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Help - Daughter is Turning Into Chuck Knoblauch

Jul 29, 2016
Hard-core baseball fans will get the reference, but let me explain. Chuck Knoblauch was a second baseman who started his MLB career with the Minnesota Twins. He moved to the Yankees in 1998. He was widely viewed as one of the best second basemen in the game. Then around his ninth year as a big-leaguer, all of a sudden he couldn't throw to first base. You can see lots of videos on YouTube, but his most famous bad throw sailed into the stands and hit Keith Olbermann's mother in the head. He never really recovered. The Yankees used him as a designated hitter and a left fielder, but he was done with the middle infield.

Which brings us to my daughter. She's been playing softball since she was a little kid. Always had a great arm. She's a catcher now. All of a sudden a couple of weeks ago, during a game (we're in GA and right in the middle of school ball), she had a couple of loose throws to the pitcher. Then she completely missed the pitcher. Once or twice, a runner advanced. Then it went away. But now it's back. Sometimes she fires a strike to he pitcher, but sometimes she just pulls the throw and it is ten feet off target. And of course the more she focuses on the problem, the worse it gets. Her confidence is starting to waver. Her throw-downs to second are on target, though. Warming up a pitcher is fine. Its just during a game.

We keep telling her to NOT think about the throws, but of course that's counter-intuitive, I'm curious if anyone here has gone through something like this with your kid and, if so, how did you address it.
Jul 29, 2016
Have read memorize all the articles from your Playboy magazines and recite passages from the magazines when she's making the throws back to the pitcher. I've seen surprising success with this method from young catchers with the yips at the highest level.
Sorry - are you trying to be funny? What does Playboy magazine have to do with it?
Nov 26, 2010
Your DD is developing catchers throwing yips. Not uncommon some MLB catchers have this issue. Here is an article on it with a suggestion.
Jul 29, 2016
Your DD is developing catchers throwing yips. Not uncommon some MLB catchers have this issue. Here is an article on it with a suggestion.
Very good. This might work. Thanks!
Aug 27, 2019
Lakewood CA.
Ah yes, Major League. Some of the on-line stuff I've read about "the baseball yips" or Steve Sax Syndrome make reference to this scene in the movie.

We don't subscribe to Playboy. Do you think memorizing articles from Golf Digest will work?
Sax came to mind. "Ground ball to second, Sax with the throw to first.... UPPER DECK!"
May 5, 2019
Minnesota, USA
Here is another way to help your players "get out of their own way"

1) Before every pitch... no matter if they are offence or defense... they "see themselves having success doing what they are trained to do"

2) Then... right as the wind-up starts... have your player start "counting" (1,2,3,4,5,6,7, etc) inside their head.

3) Then... "the automatic, instinctive, and trained reaction" will take over as the action takes place.

Your mind can NOT think around counting... and the last thought was seeing... and expecting success.

Example: They see themselves hitting an outside pitch to the fence... then comes the wind-up... and the counting begins and boom... a base hit to right-center field!

Just try it... start counting inside your head... and then try to "think about something else". You can't...


P.S. When I was hitting and pitching... this my personal "go-to" to relax... then let your skilled instincts "kick-in"

Now... I share this with all my students, parents, and coaches... and you.

Sports Psychology is not just for professional and Olympic athletes!
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