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Curing The "Yips"

Intimidation Confidence Fear


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

Scripture: Philippians 3:10 ; Ephesians 6:19

Author: Neal Pollard


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.


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.

Ukranian Jews Ordered to Register With the New Regime

Israel Intimidation End Times

Source: "Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine" by USA Today staff writers, published, 4/17/14

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-19

Scripture: Matthew 24:

Author: Illustration Exchange


Lest you think history cannot repeat itself:

Jews emerging from a synagogue in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk say they were handed leaflets by masked gunmen that ordered the city's Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated," reported Ynet News, Israel's largest news website.

The fingerpointing has begun over who is responsible for the distribution of the leaflets and whether they are "real" or fake. It could be argued, however, that leaflets handed out by masked gunmen, are real, whether they have the force of law behind them or not.

"The leaflets bear a striking resemblance to the Fascist registration decrees that preceded the Holocaust. Fake or not, these 21st century instruments of intimidation sent a chill throughout the Jewish world and beyond," reports RNS news.

The ages old war against God's people Israel is clearly not over. Indeed, dark days once again loom on the horizon for the Jewish people as a new wave of anti-Semitism spreads across Europe and much of the world.

In fact, Scripture attests that a day is soon coming when Satan Himself will attempt one final, all-out assault against them in an effort to thwart the ultimate fulfillment of God's prophetic promises to them. 


Yet God's Word is sure. His people must not allow intimidation, no matter how fierce, to dissuade them from trust in His Word and His promises.

In the last days, many will perish, but a great many will finally realize that Jesus is indeed their promised Messiah and turn to Him in faith, fulfilling God's prophetic Word. Then the Lord will establish His Kingdom and reign from His holy city!

Matthew 24 ...
4 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5 for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.  9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.

Kardashian's Prayers for Israel Met With Anger, Hate

Israel Persecution Intimidation

Source: "Kim Kardashian slammed over pro-Israel tweet, deletes it" By Hollie McKay, Fox News, 11/16/12

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-11-17

Scripture: Genesis 12:3 ; Psalms 122:6

Author: Hollie McKay


As rockets rained down on the Middle East today amid the newest flare in tensions between Israel and Hamas, Hollywood celebrity Kim Kardashian discovered the hard way that expressing support for the Israeli nation and its people in today's post-modern, post-Christian climate, is not only unpopular, it could be downright dangerous. Hollie McKay of Fox News reports:

On Friday morning Kim Kardashian sent out a supportive Israel tweet, declaring to her almost 17 million followers that she was “Praying for everyone in Israel.” What she probably wasn’t anticipating was the violent backlash, including death wishes.

“Die in hell,” wrote one, another called the E! sensation a “bit*h” who “should die there,” while others went even further. Less brutal detractors said they had “lost all respect for her,” were giving her “the middle finger,” and called her a “disgrace to her people” and outright “disgusting.”

Others told her she should be “praying for Palestine, not Israel.” So she reportedly tried that.

According to ... Kardashian attempted to appease her haters with the follow-up tweet: “praying for everyone in Palestine and across the world!”

However, both tweets soon disappeared from her account and she has returned to discussing other important things – like her two-hour Tracy Anderson workout this morning.


In an entertainment culture where we are daily bombarded with detailed reports of every inconsequential thing that crosses the mind or comes out of the mouth of Ms. Kardashian and company, it should be noted that today she broadcast something of biblical consequence and import.

"Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper" (Psalm 122:6). "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:3).

Sadly, Ms. Kardashian's foray into relevance was short lived due to the negative reaction she received. Increasingly, we will find that all who support God's people, Israel, will be met with intimidation and persecution. In fact, Christians who attempt to be a witness to biblical truth face reactions that are even more vitriolic.

In the face of such hostility, the temptation is to do what Ms. Kardashian did and retreat to irrelevance. But if the believer is to identify himself with Jesus, he must not cower in these increasingly hostile times. Remember Jesus words, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first" (John 15:18).

Illustration Exchange

Oversized Gear

Intimidation Courage Evil

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-02-26

Scripture: James 4:7

Author: Tim Downs

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Only Beat Me Once A Week, Please

Marriage Intimidation Abuse

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-02-10

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

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Mysteries on the Walls of our Faith and Worship

Tradition Worship Legalism

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2024-07-09

Scripture: Mark 7:13

Author: Neal Pollard

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Sorry I'm Late

Addiction Judging Encouragement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2024-01-10

Scripture: Hebrews 10:24 ; Ephesians 4:29

Author: Illustration Exchange

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The Deadline for the Soul

Salvation Urgency God's Judgment

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2023-08-24

Scripture: Hebrews 9:27 ; 2 Corinthians 6:2

Author: Illustration Exchange

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No Consolation In Someone Else's Demise

God's Judgment Trials Warnings

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2023-04-04

Scripture: Luke 13:2 ; Job 42:7

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Grace Sufficient for a Serial Killer

Grace Forgiveness Judging

Contributed By: Mark McClelland | Date Posted: 2023-03-20

Scripture: Luke 23:43

Author: Based on the writings of Max Lucado, from his book

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