Throwing - Overcome a psychological block

Can anyone suggest a way to overcome a player's throwing mental block. The best way I can explain this is if you have seen the movie "Major League". In the movie, the cather has a difficult time throwing back to the pitcher.
Original Post
My son is a catcher. When he was younger playing AAU he had a coach that wanted him to just lob the ball back to the pitcher. Several times during the game he would lob the ball either over the pitchers head or out in front of him. Then he would start thinking about it and he would be so nervous. Finally I just told him to pop up and throw a seed back to the pitcher and if he threw the ball in centerfield so what. It has worked for him. Now he just pops up and throws a nice hard shot back to the pitcher every time. He recently went to a camp and he was the only catcher that popped up after every pitch and threw back a seed. The head coach at the camp came over and said "Now thats what I like to see, a kid thats not lazy sitting there on his knees". I dont know if he has tried this but what can it hurt.
Reminds me of Mark Wolhers with the Braves a few years ago. Every intentional walk became an event! Over the catcher's head, Way, way outside, in the dirt, etc. What a mental block that was! Don't remember how he got over it. Maybe when he was traded... Big Grin

I agree with Coach May, try a "pattern interrupt", try something different.
I have seen this first hand. A catcher on my son’s high school team would sometimes throw the ball to center field. I’m not talking just a high throw; he would actually launch it to the centerfielder. Even he didn’t have a clue why he would do this. The coach had to move him to first base. He also pitched some with no throwing problem. The coach also told me of a college catcher that would sometimes throw to first base when a runner was stealing second. He told me his mind was thinking 2nd but he would throw to 1b.

Fungo

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.
There have been many major leaguers who have had the yips trying to throw the ball. Dale Murphy was the best young catching prospect in the country and started throwing balls into CF. The made him and outfielder.

Mike Ivie was the first player chosen in the draft years ago and got so paranoid about throwing the ball back to the pitcher that he quit. He came back a little later and played 1st base and then quit again do to fear of flying.

Mackey Sasser got so bad, he used to pump three times and then throw the ball back to the pitcher.

Chuck Knobloch played 2nd and got to the point that he could not throw the ball to 1st.

Steve Sax had the same problem, and like Tommy John surgery, they called the yips in the throw Steve Sax disease.

Steve Blass was a fine pitcher for the Pirates and showed up one spring and started throwing the ball off the back stop. He retired that year.

Sax finally got where he could throw ok, and Murphy threw fine from the OF, but the others never did fix the problem.

I saw a picture in the paper of Knobloch one day, and he was trying to throw the ball and he had a death grip on it and was gripping it with all four fingers like it was a grenade.

My answer to fixing the problem......I have no idea.
BB,

One time - Chuck Knoblauch conked the broadcaster Keith Olberman's mother in the head while she was sitting in the stands at Yankee Stadium. He flung it about 20 feet over the 1st baseman's head.

I felt bad for her - and Chuck. She was minding her own business munching on some peanuts - and bang - the next thing you know - she was being carried out of the stadium.
I was going to mention Rick Ankiel as well. I thought I read something that talked about this psychological block and referring to it as some sort of sports performance anxiety. I'm not sure if that is the exact name for it but it plagued me as a shortstop for a couple of years (16-17).

It's like you're afraid of the baseball and when you get it all of those bad throws flash in your mind and you begin to worry. You hold onto the ball a little longer than normal and when you go to release it you either do so too soon or too late.

I'm not really sure how to get rid of it. I believe there are people that specialize in treating it and I'm sure you could find a book on it.

I got rid of it by just taking a lot of reps at shortstop. Really focusing on fielding the ball, getting my feet right, and throwing it to the target. Having sort of an arrogant attitude about hitting the glove. What I mean by that is creating a feeling that when I release the ball I KNOW it will end up where it was intended to end up.

Very difficult to shake. Good Luck!

Jason
It can be bad. Last year, the senior starting catcher for my son's high school, started having the same problem. He started in the middle of a game partway through the season and never fully recovered although he did get better. More than once, with a runner on third, he made a bad throw that let the run score. It got so bad that he finally took to jogging out to the pitcher's mound and handing the ball to the pitcher (if no one was on base). He not only threw the ball over the pitcher's head, he threw it into the ground no more than five or ten feet in front of himself.

Very sad to see as this kid is a great kid and an enthusiastic player. Unfortunately, even though he was being recruited by some junior colleges and one or two small four year schools in the area, he gave up baseball and no longer plays.

On the lighter side, all his teammates (who had seen Major League) volunteered to run out and buy him Playboy and other such magazines to help him get over the problem. His parents declined on his behalf!
With some kids who have started having the problem, I have had them do what they fear most in warm ups. For example, a third baseman worried about overthrowing, I have him air one out in infield practice. Then we talk about what it felt like. Sometimes, that dimishes the fear.

Baseball-the best

Dr. Richard Crowley (www.Sportsmaker.com, 805-868-3800) worked with my son at the beginning of the 2013 baseball season (my son was a high school junior) when he mysteriously developed the yips. The two talked a few times and there were immediate results, allowing my son to improve his confidence and his ability to make throws. My son was able to finish his high school baseball career in 2014 as a starter on a varsity baseball team that improved its record by 8 games over the previous season. My son also has improved his confidence in other sports and in other aspects of his life. Dr. Crowley played an important role in that transformation.

I’ve had the yips since I was 17 or 18. Now I’m 23 playing college baseball and still can’t throw. My whole arm potion is no where close to where it used to be. I take my arm way behind my head now and have a triple clutch before I try to throw and sometimes the ball will fall out of my hand before I even get the chance to release it. My question is did you guys have it this sever or did you have the same arm motion but no clue where it was going? 

Thibs10 posted:

I’ve had the yips since I was 17 or 18. Now I’m 23 playing college baseball and still can’t throw. My whole arm potion is no where close to where it used to be. I take my arm way behind my head now and have a triple clutch before I try to throw and sometimes the ball will fall out of my hand before I even get the chance to release it. My question is did you guys have it this sever or did you have the same arm motion but no clue where it was going? 

If you haven't yet tried working with a sports psychologist like Dr. Crowley, I would suggest it. He helped my son through a series of phone calls to overcome his severe yips. My son was able to throw as well as he did prior to acquiring the yips. I was able to you my insurance flex spending account to cover the Dr. Crowley's services.

Thibs10 posted:

I’ve had the yips since I was 17 or 18. Now I’m 23 playing college baseball and still can’t throw. My whole arm potion is no where close to where it used to be. I take my arm way behind my head now and have a triple clutch before I try to throw and sometimes the ball will fall out of my hand before I even get the chance to release it. My question is did you guys have it this sever or did you have the same arm motion but no clue where it was going? 

If you are 23, in College & have the yips, I would focus your attention heavily on some English Lit classes as opposed to sorting out your throwing.... 

Crowley has help some people on this forum; other not so much. Use the Search function (Crowley + yip) for more details.

Here are some other threads that might be helpful. Jim T is still an active contributor here. I hope you get some relief.

http://community.hsbaseballweb...14#29875661668703214
http://community.hsbaseballweb.../topic/yips-are-gone
http://community.hsbaseballweb...roach-towards-a-cure
https://community.hsbaseballweb.com/topic/the-yips

That’s what I’m worried about also. Wouldn’t be able to play catch with my kids or beer league softball either. My freshman year of college I saw a guy by the name of buddy biancalan and Kip gross both who played in the big leagues and still can’t throw so I’m going to do some more research on Dr. Crowley and might take another chance with him. This is just becoming a pricey mess up for my folks. 

Steve A. posted:
Thibs10 posted:

I think my actuarial science degree will be just fine. Thanks though. 

Let's just hope there is no written communication necessary in that field....

Be careful or he will calculate your expected lifespan.  

RJM posted:
Steve A. posted:
Thibs10 posted:

I think my actuarial science degree will be just fine. Thanks though. 

Let's just hope there is no written communication necessary in that field....

Be careful or he will calculate your expected lifespan.  

That is funny as hell! No wonder why my Insurance Rates are crazy!

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