Latest Research: The Yips

Close-up of Golf Club and Golf Ball

Choking in sport is horrible for an athlete. An element of choking is known as The Yips. This is a psycho-neuromuscular disorder, which affects sports where fine motor precision skills are required for success, such as Tennis, Archery and Golf. The yips can cause an athlete to twitch or jerk and not make the move they intended. It often occurs in mature athletes who have years and years of experience. Not only does it impact their performance, but can be incredibly mentally frustrating for them as they cannot understand why it is happening. A team from the University of Derby (Sally Akehurst, Philip Clarke & David Sheffield) have been working with Tennis players, Archers and Golfers to uncover who is most likely to experience the Yips and have found that those at risk of suffering with it have high levels of social anxiety, perfectionism, self-consciousness and low levels of conscientiousness. These people will have the desire to be perfect in front of others, won’t tell people when they are having trouble, have a higher need for validation and need to prove their self-worth.

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