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Curing The "Yips"

Intimidation Confidence Fear

Source: preacherpollard.com

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2020-08-14

Scripture: Philippians 3:10 ; Ephesians 6:19

Author: Neal Pollard
2

ILLUSTRATION

The term comes up most frequently in golf and baseball. In 1998, L.A. Times writer Thomas Bonk interviewed elderly PGA golfers like Byron Nelson, Gene Sarazen, and Paul Runyan, whose career went back to the 1920s and 1930s, to find out if they knew the origin of the word “yips.” Nelson said, “I first heard it when I was on the tour in the ’30s. It was always just there” (Thomas Bonk, 2/26/98, “‘Yips’ or ‘Twitches,’ Who Knows Origin?”). 

No less than the Mayo Clinic discuss this condition, which they describe as “involuntary wrist spasms that occur most commonly when golfers are trying to putt.” But, as they point out, anxiety makes it worse as the athlete “becomes nervous and self-focused–overthinking to the point of distraction–that their ability to execute a skill, such as putting, is impaired."

The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as “Nervousness or tension that causes an athlete to fail to perform effectively, especially in missing short putts in golf.” I am more familiar with this term in baseball. Mackey Sasser was a catcher who, after a home plate collision, began having difficulty accurately throwing the baseball back to the pitcher. Second baseman Chuck Knoblauch started having trouble throwing accurately to first base. Pitcher Rick Ankiel could not keep from throwing wild pitches and Jon Lester, another pitcher, has had trouble for years throwing the ball to first base. 

Just Google “yips” and you can read about how traumatic and life-changing it is for those who once mindlessly, successfully did a task they ultimately found debilitatingly difficult to do. They consulted psychologists and hypnotists, struggling to get back to where they just didn’t think about the fundamental task that now overwhelmed them.

But, some have succeeded. Steve Sax, who suffered from the yips in 1983–the second baseman had 26 errors by the All-Star Break–would rebound to be the best defensive second baseman in 1989. He credits a conversation with his ailing father during the 1983 break. His father told him it wasn’t a mental block, but a temporary loss of confidence, that he needed to practice being more confident and it would positively affect his play.

APPLICATION

Have you ever found it difficult to do something that once came easily or naturally? Has fear ever gripped you and become a roadblock to success? Certainly, there are mental health conditions that cause people to panic and wrestle with anxiety. But, what about the person who tried to share the gospel with a friend only to suffer rejection or maybe even embarrassment? What about the one who tried to gently confront someone at spiritual fault or overtaken by sin, who was rebuffed to such a degree that it was traumatic? What about the new Christian who was asked to lead public prayer, whose mind went blank, froze, and nearly couldn’t complete the task? There are several areas of Christian duty that can cause us to “freeze up” or shy away from doing them. An unpleasant experience can get into our heads and talk us out of trying to do them again. 

How can we overcome this? Consider a few tips from Scripture:

  • Forget the past and focus on the future (Phil. 3:10)
  • Pray for boldness and confidence (Acts 4:29,31)
  • Ask others to pray for your ability and boldness (Eph. 6:19)
  • Get others to join you or help, where possible (Ecc. 4:9-12)
  • Look to Christ for your confidence and success (Phil. 4:13)
  • Don’t let a past failure define you; Keep at the task (Acts 15:38 and 2 Tim. 4:11)
  • Elevate your motivation and remember why you do what you do (Col. 3:23)
  • Focus on those who may be taking their lead from you, who look to you as their model (1 Tim. 4:12; Heb. 13:7)
  • Rediscover the joy (Phil. 2:17)

These are just a few of the divine strategies from the mind of God. We have a Father who speaks to us in His Word. His counsel is also for us to practice being more confident, but to look to Him as the source of that confidence. The end result is more than mere professional success. We can impact eternity when we overcome any obstacle to our service. Do you need to “get back in there”? Utilize the tools He has given! You’ll be so glad you did, and so will others.

Strong Hands Soothe Fear

Fear Fatherhood Confidence

Contributed By: Ben Kurz | Date Posted: 2019-11-25

Scripture: Psalms 23:4 ; Isaiah 41:10

Author: Ben Kurz
5

ILLUSTRATION

It was bedtime and my wife and I had all the lights in the house turned off to help our little three-year-old son prepare for bed.  The only shining light was in the room where the three of us were sitting.  With a not-yet-tired voice, my son said, "Daddy, I need to go potty."  Thankful that he was finally learning to use the bathroom on his own, I said, "OK, you know where the bathroom is."  I watched as he skipped to the short hallway leading to the bathroom, only to see him turn and run back to me.  

"Daddy, I can't go there.  It's dark."  

"Then turn the light on," I said flatly.

"Daddy, It's scary. I want you to come with me," my little son begged.  

With a sigh, I got up and walked behind my son as he trotted toward the bathroom.  When we reached the dark hallway, he turned to me and said, "Daddy, put your hands on my shoulders."  I put my hands on his small shoulders and followed as he confidently walked on into the darkness.  

"Why don't you turn the light on?" I asked.

"It's OK, Daddy. I don't need to," he said, "because you're with me."

APPLICATION

How often we encounter the dark hallways of life!  What gives us courage to walk boldly on when we can't see the outcome?  With faith like a child, we cling to the knowledge that our Father's strong hands are on our shoulders!  "Even if I walk through dark shadowy valleys, I will not fear, because You are with me!"  (Psalm 23:4, paraphrased)

Roller Coaster Lines

Death Fear Judgment of Believers

Source: Personal Observation

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2016-10-26

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:54 ; 2 Corinthians 5:10

Author: Thomas Bevers
10

ILLUSTRATION

I love roller coasters. I have all of my life. There is something great about the thrill of being slowly pulled up that first hill and waiting in great anticipation for the first stomach wrenching drop. Waiting in line is a job, picking the correct line, watching to see how many people are in front of you. Wondering why some people in front of you seem hesitant, holding back when there is clearly room for them to move up. Getting close enough to begin counting how many times the cars must be loaded and unloaded before it is your turn. Then the inevitable choice as to where to sit. In the front to get the best view, in the back to get the best ride. In the middle to get on more quickly. The closer I get the more the excited and enthusiasm rises.

However, the story is quite different for my wife. She is terrified of roller coasters. The few times I have convinced her to ride one, she was filled with nothing but fear. The closer we got, the more nervous she became. She was one of those who didn't want to move when the line opened up in front of us. I raised my hands in exhilarating excitement, while my wife held on for dear life.

APPLICATION

We are all waiting in line to face the next stage of existence. The closer we get to the end of our lives, the more we begin to anticipate what awaits us. For the Christian, getting closer stirs our faith. We approach death with confidence in the promises of God and in the hope of the glory that awaits us. 

But for the nonbeliever, it's a different experience. The closer they get to life's final ride, the more they're filled with fear and apprehension. The believer raises his hands in exhilarating excitement, but the lost man holds on for dear life.

"When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory" (1 Corinthians 15:54). 

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10). 

 

The Rule of Love

Law (of God) Fear Jesus' Love

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-07-28

Scripture: John 1:17 ; 1 John 4:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
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God Watches Over Every Atom

God's Care Fear Apologetics

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-02-26

Scripture: Colossians 1:17

Author: Richard Swenson / Illustration Exchange
13

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Good Fear

Fear Wisdom Guidance

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-02-01

Scripture: Proverbs 1:7

Author: Illustration Exchange
10

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Step Out of the Waiting Places

Opportunity Fear Complacency

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-03-25

Author: AJ Julian
3

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Afraid of the Light

Light Truth Fear

Contributed By: Chris Horton | Date Posted: 2015-03-07

Scripture: John 3:20

Author: John Lennox
13

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The Woman Who Knew No Fear

Fear Persecution God's Love

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-01-22

Scripture: 1 John 4:18 ; Matthew 10:28

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Jehovah is Peace

Anxiety Peace Fear

Contributed By: Ernie Scalabrin | Date Posted: 2014-12-05

Scripture: Judges 6:24

Author: Ernie Scalabrin
13

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