Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Yips

Dr. Anthony Luke, our blog's sports specialist, has been helping out with some of your sports related questions.

A golfer asks: When the pressure is on I seem to tense up and “choke”. People tell me I have the “yips”. What are these? Please help.

Dr. Luke responds: As you know, putting requires extreme precision. Perfect motor control leads to the perfect putt. Control of movement requires a combination of neural input, proper posture and visual-motor coordination. “Proprioception” allows a person to sense one’s body parts in space which makes balance and complex movements in sports possible. Unfortunately, anxiety can cause one’s sport ability to decrease temporarily. Everyone can get nervous in a pressure packed situation. Practicing one’s sport both physically and mentally can help develop confidence so that even at crunch time the game-winning putt becomes routine. This mental ability to handle stress and perform under pressure is often what makes someone a champion.

The “yips” is something different. “Yips” refer to a dystonia, which is an abnormal involuntary movement that involves the nervous system. This involves an abnormal motor pattern that develops whenever a certain situation occurs. Because of the problematic movement pattern, when you want to do something, your body does something else. This can certainly be a problem if every time you want to putt straight you putt left. In these cases, the brain needs to be retrained to perform the proper movement pattern. Though rare, a dystonia can be extremely difficult to treat and unlearn a bad habit. A neurologist with experience in abnormal movement behaviors may be a great assistance.

Photo: courtesy of jupiterimages.

5 comments:

مهدی ذوالفقار کرهرودی said...

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سلام،خسته نباشید، از شما دعوت می کنم برای خواندن مطالبی که به صورت غیر تخصصی درباره اسکیزوفرنی نوشتم به بلاگم بیایید، متشکرم
www.mahdizk.com

mohd siraj ali said...

good r u from?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Luke

Can you recommend any books or other resources to help with the psychological component of competition or to help with the choking.

sam said...

Thanks for all the info. More people need to be made aware of this GOOD information.Im so glad I found this post!

Interesting!! tHANKS !!

Ornamental Tree
Honeybees

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