Menu Call Me

Can Hypnosis Help Golfer's Yips?

Let’s talk about the yips or more specifically the yips that can strike a golfer at any point of their golf career.  It doesn’t matter if you are somebody that enjoys a weekly round or two with friends or a professional who tours the world, rest assured that both can have something in common. Think back over the years and remember Langer, Hogan, Vardon, Alliss, and how they battled this curse.

It can end careers, destroy hobbies, and can lead to moments of pure frustration and exasperation – welcome to the world of the dreaded yips.

There is so much advice on how to overcome the yips and if you are reading this article, I feel sure that you have investigates and tried out many of them already. Hypnotherapy is not always the first on the list but I would like you to continue reading and understand what a powerful tool hypnosis can be.

We will look at: What can cause the yips/How hypnotherapy can help players/What to expect in your session

What Causes the Yips?

You are not alone as 48 percent of all serious golfers will experience the yips in their career according to the Mayo Clinic. So, it will come as no surprise that there are many theories of what brings on this dreaded condition. They all fall into these three main categories:

  1. For some, it is caused by a neurological condition that can cause muscle jerks, tremors, twitching, or a feeling of being locked or frozen? It may be caused by the overuse and repetitive movements needed in golf. Treatments include the use of Botox injections, acupuncture, muscle relaxants or even changing your grip.
  2. For others, it may be caused by a psychological issue where there is a negative thought pattern running through their minds. It has been noted that it can be more prevalent in players with many years of experience, perfectionists, or players who can become anxious. Once you recognise that there is an issue the overthinking cycle can kick in. So now every time you take out that putter a voice will alert you to how badly you are going to hit the ball and how embarrassing it’s going to be when you miss. Guess what – you miss.
  3. It could be a combination of both? You suffer from a neurological issue that affects your game and before you know it the fear and anxiety have struck. You are now back in a cycle of negative thinking regarding your abilities. Hypnotherapy can help with the psychological side of treatment by teaching clients to overcome the negative patterns and change their thinking. This enables players to get back to enjoying their game again.

How Hypnotherapy can help players

I am not a sports coach nor a magician but what I can do is help my clients use their own abilities and change their mindset to overcome the yips. Part of my training was enhanced working with Glenn Catley the World Champion Boxer in the Super Middleweight division. He used hypnotherapy to help him perform at his very best on the night of his World title fight and, in fact, Glenn was so impressed that he retrained as a hypnotherapist.

Often when a player is struggling to perfect their golf swing or putting their focus is on what could wrong – this type of thinking is the precise reason why they have difficulties, it doesn’t help them improve. Sport is not all about physical ability. It is also about mental ability. You often hear on the golf course: ‘I can hit the ball well in practice, but when it’s a competition the nerves take over’.

I provide clients with an understanding, a perspective, and a vision of how they can overcome issues. When people direct their thoughts towards what they would specifically like to be doing differently, then they will get a specific result.

Many top sportspeople use visualisation techniques to optimise their performance. Its commonly known that English Rugby Union player Jonny Wilkinson regularly performs visualisation sessions before games. “You are creating the sights, sounds, smells, the atmosphere, the sensation and the nerves, right down to the early morning wake-up call and that feeling in your stomach. It helps your body to get used to performing under pressure.”

You may not be Olympic standard, but the same strategies can be used to help golfers, of all standards, overcome problems within their game.

What to expect in sessions

I use a combination of NLP, relaxation strategies, guided imagery, and hypnosis in my sessions. All my clients are all very different and need varying treatment plans, but you can expect our sessions together to be effective, pleasant, and relaxing.

We will look to increasing your confidence and reduce any negative thoughts relating to your game. I do this with a combination of visualisation, mental rehearsals, and solution focused conversation. Hypnotherapy is a talking therapy, but the hypnosis section of a session brings huge benefits to the client.

The clip below might be useful to clients thinking about hypnosis and is a short extract from a talk by Dr. David Spiege. In it, he explains what you might experience in a hypnotic state and how hypnosis was used in the Sochi Olympics to great success.



More Questions?

I know you just want a solution so please email, call, or book an initial consultation and you can ask as many questions as you need to before moving on to sessions.