What are ‘The Yips’ – and what, if anything, can be done about them?
“Certain golfers may experience a phenomenon called `yips.` The term `yips` or `the yips` refers to a condition known as focal dystonia. Athletes affected by the yips demonstrate a sudden, unexplained loss of previous skill. The condition may occur suddenly and without apparent explanation, usually in mature athletes with years of experience. There is no known treatment or therapy in the current state of the art.”
Inventor Brock Gause has just been granted a US patent for a ‘Sports training apparatus to address focal dystonia’ which might go some way towards mitigating the problem. Here’s how the patent describes its workings (which can be understood with reference to the drawing above).
“One end of the apparatus comprises a mouthpiece that is sized to accommodate insertion into the mouth of an athlete. The opposite end of the apparatus is shaped to be rotatably attached onto a container with a screw top, such as a water bottle or sports drink container. An athlete, such as a golfer, may practice a sporting technique, such as swinging a golf club, while focusing on keeping liquid within the container still, which minimizes stress and anxiety caused by performance expectations.”
See: US patent 10617930, 14th April, 2020.