Old 11-10-2019, 07:19 PM
fasteddy8170 fasteddy8170 is offline
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Default My cure for the yips

First, if you don't know what the yips are, please look them up. I'm not going to explain them here.

Bio: 49 years old now, left hand back hand player almost exclusively--almost never backhand. Max distance: 360ft. Had never heard of disc golf until I was 40. Started playing disc golf in tournaments in 2012.

In this forum a few years ago, I posted how I had developed the yips and was having a heck of a time overcoming them. I was playing well. My rating was continuing to go up. I thought by the end of 2015, I'd be like a 930 rated player--something like that. Then, in a flash, during a throw at the tournament in Daytona in July 2015, it all changed. In one throw, I lost all my confidence and put me down a very dark road.

I couldn't get that bad throw out of my head. I shanked it right--which would be an early release for me. From there, I developed a condition where I was afraid I was going to throw too far left--yes, the opposite of the bad throw. The yips are weird like that. It got so bad in the following tournaments that I would throw almost directly--like 90 degrees left. Once again, I throw lefthand back hand. In fact, in a tourney in 2017 I threw backwards--back and to the left. Yes, really.

Since 2015, I must've dropped out of 7 or 8 tournaments after the first rd because my scores were so bad. I was losing discs. I was causing my group to play slow. I would get on the tee and my hand felt like it was glued to the disc. It felt like no matter how hard I threw it, the disc wouldn't leave my hand.

I stopped playing for six months. Didn't work. Spoke to a sports psychologist. Didn't work. Tried throwing forehand for a while. Didn't work. Read Golf Isn't A Game of Perfect. Didn't work. And it got so bad that I would start getting these feelings even when I was out on a course by myself with no one around. And I'd start spraying shots all over the place. The funny part? My putting was as good as ever. But driving and upshots? Horrible--the worst you've ever seen.

And as recently as August 2019, I dropped out of a tourney because I shot 7 down in practice. But on the same course, the next day, I shot 14 over. And these weren't nerves--it was fear.

And over the last 4 years, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was afraid I would throw directly left, and it would happen.

Well, back in June, before the August tourney, I got a lacrosse net as part of a plan to continue to beat the yips. I set the lacrosse net up on the balcony of my apartment and I started throwing into it. And I set it up where if I yipped like I did on the course, the disc would fly out off the balcony and maybe strike someone. Yes. Why did I do that? I was trying to induce nerves during these throwing sessions.

And it worked. I would get very nervous thinking about throwing, as much as I would get during a tournament. And yes, I did manage to throw one disc off the balcony--a direct 90 degree throw to the left that went about 300ft. Also when I tried to throw when I was nervous, I would let the disc go early and it would barely hit the net on the right side. I would videotape myself when I had the nerves and watch the replay. Etc. Etc. Etc.

But, as I said, it didn't quite work as planned because two months later in August I dropped out of that tournament because I had no confidence on the tee and the discs were flying everywhere.

Then, something changed. Some time between Labor Day weekend and the middle of September I "found" something. And it was the strangest thing and this is the honest to God/god/gawd/your belief system truth.

I had driven to PA to see my dad and he lives near Moraine State Park where Worlds were played. I've played the course many times and I've always played it well--even with the yips. I shoot like 5 or 6 over from the longs. Well, I played it. And did well.

And right around the same time, I was watching the Tom Cruise film, Jack Reacher. The first one--the good one. Not the second bad one. Well, there's a scene where the bad guy is talking to his underling and he says something about keeping his eye on the target, and it had to do with shooting.

Well, I'm a gun owner. I go to the range. And I'm a pretty good shot. And that line from that guy in that movie just kind of made a light bulb come on. I was like, "That's right. When I shoot, I concentrate on the target. Not on my form or anything else. What if I try that on the disc golf course?"

So, the next time I went out to play, I concentrated on the target. I know it seems a little too simple. But I had gotten SO caught up in figuring out the mechanics of the yip--what my body was doing, my arm was doing, trying to control all these different body parts while throwing--that I forgot that the problem is not with any them, it's with my mind. Yes, the disc can only go directly left because of something my body is doing. BUT, it's only doing that because my mind is telling it to.

So, I start throwing and concentrating on the target while throwing into the net. That's it. And when I went into my backswing, and my head would turn away, I would imagine that target going into my left ear. I don't care about my body--it can do whatever it wants. I just imagine the ear going toward the target and the target going into my ear. I concentrate on the target so much that I don't even feel the disc--not when it's in my hand and not when it leaves it.

And it's gotten to the point now that when I have a bad throw, I can automatically diagnose the issue. I can automatically remember: Yep, I lost the visualization of the target--it didn't go into my ear. I lost concentration for a split second--I gotta concentrate on the target harder. I don't automatically think: Oh, it's my arm or my feet or the disc. Nothing.

What's this all mean? Back in September, I shot under par in a tournament for the first time in 2 1/2 years. Yes, really. That long. And it was from the long tees although the course isn't THAT long. That's probably like . . . 20 tournament rounds between under-par rounds.

And since then, in 3 tournaments, I've finished ahead of many 920 and 930 rated players despite my rating being 867 right now. This weekend I played and we had a hole that was arrow straight. The fairway is about 10 feet wide. Water on left. Thick trees on right. The whole way on each side. I went 3, 4, 3 on it over 3 rds. Something I never could've done over the last 4 1/2 years. And it's all due to just concentrating on where I want to throw the disc and thinking about nothing else.

Do I still feel the yips? I do. But, I counter that feeling with a visualization of the target.

My recommendations if you're going through or ever do go through what I've explained in this post. If you think you have the yips:

1. Forget your form. Forget style. In fact, stop watching "throwing form" videos. Your problem is not your form.
2. Do not do throw motions with a disc in your hand in your home or anywhere else where the disc remains in your hand through out the whole motion. Either throw the disc or don't practice your motion at all--with the proper mental picture.
2. Think about your target and nothing else to the point that your mind feels like it's in another world. When the disc leaves, it should feel like the target is right between your ears.
3. In practice, induce stressful situations by positioning yourself so that if you yip, you lose your disc. Penalizing yourself with push-ups or whatever else is NOT stressful enough. Trust me, I tried that.
4. When not playing, think about your game in terms of accuracy, not distance. And practice fixating on a point, turning away, and keeping that picture in your head without visualizing anything else.

The thing about the yips. Once you have them, and beat them, they can always come back. So this is going to be an ongoing process of continued maintenance of your mental game. But this is what worked for me.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:41 PM
fasteddy8170 fasteddy8170 is offline
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Does this help?

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Old 11-10-2019, 07:55 PM
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Cranky Cranky is offline
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Thanks for the story. What a nightmare, I’m glad you got through it and know better how to handle the situation in the future.
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:03 PM
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Golden Tuna Golden Tuna is offline
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I like to read...
...I'm not reading all that.

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Old 11-10-2019, 08:09 PM
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Broken Shoulder Broken Shoulder is offline
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Kudos for not giving up and finding a solution.
Though they still lurk, it must be a great relief.
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:18 PM
DiscFifty DiscFifty is offline
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Some people (myself included) greatly was over thinking during competitive play which caused yips like symptoms. Now days, on the tee/approach, etc, limited time to think about it and just throw. Once it's in the air, forget about it and move on.
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:33 PM
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Cgkdisc Cgkdisc is offline
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More problems with random yanks as we get older.
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:41 PM
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wolfmandragon wolfmandragon is online now
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Originally Posted by Cgkdisc View Post
More problems with random yanks as we get older.
Go back home you D,,,,,

Oh, sorry, wrong type of yank

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Old 11-10-2019, 10:10 PM
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lines lines is offline
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With as much as you typed its no wonder you can't get out of your own head to throw a disc straight.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:44 PM
John Rock John Rock is offline
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Got to give you credit for realizing the problem and fixing it. Better than those who just cry and give up, saying " It can't be me, it has to be all of the haters who just bully me and won't give me hugs!"

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