sever case of the yips. Everything I do, I try to impress someone and overthink it. Before this, I was being looked at and most likely would have started for the Varsity this Spring. I can’t get the ball on a line back to the pitcher, and I always think to much throwing to the bases. Same with hitting. I tend to overthink. I want to be starting on Varsity this year, hopefully. Any techniques?
Hey: Well, yes and no. Acting confident, breathing deeply between pitches and committing fully to your target can help you a lot. Practice that daily and use it on the field to help put yourself in position for success.
However, that addresses the “conscious” part of your brain, not where the real interference is for you — in your “subconscious.”
Let me know if you’d like to work on that part.
I am playing college baseball as a freshman. I have had a lot of issues throwing the ball to first base from any infield positions. It’s almost like I am trying to get rid of the ball so fast & quick after I field that I make horrible throws. I have always had this problem especially throwing from shortstop. Any guidance and help would be appreciated.
Welcome to the club!
I’d say about 70% of the players I worked with last year were freshmen. Just when you want to be your best and PROVE yourself, you’re at your absolute worst.
I think it’s safe to say the two go hand in hand….
I don’t have a quick fix tip for you… I don’t find it works that way.
You’re welcome to call me to discuss options, or write more specific questions here.
I am a 15 year old girls fastpitch catcher and 2 years ago I started having trouble throwing back to the pitcher, It lasted for a coulpe months and then I was able to play again. It has come back with vengenes, I can’t stop thinking about it. I am now a high school freshman and the coach was shocked when I said I didn’t want to catch. I am being recruited by several D1 colleges and I am just SICK inside . Can you really help me??? Please help me…..
Ugh — that’s quite a ride you’re on, Kennedy, hang in there. One thing that can help you cope is the 70% breath. Sit and breathe in to 70% capacity, then out the same.
Do it whenever you think of it.
That won’t cure the problem but will help you deal with the consequences and dred.
Contact me if you’d like to talk it over.
I’m a High school senior, I’m the starting catcher. the first game my Jr. year I could not throw the ball back to the pitcher. After playing outfield for most the season I got behind the plate and did good. I have done good all through practice this year then it hit my first game in the 5th inning. I had the coach to remove me from the game in the 6th to keep from embarrassing myself more. I don’t want to relive last year again. Thanks Kolby
That’s a drag.
This whole thing is sort of like a baseball Lou Gehrig’s disease. For many it starts small and they think they’ll be able to cover it, then it spreads to more types of throws and starts to dominate their whole lives.
But maybe more like cancer, because the cure rate is much better. At least with my players.
Hey Dr. Tom. I am currently playing college baseball and I started getting the yips my senior year of high school. I am a pitcher and a catcher and it is affecting me in both spots. Sometimes it is so bad that I have no idea where the ball is going. I need some serious help!
I’m getting about 4 emails like yours a day, Denton, and the players I’m working with are doing well to great. I don’t have a magic wand (working on it though, and I’m getting better every day at transforming this issue), but I do have the weapons you need.
There’s a saying (and a powerful scene in The Untouchables) about “bringing a knife to a gun fight.” Trying to fix this by focusing on mechanics and talking about it are the knife.
My son has always had a good arm,but soon after baseball tryouts for his frosh soph team-he’s had bad throwing problems at practice where he doesn’t come close to where he needs to throw it. When, i work with him he at first has a hard time, but I get him to joke about it and to toss lightly. He does well and begins to throw harder and harder with very good accuracy-but the next day at practice he has problems again-he says worse with each bad throw. What are my options-I just lost my job, but willing to try and help if I can. Thanks.
I am a senior in high school and will be pitching at Babson college next year. I’ve had the yips since the end of sophomore year. It all started when I went to a new travel team fall of sophomore year. It was a new environment, and as a result I became very tense and nervous and lost the ability to just “throw” the ball. I remember it like it was yesterday. My first pitch for that team was a fastball that bounced half way before home plate. Ever since then simply warming up is a tough task. I dread it. I am afraid to overthrow the ball and as a result will bounce it, and then overcompensate and completely air mail it. When I warm up before I pitch, I notice that I can throw fine when I reach the point of throwing full speed, but throwing anywhere in between full speed and lobbing the ball is impossible. Also, I can make long throws on the money from the outfield, but playing catch between innings is impossible. I really feel that this is hampering my ability to become the dominant pitcher I can be, because I have great stuff and just want to be able to play a simple game of catch and not pitch so timidly and afraid to just let it rip. If you could help me at all it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much
Hi, I’m a high school senior. Two years ago, I had a minor case of the yips and airmailed a ball 10ft over the first baseman. Since then, my throw has only periodically gotten back, but even then I struggled to make consistent short throws. This year, it has gotten considerably worse, to the point that I’m throwing natural curveballs. I’ve trained incredibly hard in private, and my coach told me recently that I would not be getting playing time this year. I almost had a breakdown in front of him, but managed to keep my composure.
To add to what I’ve said, I want to believe in your program (desperately), but I’ll honestly say the layout of the sites and the confusing numbers of offerings (it seems like there’s so many programs) make me skeptical of its’ credibility. Is there something you could offer that I could see immediate results from for me to then look further into your other products? Please – not even my coaches support me at this point.
I hear you, Jack, thank you for that feedback. I’ve got plans to upgrade a few things on this site but frankly I’m working with players so many hours a day right now it hasn’t been a priority.
Call me or email me with questions. The single best way to get over your yips is to work directly with me. When we talk you’ll know if my program is for you.
Hi, I am writing because I literary feel like I have done everything, but still suffer from the yips. I am a left-handed pitcher and developed the yips 3 years ago, it wasn’t to serious at first but quickly spiraled out of control until I was getting nervous from playing light catch. At first I thought it was my strength and balance affecting my throwing so I began to workout constantly. When that didn’t work I started tweeking with my mechanics to no evail. Finally after my sophmore year I began your 201 program and did it twice over the span of my offseason. That year I did not pitch a single inning as I could not find the zone at all. And now after spending hundreds of dollars on several other mental techniques I am still using every ounce of courage I have just to step on the mound during practice. This thing, this issue, has been extremely time consuming, but I’m determined to fight this thing and set an example for my younger siblings and teammates. I’ve read some things online saying the yips are carreer ending, but I would like to think differently. There’s no such thing as being to far gone is there? Is there a way for me as a senior to reclaim my love for the game and play effortlessly just like my little brother in little league? Sincerly a kid who doesn’t want to think or worry about throwing anymore.
My name is xxx and I’m a senior at xxxx. I’m a catcher on the varsity baseball team and have been having on and off yip problems for the past few years. These yips come when I am throwing back to the pitcher. While I can routinely throw out base runners with ease I will have episodes where I find myself not able to make the simple throw back to the mound. This usually comes after a throw that isn’t perfect and my mind reverts back to a past episode. I personally know Andy Urban whom you worked with a few years ago. He had great success with your techniques and after my most recent incident with the yips I decided it was time to try it out for myself. I would appricieate any help you can give me, as baseball is my true passion in life and it causes me great pain and embarrassment when this happens.
Hi, I am writing because I literally feel like I have done everything, but still suffer from the yips. I am a left-handed pitcher and developed the yips 3 years ago, it wasn’t to serious at fist but quickly spiraled out of control until I was getting nervous from playing light catch. At first I though it was my strength and balance affecting my throwing so I began to workout constantly. When that didn’t work I started tweaking with my mechanics to no avail. Finally, after my sophomore year I began your 201 program and did it twice over the span of my offseason. That year I did not pitch a single inning as I could not find the zone at all. And now, after spending hundred of dollars on several other mental techniques, I am still using every ounce of courage I have just to step on the mound during practice. This thing, this issue, has been extremely time consuming, but I’m determined to fight this thing and set an example for my younger siblings and teammates. I’ve read some things online saying the yips are career ending, but I would like to think differently. There’s no such thing as being to far gone is there? Is there a way for me as a senior to reclaim my love for the game and play effortlessly, just like my little brother in little league? Sincerely a kid who doesn’t want to think or worry about throwing anymore.
No, no such thing as too far gone. Some cases of the yips are more deeply rooted than others. I never can tell myself how it’s going to go until after the first time the guy throws after our first session.
The 201 is a great program but not designed to battle the yips. It can help, but it is really designed for players who simply want to gain freedom and play great, not solve a major problem.
I’d be happy to talk with you. I’m biased, but I wouldn’t hang it up without at least talking it over with me.
Im Frank, a catcher, freshmen in high school. I have a serious case of the YIPS, it all began when i was called up to varsity to catch a scrimmage, and during bullpen i made a bad throw to the ace pitcher… Once he got ticked, everything got in my head.. My throwing is fine in little league, but when i get to high school ball, i look very bad. Please reply, this is very important to me… baseball has been miserable lately… I hope you can help me fix that.
I have been searching for a cure, and I believe you are it. I am a Junior and play on Varsity at my high school. I have recently been having problems throwing from second base. Mainly from close up. I also have problems on around the horn after a strikeout throwing to the shortstop. It’s only from CLOSE! I tend to loft the ball and guide it. I feel scared to throw the ball hard and making an error, but ironically I make more. I usually get a tight stomach and doubt in the field. I would love if you could help me, thank you.
The good news for you is that you are normal.
In my world.
Not the world you really want to be normal in, but I can help you.
Best is to enter your email to the right on this page and then complete and return the questionnaire you get.
It was last Friday when it started, but it wasn’t really even that bad. I made some bad throws. The next morning I went out to try and fix it and everything was horrible I would hold on to it too long and throw it in the dirt, Id lob it up twenty feet in the air. It pretty much would go everywhere but straight.
I’ve tried changing up my throwing motion and that only made it worse. I feel like I’m not an athlete anymore, I’m throwing like a chick. It seemed to be better yesterday, but after missing a few throws it came right back today. The wierd thing is I can throw the ball perfect into a brick wall. But it gets all screwy with a partner. I need to find out how to trust my arm again.
Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
A big percentage of the players I coach through this have one particular moment when they feel it started.
That moment, and all the horrible moments and experiences since that time need to be cleared up.
I hesitate to give advice here because the problem is bigger than any tip I can give. Anything I can think of to say is too small to be of value and could mislead you.
Most of my career I was shooting with a pistol at this tank of a problem. Virtually no success.
I guess I can say to be good to yourself. Treat yourself well — eat well, sleep as well as you can, do your schoolwork, etc. — and know you aren’t a freak and you’re not alone. Perhaps I should set up a yips chat room.
p.s. Write me or call me if you’d like to talk about options for you.
My 11 year-old son has been a top ball player for the past couple of years. His spring season officially started and he cannot field and throw the ball with-out hesitating. My husband is the coach and has been trying different drills but no improvements are showing. Tonight was a key for factor for me. I watch my son practicing his pitching with his dad. He went throught the whole pitching motion but when it came time to release the ball, he could do not it. Over and over he tried until he broke down in tears. All he could say is I don’t know why I can’t throw it. This is so heartbreaking for me as a parent that I cannot help him. I would love any advice you could give us.
Thanks for your time!
If I created a composite character that got the yips it would be just your scenario — classic. You’ve got a serious traffic jam on your neural highway.
I can definitely help you — as you know it is not your mechanics (just like getting caught in traffic is not a matter of your driving technique).
I am a professional baseball player. I just came off of a non-throwing shoulder surgery. This is my first year at the professional level and my first spring training. I have encountered some trouble when taking infield/tossing/etc. and have never experienced this before. I can toss and hit a spot but really “letting one go” seems near to impossible. Would like to talk to you and try to fix this, clear my head, and move on with my career. Appreciate all you can do.
Dude — I hear you: dream comes true and turns into a nightmare. This is more urgent for you than most.
You’re welcome to call me.
I am freshman college second baseman, that recently got the yips. It began two weeks ago, when I could not be able to throw a baseball acurate, especially during a game. During practice it is not to bad but during pregame or in a game it is out of control. It is bringing me down and is hard to keep trying to fight through it. I want the joy back. Please help if you can, it is much appreciated.
Few things more painful for a baseball player, Andre, I hear you.
It’s been a wild week here at the Play Big Academy — I’ve been getting 4-5 emails along the lines of yours EACH DAY!
Roughly 70% of the players I’ve worked with are freshmen or got this when they were a freshman — or just starting out on a travel team.
Make sure you fill out my form and return it.
I don’t have quickie tips other than breathe deeply and stand tall. SPend as much time as you can remembering throwing great.
I don’t think so much in terms of fixing this as healing it.
I’m not sure what constitutes throwing problems as the “yips” but here is my story.
there has been a good deal of hype surrounding me as the starting varsity catcher as a freshman at my high school. In the beginning of the two games I’ve started, I throw the ball back fine… but as the game goes on it gets harder and harder to stay in control… the ball starts slipping and i either bounce it or i sail it. it doesn’t feel natural.
however you can help would be great
Thanks for the story — classic yips qualities (as we just discussed on the phone). I work with a lot of players who are transitioning up to the next level — esp. ones who come in with some hype (e.g. a stud older brother, dad is coach, lots of press, etc.)
Stay on it, it feels to me like the shorter the time the guy has had the problem the easier it is to heal.
I have been a starting catcher every year in high school and every year until last year in college ball.
I have been struggling with my catcher throws back to the pitcher, in the bullpen, and even playing short catch. This has been happening to me for a few years now. I have a great pop time and I have always had a strong arm. I have been trying everything…my mechanics, mental approaches, “just throw its”…nothing seems to work and now it has caught up to me. I have lost all confidence in my arm, what can I do?
Call me 813-968-8863.
I am a college catcher, and have had the yips back to the pitcher for quite a while now. Making throws to the bags are perfectly fine. But back to the pitcher I can not do. I have to lob the ball back and i hate it. Sometimes i will throw it like I know how to, but it is a bullet and not really at the pitchers chest. I just want a firm throw back. This really occurs when runners get on. I think to much of throwing it away. Please help
I am a freshman pitcher at a D2 baseball college and I developed the yips about a month and a half ago right before the season started. I am struggling to make simple throws and consistently find the strike zone. People tell me just throw the ball and make it seem so simple but I cannot seem to do it and have lost all confidence in my pitching ability. I was hoping you could help me get back to where I used to be and make baseball enjoyable again.
I am a college catcher and I have trouble throwing it back to the pitcher. I feel like I can only lob it back to him and when I try to throw it back firmly my arm tenses up and I have to stop my self and just lob it back. It is really holding me back from playing time because my coach wants me to throw it back firmly. I have no problem throwing it when a runner is stealing only when I have to throw it back to the pitcher. Please help.
If you’ve read much on this site you know my diagnosis for you — you’re normal!
All classic symptoms. Especially if you can think of the day it first started — most can but it isn’t vital to getting rid of it.
After reading most of the entries here, I have discovered that I am not a “freak” who suddenly forgot hot to throw the ball. I am a college catcher who has been battling with the yips for 4 years now, and I am so frustrated at the fact that I can’t fire the ball back to the pitcher like I once used to do it. Throwing people out has not been a problem for me but throwing the ball back to the pitcher and just playing short catch seems impossible now. I need help urgently!
My daughter Noelle is a sophmore in high school and has been fighting the yips for about 9 months. Noelle is having a difficult time throwing the ball back to the pitcher. She has no problems throwing out base stealers, or runners trying to advance on dropped 3rd strikes. She could really use some help
Hey Dad — My heart goes out to her (and you, I know it rips parents’ hearts out). This is a cruel and unusual condition.
Here’s a DI freshman’s email to me yesterday:
Hey Doc. I read that LATimes article. I think I’ll stick with what your telling me to do instead of botox or alcohol haha. On a side note I’ve been throwing great. I’m back to my normal self and now I’m just waiting for my opportunity to do it on the field again to see if it all translates. I’ve been trying to do the freedom blog everyday but if i don’t get to i still do my usual daily tapping. Your the man doc! By the way, I referred you to some kid in New York that supposedly has the yips over the weekend. One of the catchers on the team said his buddy has the yips and wanted to know how I got over them so I gave him your name and told him your the best and to give him a call. Hope you had a great Easter!
Fighting for the cure,
My son the past 2 weeks has been spiking the ball in the dirt on his throws from 2nd base. Then the ball will sail to the left/right 10 feet in the air. It breaks my heart because he works hard and is a great kid. I have been trying the tough approach but just found your site. I am going to try the tapping tonight with him at home. Any suggestions? By the way he is 13 years old..
I am a sophomore in highschool and had the yips since freshman year when I tried out. I have tried not to think about it, and even struck conversation. Its so bad i can’t pitch anymore. There’s moment where i want to quit because i can’t get over it. Please help me out.
I am a sophomore in high school and play mostly center field, and i have not had any trouble throwing the ball up until this season. In the games, i can gun a guy out on a play at the plate, and hit the cut off man in a ball in the gap, but when it comes to just an ordinary base hit to me, it is a wreck. I cannot make the short throw back to the cut off man or to the second baseman, and anytime i have more than a second to think about my throw, i have no idea where it is going. I hardly enjoy fielding anymore because i dread the time a ball gets hit to me. Please help me.
You’re normal in my world. Make sure you fill out the form that comes to you when you put your email in to the right.
I really don’t have any quick tips for you other than keep going.
Having trouble throwing. I’m a Coach and I can’t even throw BP. Has gotten worse and worse-have no idea what to do-can’t seem to fix it-is it physical? mental? Just looking for help. I love to play Catch and I’m embarrassed to even try..
I used to be a catcher with a great arm. I was known as a solid defensive player with a great arm but now im in my senior year and I cant even throw back to the pitcher with out it being a lob or wild. I can throw fine when we warm up and at practice but once I step out on the field it is either inacurate or a lob that might not get there. I need help. I feel broken.
My heart goes out to you, man. It totally blows.
Here’s an email I got last night: Hey Dr. Tom how’s everything going? I’m just checking in and letting you know that everything is going great on this end. Haven’t had any problems since that first week and the season is about over and I can say it has been awesome to go out there and just take care of business with no other problems.
Thank You, [name]
And here’s one this morning: My throwing continues to go well, no serious problems since the last time we talked. If we could do a session next week that would be great so please let me know when you are free.
Track me down if you’d like to get to the other side of this.
I play high school baseball and it isn’t fun anymore. I used to start and now I’m on the bench. Everytime I go out there I get nervous. Whenever I throw close range, my throw is either to short or way over someone’s head. But when I make a hard, long throw, it is a perfect one It started in the beginning of the season and I haven’t played the same since. Please help.
I am a sophomore and a starting pitcher, I developed the yips this off season in the winter throwing in the gym. My problem is that I feel when I’m playing catch that Ill throw it too hard and the person im playing catch with will not be able to catch it or get hit. But that causes me to free up at the last second and the ball will go all over the place. The only was I can be acurate is if I chuck the ball as hard as I can. When I pitch it is never a problem, I can throw 86 and hit my spots fine. But if the ball is hit back at me and Im forced to throw to first, im screwed. I cant do it I think too much and it sucks. I feel like its something I can never get over and its embarrasing because im a division one baseball recruit who cant simpily throw the ball to a kid Im playing catch with or to first base. I need help.
Ugh. That blows, man.
Not a day goes by when I don’t talk to a guy whose guts are being ripped out by this thing.
I don’t have a magic wand but I do have a track record of getting this kind of email (came yesterday):
“Hey Doc. Just wanted to check in with you. I’m happy to say I’m 100% back and I have never been throwing this well in my life. I’m throwing bullets no matter where I am or who is watching anymore. I watch the videos once in awhile whenever I have time. Its exam time so I’ve been in the books lately but nevertheless, you got me throwing how I know how to throw again. I’m looking forward to having a killer summer and being the [DI conference] catcher of the year next year. Thanks again Doc! Your the man.”
I am a freshman in college and was a D1 catching prospect. Around 4 or 5 years ago I started to doubt every throw I had. Even throwing it back to the pitcher or throwing it down to 3rd base after a strikeout had me so worried that i would throw it in the dirt, or a lob ball that had everyone wondering if I had ever even played baseball. Playing varsity ball as a freshman in high school is when it really got bad I was eventually moved down to the JV team because of it, but from there I felt so confident I could throw the ball anywhere because I was not under as much pressure. After I regained confidence I went back to varsity and after one season i was on the all-state team. It only took one bad throw to start this whole process again though. My senior year the yips came back so bad I backed out of several D1 scholarships and took the year off. I know attend Central Michigan University and have been training to walk on the team next year. I know i have the ability to make the team, just the doubts I have towards my arm is what is keeping me from playing. If you can please help me regain the confidence I will need to have to make a D1 college team it would change my life!
I’m sure WE can do it — I can only do so much TO you, but when I team up with a person who is “all in” for getting it fixed results are fantastic.
COmplete the form I send you or just call me up to discuss.
Hi Dr I play baseball in Australia and am having problems with the yips it has been off and on for the last 3 years. One week I can pitch and dominate then a week later I can’t even get close to throwing strikes. As others have said it feels like your alone but after finding your site I have noticed it happens more than I thought and it is fixable which is good to hear
Hi Dr Tom,
I just heard you interviewed by Jennifer Ortner for The Tapping Summit and was amazed to hear you speak about some of the very issues I see my daughter experiencing. Your website seems to be all about baseball, but do you also work directly with female athletes? I think tapping can work for everyone, and it’s not really important what gender you are or sport you play, correct? Thanks for the inspiration!
Thank you — yes I work with women, they work the same way on this one!
I work with all sports and each and every gender…
Let me know if I can help.
Morning Dr. Tom,
This is the website I have been looking for every since my “throwing problem” occurred a long time ago. It all started when I started experiencing some shoulder problems. I was a catcher back then and when I went to throw the ball I hesitated because my pitcher looked away, next thing I know the ball is in the dirt and instead of shaking it off, I told myself I couldn’t throw anymore and started lobbing it in.. That went on for a little while until one day I said to my self “LOOK you can throw” and I did, very well up until college when the same thing happened, my pitcher looked away!! So I went into the outfield and did a great job. My problem only seemed to appear when I was behind the plate. Well a few years ago I was just playing regular catch and it happened again. Ever since then I cannot seem to shake the nervousness when I throw the ball, even just a basic catch and throw. It is very embarrassing and I just want it to go away. I have gotten a little better, I can play regular catch, but it seems as soon as I step between the white lines, a trigger goes off in my head and I change all my mechanics. I have over come this before but it seems to be getting harder to do as I get older. And I only play for FUN now!!! Help!
I have been experiencing difficulties throwing the ball in non-game situations. Playing catch and throwing in practice is killing me. I just don’t have the confidence to throw the ball. However, when I get into a game situation, i throw perfectly. I feel hopeless throwing the ball while playing catch and it is embarrassing to throw rainbows to the catcher at home plate when I am practicing at 1st base. When I play the outfield though, my throws are great. Is there anyway you can help me with my non-game situational throwing before I head off the college to play in the fall? Thanks
Hi Dr Tom
whenever i played basketball i get nervous, until the last period of playing. I’m afraid to lose my handling and i’m afraid to get error. please Dr Tom help me to cure my YIPS to perform better for the future games. THANKS
I am a college pitcher who had tommy john a year ago. Right before the surgery is when I had a really bad game throwing almost 70 pitches in one inning. Mentally I know its becaause I was injured. Before that I have pitched in so many tournements and have always preformed. Now I have a fear of not being able to throw the ball. When I pitch my arm just locks up and nothing seems to work. Can you help me out?
We have a daughter who loves the game of fastpitch softball. She is currently on a 10U travel team that will play at State and Nationals. She has great skills but lacks confidence and has a fear of getting hit by the ball. She is wiggling her way out of the batter’s box before the ball is pitched and backing out. When the coach pitches, she has no problems and can really hit the ball hard. She is getting frustrated and we are as parents too. Now some of the fear is heading into her fielding. She is worried the ball is going to bounce up and hit her.
Well that takes a lot of the fun out of it….
As I see it, something happened to her — got hit by a ball or saw someone get hit — and it is stuck in her system. Emotions ought to be felt and flushed. If they stick they clog up your system much the way traffic clogs a highway at 5:30pm.
My 201 program would be very good for her. It doesn’t try to talk or reason the fear out of her (you know how effective THAT is). Her body doesn’t speak English.
Need to know details as to cost, how we get it done etc. Thx Bill
I never had this problem til this year on a new team I am a junior in high school and know the importance of getting a scholarship but there is no way i can find a good one without being able to throw the ball 60 feet from second base turn double plays or even throw in between inning grounders i need help pronto playing is being lost and all I’m doing is thinking all day i get nervous just thinking about it. its not fun going anymore but more of a scared feeling
Thank you for writing — as you can see you aren’t a lone.
Be sure to fill out the form on the right/top to get the conversation going with me.
Hello Dr. Tom I am a highschool freshman catcher looking to earn a starting varsity position. I do well in most aspects of the game but just from the past couple weeks I have noticed that I am having a big problem throwing the ball back to the pitcher. I keep trying to tell myself to forget about it, but i always get nervous right before i let the ball go. Granted I probably make the throw sucessfully most of the time but I can never do it without getting nervous. It’s starting to affect my playing time and I am afraid it is going to get worse. Can I get any help to stop the yips from dominating my performance.
My daughter is a 12u pitcher for a travel softball team. Her change-up has been a dependable go to pitch for the past 2 seasons. This season, however, she is not able to throw it (the yips) seems to have moved away from her change up mechanics trying to aim and guide resulting in badly missed change-ups (I think several have had re-entry burns). Outside of guided imagery any and all advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Classic stuff — when something happens that doesn’t get flushed through our system it “clogs” the “neural highways” in our bodies, blocking access to a motor pattern (her “Change Up Highway” has an accident on it that needs clearing.
Options: Work 1-1 with me on it (call me: 813-968-8863)
My 201 program would be very good for her. It doesn’t try to talk or reason the fear out of her (you know how effective THAT is). Her body doesn’t speak English.
I was always a nervous player especially playing catch. If I was playing in a narrow area especially in the gym I locked up and would throw terribly especially if there was a judgmental person throwing to. Recently it gotten worse. I made one bad throw to first on a blocked strikeout and now I can not throw to the pitcher accurately. People are saying, “don’t make the pitcher work” and it is making it worse. I feel so mentally weak that it is taking over my body. Sitting here right now, I can not imagine how it feels to throw the ball right. I can not remember arm slot or release point. I feel helpless.
Tough place to be, man — I hear you. I’ve talked to 10 different players or parents of players in the past 3 days that sounded just like that.
Hey — A quick note to understand the yips. I’m now describing it this way:
We have a system of “neural highways” running through our bodies. One we’ll call the “throwing highway.” It’s 5 lanes wide.
Something happened to you — one thing or a chain of events, that is like an accident on the highway — blocking all or a few lanes.
You have to clear the blocked lanes to be able to throw.
A signal leaves your brain fine (I dont see the yips as being “in your head”) to “throw the ball to that guy.”
But then it runs into “traffic” and you get a messed up trip.
Working on “keeping your elbow up” etc. is like telling you to sit up straight and put your hands at 10 and 2 on the wheel. That’s nice advice but won’t help you get through traffic faster.
I also see the yips as you body trying to protect you from the embarrassment of making a bad throw… The only way to avoid making a bad throw is to not make a throw at all. So you sub-conscious is trying to get you to do that.
Hello Dr. Tom
I have trying to contact you for a little while.
I`m a professional soccer player and I`m very interested in working with you and “expanding my self image”.
What`s the best way of speaking to you? an e-mail address to start with maybe?
Hello Dr. Tom,
I am a college shortstop and often during the game, I cannot make routine throws over to first base. Most of the time, the ball is in the dirt or sailing over the first baseman’s head. However, when I warm-up before the game or have a routine catch with a friend, I have no issues throwing the ball. I really want to get rid of this before it gets too big of an issue.
Also, another thing, I know that you do 1 on 1 over the phone but the thing is that I am Deaf. We could use a relay service for our phone call. The only issue is that it would take too long as there is an operator that relays the message to the other end. Perhaps we could do some sort of instant messaging where we set up a time? Looking forward to hear back from you!
Hi: I’m sure we could work something out. Yes, we could do it via live texting. That would actually be pretty cool. Dr. Tom
Hi Dr. Tom
I am currently a fifth year senior in college and have been dealing with the yips since the summer going into my senior year of High School. I went on to play college ball but have gotten released from two programs because of it… But nonetheless i still feel an urge to play because i know i can compete with the best of them if this throwing issue wasnt in the way. I have tried everything… and honestly this is my last shot. anything you can do to help me get over this final hump and move on/begin my career and get back to playing a game i fell in love with at the age of 5.. id greatly appreciate it. i was wondering if there was a place i could contact you to speak.
I play baseball and am a pitcher at a NAIA school in Tennessee. I am going into my sophomore year of college, but around the summer of my junior year of high school i started experiencing problems. After spending several months off from the game due to having tendonitis in my elbow, 7 months i believe, i came back not having the same feel anymore. There could be a week where playing catch and hitting a guy in the chest was fine and normal, and then a few week span would come where i couldn’t hardly hit the mitt even if i was trying. So many people have tried to offer opinions on that you need to just “relax, or let the ball be loose and fly”, and is never any help at all,. I have found myself just wanting to get back to the loose, fun feeling of playing catch at a relaxed and confident level again and then being able to take that to the mound, and there still seems to be that block that i can’t overcome, even though no part of my arm is hurting within the throwing motion. Arm slot and release point are all not where they should be and i can’t seem to find the way to fix that. I have recently had several people mention to me the great possibility of this problem i’ve been battling for 2 years now as being a cause of the yips, and i’d like to get your opinion on it.
Yes, I’d call that the yips.
But a rose by any other name smells just as sweet. In other words, it doesn’t matter to me what you call it. If you could throw accurately before and now you can’t and you aren’t in PAIN when you throw you’re in the right place.
I work with players every day that meet that description and I call it the yips.
Most players find enormous relief just to read everything on this site because it means they aren’t freaks, and they aren’t a lone. Saltalamacchia had it and he ought to be on the AL All-star team this year.
Many others are in comparable positions now.
I don’t have a magic wand for it but I have become very good at fixing it.
The best thing is for us to talk over your options. Use the form at right to contact me or give me a call.
Hey there im a senior im high school and i have the yips. I can throw the ball to second perfectly fine and i have an above-average arm. I just cant throw the ball back to the pitcher…its ruining the game that i love please help
Dear Dr. Tom
I am a 14 year old catcher. I am going into my Freshman year into High school. About 4 months ago I got the Yips. I can’t throw the ball back to the pitcher unless I throw it as hard as i can. I also cannot throw the ball while warming up or to first base without throwing it my hardest. Generally the Yips take over when i have to think about what i am about to do. While on my old travel ball team i was the only catcher so i had to play around 5 games a weekend. My coaches would just yell at me and some of my teammates would just make fun of me. With both of those happening to me it only got worse! Do you have any ideas on how to fix this? If so I would greatly appreciate it.
I am currently a freshman in college. I first starting having problems when I was a junior in high school. We were playing catch in the gym and our coach said no drops and from that point on I started aiming the ball to my partner. The next week I could not play catch comfortably and had trouble throwing the ball around the infield. I keep spiking the ball into the ground or throwing it over my partners head. I would think of the release point and not letting it fly. This lasted about a week of not being able to throw. I just gutted it out and haven’t had a problem since now in college. I am expected to do good things for my team and am just afraid to play catch with a new teammate. Please help me get over this.
I play softball in Massachusetts and I have been experiencing a mental block when it comes to throwing the ball accurately. It is the shorter throws that really bother me, when I am just warming up I am so nervous that I will overthrow the ball that I do and cannot throw accurately. Even before practice or a game I get nervous about throwing. I am terrified of warming up and throwing. If my coach put me in I wouldn’t be excited that I was getting playing time but rather I would think why is my coach putting me in if I can’t throw the ball accurately. Before I loved softball and I wanted playing time so badly, but the throwing problem has really affected my confidence. I would even go in my dorm practicing my mechanics in a mirror to make sure they were right but nothing would work. People talking to me would just make me more upset and frazzled. I just felt like no one understood my situation that I could not help the fact that I could not throw accurately anymore. Would you be able to help me? I would appreciate it so much.
I am a PGA Golf Professional with a 20+ year case of the yips. Obviously, I’m hoping you can help! For some reason my system will not allow me to e-mail you, so please forward your contact information so I can contact you directly.
Dear Dr. Tom
My name is John and I’m sixteen turning seventeen in a few weeks and I live in New Jersey. I have been playing an training in baseball since I was three. I have played third base my whole life and I am a great baseball player ( Now playing two years up on a elite wood bat showcase team / an being scouted by several collages ), but in the resent two years I have been coming down with more what I call “Nerve Fooopas”. I have had them before when I was younger but I would get rid of them using techniques like clearing my mind by listening to music, chewing gum, wearing a magnetic bracelet, changing my throwing technique/approach. But since last fall session I cant get rid of them no matter how hard I try. I just end up doing good in practice but when it comes to games it kicks in. It leaves me angry, frustrated, an miserable affecting the rest of my game/life (from my great power hitting, missing time with my girlfriend, to fearing I might loose my potential collage scholarships.). It is Embarrassing because my family is known for great baseball quality such as me an my brother, and my father is a full time baseball trainer and coach that has been approached by the Mets, Yankees , an other organizations to become a trainer/scout. I never knew that this had a name or that even other people get this until a collage coach that I am friends an train with referred me to you and said I have “Chuck Knoblauch Syndrome”. My throws tent to be short or too long ( high sailors) on routine plays at third even though I make these plays every day spot on 24/7. I have tried to fix my self out of this long slump recently by getting hypnotized , relaxing by dipping tobacco, and countless past quirks that have helped me in the past. I need to get rid of this my future depends on it, please help me if you can.
Hey Doc. I’m a senior in high school and have had a lot of success off the mound. So much, in fact, that I’m going to Oregon to pitch for college. Pitching off the mound I have no problem with, but off the mound is a different story. I have a mental collapse everytime I have to throw a baseball off the mound, such as warming up, picking over to a base, throwing out a bunting hitter, just to name a few. I find it so weird that I can pitch fine but I can’t do anything else. I used to play 3B as well but I lost all confidence in my throwing from there that now I just pitch and DH. I need help fast because I embarrass myself more and more each day. I have had this problem that past couple years and I need this fixed ASAP and I hope you can help me.
I’m currently in college with dreams and aspirations of one day playing professional I encountered the yips my senior year in high school and have had them for 4 years just can’t seem to let go of it tried various ways and nothing I have a good arm but when I have to lob the ball to the pitcher it doesn’t feel so so good I work hard to perfect my craft but this is something that’s all ways been a problem Please if you can help me get to were i need to be. I appreciate it
I’m currently in college with dreams and aspirations of one day playing professional I encountered the yips my senior year in high school and have had them for 4 years just can’t seem to let go of it tried various ways and nothing I have a good arm but when I have to lob the ball to the pitcher it doesn’t feel so so good I work hard to perfect my craft but this is something that’s all ways been a problem Please if you can help me
Dear, Dr. Tom Hanson
im a catcher, im a freshman in college and I’ve been suffering with the yips for a while. I’ve talked to a lot of people about and nothing seems to help. i get really tense when i have to throw while people are watching or under pressure. i would love to have your help
Bottom line Doc., what the cost?
I am a college catcher, and my yips has gotten worse since high school. They are starting to hinder every part of my game. I try not to think about them , but they are always popping up in my head. Would love to hear your suggestions for this . Thanks
Hey Dr. Tom, i am currently playingbaseball at sierra college. I have had the yips on and off since sophmore year in highschool. I am a catcher an throwing the ball in any sort of short distance isore than a challenge. I have an extreme pause where in my mind i am trying to convince myself to let go of the baseball but cant seem to do it. Recently the yips have hit me very hard, i have been pulled out of two games and humiliated. I feel as though there is no way to solve this problem. I have seen a therapist and he didnt help. I have done as much research myslef buying several books and making my major psychology to self-solve the problem… Nothing helps. Please let me know if you think you cam help, i am desperate for any kid of guidence on this thing. Everyone i talked to says the same thing, “i dont know, ive never seen it before.” its tuinin baseball for me and the sight of someone else throwing a baseball fluently makes me sick. Thank you for your time.
. I am a catcher at xxxx. I use to have one of the best throw downs in the area and now I can’t even throw it to the pitcher in a game. During practice I can throw but when it comes to the game I can hardly make it to the pitcher…. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world I feel like if I can’t fix this I need to hang up my cleats, and that’s the last thing I want to do. Please please help me!
Last summer, my coach tried to teach me how to throw a slider. When I tried to return to a fastball, I couldn’t do it. It’s been a year and I still can’t throw. I have a hitch and I drop my elbow every time I throw an cannot seem to fix it. I practice seven days a week and have tried everything I can think of, and nothing can fix my hitch.
My name is Chris and I have been a catcher my whole life. I am currently 20 years old and am playing at the collegiate level. I’ve had a few professional looks
But one thing that is held me bak is throwing back to the pitcher. It first started my sophomore year of high school when a coach who stood behind the pitchers while throwing bullpens was afraid of the ball
I missed a throw and almost hit him one time, after that that’s when It started because he would flinch and move almost every throw and soon after that I was bouncing the ball back to the mound an couldn’t hit the pitcher in the chest or anywhere near it. I soon conquered that and went on to have 3 successful years batting over .500 for all 3. Then last year out of the blue for no reason it struck me again. I was given a scholarship to a school in Oregon and where we threw bullpens was very cloister phobic and tight
I found myself having the same problem of hitting the guy in the chest, it went away for a month. then I was playing in Florida for the summer where it came back worse than ever, I couldn’t play catch I could even hit my target from close or far distances and now it has me questioning my career. It feels as if i hold the ball too long and throw it right into the ground. I love baseball and want to make it to the next level. Can you please help me?
Please Dr Tom let me know how can we help my son. 13yo lefty pitcher with great potential playing on travel ball and high school feeding team… for the last 3 weeks started one day cannot throw the baseball when playing catch at all, however, still pitching really well, so I wander if it is early enough to help him and avoid it happens while pitching… please let me know .thanks
General comments and questions: My son just turned 9. This summer at age 8 I noticed that he would throw like a champ with me, but team practice and games would be different – especially team practices for some reason. Perhpas the “amped up nature of the game drove the problem away somewhat” Talking to other dads and some say they have the same experiece. I think this is probably just a confidence thing – they “shrink” when on the field in front of others and will lob the ball for fear of throwing it away. Plus, to throw from 3rd to 1st (many just can’t yet) they have to throw as hard as they can which isn’t a place of confidence regarding control. I’m hoping this is something that works itself out as they get a little stronger and the “shrinking” thing is indeed a common thing that can work itself out. I’ve already watched your ABCs DVD in search of some explanation of what is going on. 8 and 9 seems too young for severe mental blocks – guess it could happen, but would think it’s just confidence and still learning and growing into your body.
Also, the YIPS – never heard that term before, but have heard of the problem, reminds me of stuttering from what I’ve heard about it. Maybe there are parallels and things that can be learned about cures for stuttering – which there are.
I have tried to manuever through this website to request information but it is very confusing and I’m not sure it went through.
Matt: go to http://www.HansonCalendar.com for next steps. Dr. Tom
my name is Dominic. Im 19 and have been playing baseball since i was 6 untilni quit when i was 17 due to yips. All my life ive been a hard throwing lefty pitcher, ive traveled with many teams and have played in many tournaments. Growing up i was always feared by other players n the mound and at the plate. I never had a problem throwing and it was never even a thought in my mind that i would have this problem. During my junior year in HS during tryouts, it was time to warm up so i grbbed my buddy and thought nothing of it then grabbing a ball and playing catch. When i threw the ball it hit the ground, very confused i thought i must have held it to long next throw floor. It was very embarassing because being that i was a hard throwing lefty i had so much to live upmto and prove myself. Even though i still made the team after my yips subsided for a little while that following year during varsity tryouts i couldnt even throw every throw was either too high or low and i ended up not making the team and a potential chance at getting a scholarship. I didnt even bother trying out for college baseball because of this, didnt even wanna play wiffleball nor have a catch with my brothers. I was way to embarrased. Im 19 and dieing to play baseball its my life. Im a lefty with a cannon for an arm but having yipsmtheres nothing i can do about it to show the coachs what ive got. My dad is dissappointed that i gave up on baseball. I always told him that im not into it anymore when really i am dieing to play. Before my time passes up and my arm goes to waste please for the sake of god help me i cant break free of this demon.
Dear Dr. Hanson,
Everything you describe on your video and website is exactly what I go through. I’m one of the most talented pitchers on my college team but the fact that I struggle playing catch from 40 feet away and struggle making routine throws to first and second base kills me. I dread practice everyday. As a pitcher I often struggle throwing warm up pitches before an outing and these ugly warm up pitches lead to disaster when a batter steps into the box. Throwing to my partner in open space or throwing with other people standing behind him drives me crazy as all I can think about is an overthrow that goes wild. Appreciate anything you can do.
I don’t play baseball on a college or professional level. I just play softball in a fun league with my dad and our friends. But I’ve stopped showing up a lot of the time because I can no longer throw the ball.
My release point is so late I end up throwing it at the ground and on the side of my target. It’s like my hand doesn’t want to let go. It’s to the point where I cannot even imagine the mechanics of getting the ball into the glove. Throwing from the outfield is usually fine. I usually mask the shorter throws by compensating and throwing sidearm/submarine.
I want to be able to have a catch with my kids when the time comes. This game is important to me and I want to be comfortable playing it!
Dear Dr. Tom,
I am a freshman catcher, and I just made my high school team. I was really happy. But, on our first practice, i could not throw back to the pitcher for my life. It’s funny actually, I’m able to make the 120 ft throw l, accurate, with a 2.0 poptime, but i can’t make the simple 60 ft 6 inch throw. It’s a lot like the catcher from Major League 2. So please help me, and reply. Thank you!
Dear Dr. Tom Hanson
My name is mark fogle and I have always been an all star baseball player a couple of months ago I got the yips and well when I throw the ball back to the pitcher it’s usually a poorly thrown lob (I’m a middle infielder ) and also when I get a ground ball hit to me I can’t even make a good throw to the first basemen please help!!!
I really need some help. I’m a sophomore in high school, I play baseball and I’m on varsity. As stupid as it sounds I can’t throw it back to the pitcher. There is about 15 scouts at every game and I think I’m just nervous or something. Please help!!!!
Dear Dr. Tom,
I am currently a junior in high school and about to start my season. I have been struggling off and on with the yips. I was moved from shortstop to second base as a sophomore and I am having lots of trouble making accurate throws to first. It wasn’t bad at first but now even playing catch is a struggle. I have no feel for making any throws anymore and I just hope every throw is a good one. I need to solve this problem as soon as possible because the season is about to start. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Looking for info to help my 17 year old daughter
Hey Dr. Tom,
I Recently emailed you, and I need your help ASAP. I am a junior in high school and im primarily a pitcher. I fractured my wrist last season and havent been able to get my throw back to normal yet. I can throw pretty much fine on my own but with other people I get nervous and I cannot throw properly. Please let me know what i Can do and how you can help! Please i Need this ASAP. COntact me at
Lately when I warm up I just can’t throw. High low everywhere. Once I’m good and warm and throwing hard I am fine but until then it’s a total embarrassment.
Dear Dr. Tom,
I am a sophomore at a very competitive baseball high school. During my freshman year, I started to make bad throws. No matter what anyone said to me, it never could help. I worked with my dad and would make throw after throw trying to get rid of the problem. A game that used to be so much fun and something that got my mind off of things has become painful to play. I feel scared to throw the ball and it doesn’t help when people say “does your arm hurt” or “he has/had the yips or the throwing problem”. Once being a confident shortstop who could make any play on the field, I’m sometimes now scared to have a catch. My hands get clammy, my legs feel weak, my heart starts to pound, and it usually ends with a ball that I throw really high or terribly low. The problem went away fora short time but now I’m scared it is coming back when I should be a starter on varsity this year. If you could help me I would really appreciate it.
I have had the yips for a while now it started off I couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher then it spread to where I couldn’t throw the ball around the horn with out being very nervous and now I am having trouble throwing the ball to first base from third base.
My name is Chris and I am a pitcher at a D1 school. I am a sophomore and I enjoyed a successful freshman year. However, I missed the entire fall season with a strained UCL. When I came back from the injury I began throwing bullpens and was throwing pitches that literally weren’t within 5 feet of the target. I dealt with a few bullpens like that but have since improved a little (now I can throw catchable pitches) but am still struggling to throw strikes. It’s strange because I’m perfectly accurate with my change up and curveball but not fastball. So far this season I’ve thrown 0.2 innings in 3 appearances 3 walks, 3 HBP and 6ER after only allowing 9 walks in 27 innings last year. I honestly sometimes hope that the coach doesn’t put me in and have thought about just not playing anymore. I even have had trouble sleeping over it and it has gotten to the point where 30-70 foot throws are a challenge and I have to short arm them. I spend a lot of time trying to fix mechanics or “just relax” but nothing has worked.
I have played softball since I was 4 years old. I have been the starting pitcher at my high school for the past 2 years. I also play travel softball all summer at the highest level in my state. I pitch fine but when ever it comes to something as simple a ground ball being hit back to me and I have to throw it to first, I throw it away more than I don’t. Please help me. I don’t know what to do. I love softball and I want to play at the highest level possible, but this is holding me back. This has me scared to play and makes me hate the game. Please help.
Hi i am BJ Tieben, I am a junior college catcher, and i have a problem with throwing the ball back to the pitcher. I can throw the ball perfect to all of the bases but i can not get it back to the pitcher. This all started during our first game this year. I could throw it fine during the fall season and in spring practice but now that we have started playing games, i am nervous when i have to throw the ball back to the pitcher, i keep thinking to myself “dont mess up”. I won the starting catchers postition and now that i have been named the starter i am afraid of throwing the ball bad back to the pitcher. I need help, please help me get over this so i am not scared anymore.
I’m a catcher in baseball, and have all of a sudden had a struggle throwing. I either spike the ball or throw it completely inaccurate. Throwing hard and distance was fine until today where I couldn’t even get within 5 feet of my target. I have the symptoms of the yips, and pretty sure that’s what it is. I got asked to catch a level up for school ball, but I had the symptoms of the yips before that. I think it’s making it worse. Could really use some help if you’re able to.
I am a sophomore in high school and i am a catcher. I have been playing softball basically all my life. I have never had a throwing problem until I made the JV A team this year. Since the beginning of the season, all I’ve been doing is telling myself that I have to make the “perfect throw” and that I “better not over throw the pitcher.” I don’t have a problem with long throws, but I can’t seem to make the typical throw back to the pitcher or to the first basemen when I’m playing in the field. In the past week alone I’ve thrown at least 15 balls in the dirt and at least 10 over the head of the pitcher. It’s been happening so much that I was seriously consider quitting, but I love playing too much to stop. My throwing yips make me dread going to practice everyday, and especially games. Because of my yips, I lost out on the starting spot this season. I would really appreciate it if you could help me. I really want to become a confident and consistent player and stop letting everyone, including myself, down.
Im 15 years old and i play on my freshman baseball team. I had the yips last spring and it was really bad. I fixed it in the summer without really doing anything and now its back. I was able to go trough thefirst few days of tryouts pefectly fine and then it kicked in again. We were taking infield and and i was playing first base then all of a sudden i couldnt throw the ball back into the catcher again for the coach to hit. It would either bounce in the dirt or sail over his head and i felt like i had no control over my throw and it was coming off of my hand wierd. When i throw at home with my dad i make a few bad throws at first and then it becomes secons nature again. When i play catch while im on the bench i start off shaky and then it feels like normal again. But then when were warming up As a team and playing catch i look like a complete idiot and the ball is sailing left and right and i almost hit another player. I have researched your tapping method but i havent used it yet. The yips has gotten to the point where i sometimes want to quit and i lost my starting job at first because i couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher after an out or a pickoff attempt. I lost my starting job and now i sometimes DH. Please help.
13 year old son has yips, can’t get over it, it’s breaking my heart to see him go through this. He plays big otherwise, great SS, great bat. Throws great pens, but once a batter steps in the box, it all goes to hell. Please tell me you can help him.
Absolutely. I’m on a roll right now — constantly getting better at getting players back into action. Start by entering your email to the right if you haven’t already…
Allen: go to http://www.HansonCalendar.com for next steps. Dr. Tom
Mail (will not be published) (required)