How to Cure the Yips: Baseball Throwing Problem Explained

Hey —

Notice the elephant statue behind me in this video? Ganesh is the ancient god of “removal of obstacles.”

That is what my work is dedicated to: Removing obstacles inside people (myself included!)


Baseball Yips Cure

The best way to understand a baseball yips cure is to understand how you got the yips in the first place. Here is my understanding right now…

When we have any experience, our mind records it and it incorporates it into our belief system. It sort of bundles that experience with other past experiences to create a new belief and then anytime we come across that situation again, our mind accesses that belief to give it information about how it should respond to that event.

For example, you have an experience of walking into a house and the house stands up and you are perfectly safe. So, your mind records that and the next time you walk into a house that looks similar to the one you’ve been in before you tend to trust that it will stay up and not fall down on you because that was your experience with the previous house.

Now, with throwing, you’ve probably had some experience or a set of experiences that did not go well; perhaps you overthrew a pitcher and the coach yelled at you or you threw a ball too easily and your father yelled at you or you were just somehow embarrassed.

Now, your mind records that and it creates a new belief that throwing is dangerous.

And if you think throwing is dangerous, the next time you go to throw a ball, your mind links to these past memories and tells you “throwing is dangerous. It went badly that time.”

So, this ultimately kicks in and makes the fight or flight or freeze response and you make another bad throw. Then, next time you go to make a throw your mind says “okay now I have several bad experiences throwing, so, throwing really is dangerous” and so it creates this muscular tension and you make another bad throw and the pattern continues.

Something that used to be easy now becomes hard because your mind is focused on these past memories of having trouble in throwing.

So, the key to the baseball yips cure is to change these memories and make it so that when your mind thinks of throwing it only thinks of positive experiences, the way it used to. That’s easier said than done, but, hopefully now you have a little better understanding of how you would get the yips, and so, the baseball yips cure becomes more easily understood.

How to Get Over the Yips in Baseball?

The key to getting over the yips in baseball is to change the memories that your subconscious mind has currently associated with throwing. See my baseball yips cure for an explanation of how you get the yips and what I think is happening in your body when you have the yips.

The key to getting over the yips is to change the memories your mind has associated with throwing. Now, how do you do that? I use an approach that acts like scratching the back of a CD or a DVD such that that disc is no longer able to play that CD.

Here’s the funny thing, there is nothing wrong with you if you have the yips, you are most likely functioning fine in all other areas of your life. And given the memories that your mind is using to form its beliefs about throwing, it makes perfect sense that your body is responding with the tension and fear that it is.

The key to the yips cure is to change the memories that your mind is using to form the beliefs that you have about throwing.

So, you go back and systematically change the memories that you have about throwing. And you do that by making a list of your worst throwing events and experiences and one by one you go back and scratch those out so that the memories change.

You might say, “Well, but I really did make bad throws.” Yes, but you really are not doing that right now, you are not making bad throws right now. So, it is something you are just making up in your mind and that is something you can change, and doing so is the key to getting over the yips in baseball.

Having Trouble Throwing the Ball Back to the Pitcher

If you are having trouble throwing the ball back to the pitcher, you probably have the baseball yips or the throwing yips or the thing or the Chuck Knoblauch problem or the Rick Ankiel problem or whatever you want to call it; it’s a phobia.

I think of it as a phobia: you have a fear, an irrational fear of making the throw back to the pitcher. In my experience, which I gathered by working with hundreds of people who were having trouble throwing the ball back to the pitcher, it’s that something had happened, you had some bad experience with it.

Much like I had with a small dog once. The dog was really cute and I bent down to pat it and it bit my finger. What do you think happened the next time I saw a different small, but, similar dog?

As you would expect my body reacted with some fear and hesitation, “but that’s only a small dog” you might say, but my body remembered the bad experience that I had and there’s a good chance that you had a similar bad experience throwing the ball back to the pitcher, and now your body thinks of that when you go to throw the ball back to the pitcher.

So, then you have another bad experience throwing the ball back to the pitcher and another and another and another, all piling up on each other like a train rack; that is your recipe for the baseball yips. That’s how you get to have trouble throwing the ball back to the pitcher.

The key to making the change back to you being confident is to actually go into your unconscious mind and change the way your mind remembers those memories. Very much like scratching the back of a CD so that it no longer can play. This approach works for all problems, not just the yips. The yips are not some special problems that are unlike any other and like any other it can be solved.

Why Do I Keep Throwing the Baseball into the Ground?

The reason that you’re throwing the ball into the ground is that your fingers are holding on to the ball too long.

Now, I don’t mean to make fun of you, I am just stating the fact. You throw the ball into the ground because you are holding on to the ball too long.

The question is “Why am I holding on to the ball too long?” “Why do my fingers grip the ball as if holding on to a ledge that if I let go I will fall to my death?”

The reason is that your unconscious mind sees a threat in throwing the baseball, as in something bad could happen.

The mammalian part of our brain is part wired to have us mammals be in a group. When we are in a group or tribe, we are better able to get food because we hunt and gather better in groups. We are also better able to reproduce as it is very hard to make a baby all by yourself and it is simply more enjoyable and less boring to be with others.

That’s why our mammalian brain, one of the three parts to our brain, is so focused on having other people like us and approve of us. This is why we are so wanting to avoid looking bad in front of others.

Fear is the reason you are holding on to the ball too long.

Fear of doing something embarrassing that would get you kicked out of the tribe which for your brain is a death sentence. Why would you think that making a bad throw would get you kicked out of the tribe and sentence you to death? Because you had some bad experience before with it, somehow your brain started to perceive that if you make a mistake you will be kicked out of the tribe.

You made some bad throws, somebody said something or you just had some thought that goes bore straight down into the unconscious part of your mind that making a mistake is akin to death, and so it kicks in the fight or flight response in your body. So you freeze and try not to be seen.

As we saw in the movie Jurassic Park, Dinosaurs really see only things that are moving and so it was safest to not move. That worked against a T-Rex, but when you are catching or pitching, freezing up does not make you invisible. But, our minds don’t really get that at the unconscious level.

The reptilian part of our brain is in charge, not your cortex; your cortex and your coach’s cortex are telling you to just relax and have fun, as you’ve done it a million times.

But, in order to change this habit you have of holding on to the ball too long, you have to be able to speak lizard and very few coaches or parents or friends that you have speak lizard.

I happen to speak lizard and can help you communicate with that part of your brain to make it change the way it thinks about throwing. That is what needs to happen in order for you to stop holding on to the ball too long and throwing the baseball into the ground.

Sports Psychology: Throwing a Baseball

Throwing a baseball may seem like a simple thing but it is extraordinarily complicated; we are not able to create machines that replicate what happens when a human throws a ball and make the adjustments that a human makes when he or she throws a ball.

Several years ago I saw an exhibit at a local museum called “the body.” It featured a bunch of former homeless Chinese men who had died and been dissected with their innards displayed for a close-up view.

I was awestruck at the complexity of the systems involved, the respiratory system; you have to be able to breathe through, was extraordinarily complicated. The muscular system was extraordinarily complicated, the neurological system was extraordinarily complicated, and the brain was extraordinarily complicated.

All of those things have to work together in order for you to throw a baseball.

If the mind gets the idea that throwing a baseball is a dangerous thing, that something bad could happen if you throw it, the fear would block you from having all these different systems function well together. So, the extreme case of this is the yips.

A mild case of it is simply choking. Most of us choke in most of our performances to some degree. There is some kind of interference holding us back.

The key to successful coordination with all these systems is for the mind to perceive that you are safe. Safety is the mind’s number one priority, not throwing.

The key to throwing a baseball successfully and having all these different systems coordinate well together is to think that throwing is safe.

That means it is okay to make a mistake.

The key to throwing a baseball and overcoming the problems, throwing a baseball is for you to feel really good about yourself, to love yourself, and feel extremely secure in who you are in the world regardless of how you throw, regardless of where this ball goes; you just need to throw it with total joy and freedom.

When you don’t throw with joy and freedom, you’re choking or you have the yips, you have some reason in your mind that your brain thinks it’s not okay to make a mistake. Fixing that is often easier said than done, if you’d like to explore that further, visit “”

The Yips, Slumps, and Hot Streaks Explained (My best ever explanation)

Here’s today’s explanation of what’s going on with you if you have the yips. Could be baseball yips, throwing yips, golf yips, putting yips, chipping yips, tennis yips — any kind of yips.

I think it may be my best explanation yet.

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