You're in limited preview mode.

Login or signup for free to unlock more content.

Curing The "Yips"

Intimidation Confidence Fear


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


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.

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


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."


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)

God Is Always Speaking, Preparing

Word of God Preparation Confidence

Source: LET’S ROLL: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage by Lisa Beamer

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-02-25

Scripture: Romans 11:33 ; Esther 4:14

Author: Lisa Beamer / Illustration Exchange


On the morning of September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was a passenger aboard the ill-fated United Airlines Flight 93 that 9-1-1 hijackers commandeered and ultimately planted, nose first, into the Pennsylvania countryside. It was Todd’s words that morning that became a battle cry for all those, in the coming weeks, months, and even years, who would stand up to oppose terror and fight for freedom. “Let’s roll!” were his words, as he and others led a charge against the cockpit.

Todd left a wife, Lisa, and two young sons. Lisa would go on to right a book, fittingly titled LET’S ROLL, in which she discusses the many ways in which the Lord sustained her in the days after Todd’s death. She recounts how uncomfortable she was being instantly thrust into the limelight. She questioned her ability to meet the challenges. 

On one occasion, shortly after the crash, she was asked to speak to a group of some 25,000 women gathered at a spiritual conference at the Core States Arena in Philadelphia. “I had wanted to remain as inconspicuous as possible, but Mordecai’s rejoinder to Esther—“Who knows? Maybe God has you here for such a time as this”—echoed through my mind.” 

She thought back to the ways God always seemed to prepare her to face whatever His plans might be. She recalled how, after Todd’s death, they needed to clean out his car. Among the gum wrappers and gas receipts, they also found a stack of Bible memory cards in the armrest tray that he worked on while driving. 

The top card on the stack, the one that he might have read on September 11, was Romans 11:33-36:

O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,’and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?” 
“Who has ever given to God, 
that God should repay him?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

It was the exact passage of Scripture that had helped me through my questions following my dad’s death; the same passage I’d been reminded of at Wheaton College [where Todd and Lisa met]; and the very passage that had been my memory verses for the Bible study I was preparing … the week before Todd died.

Now, facing the request to speak to such a large crowd of women, she felt confident that God had indeed prepared her for such a time as this.


Lisa concludes, "Seeing that card reminded me that God is always speaking to us and giving us just the words we need for the events he knows lie ahead."

Seeing God In Your Body

Apologetics Confidence Awe

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-07-15

Scripture: Psalms 8:5 ; Genesis 1:27

Author: Dr. Richard Swenson

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Being Sure Makes You Secure

Assurance Confidence Eternal Security

Contributed By: Steve Yuhasz | Date Posted: 2014-07-11

Scripture: John 10:27

Author: Steve Yuhasz

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

The Best of Men

Confidence Humility Devotional Thoughts

Contributed By: Roger Chambers | Date Posted: 2014-01-23

Scripture: Proverbs 3:5 ; Mark 10:27

Author: Roger Chambers

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

How Do YOU Tackle Fear?

Fear Confidence Love (Divine)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-09-16

Scripture: 1 John 4:8

Author: Max Lucado

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Assume a Power Pose

Power Meekness Confidence

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-07-01

Scripture: 1 Peter 5:6 ; Matthew 5:5

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Godly Swagger

Confidence Youth Trials

Contributed By: | Date Posted: 2013-06-15

Scripture: Philippians 4:13

Author: Leonard Leach

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Autographed Tennis Balls for Christmas

Christmas Destiny Confidence

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-11-22

Scripture: Romans 8:30

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or