Yips are involuntary wrist spasms that occur most commonly when golfers are trying to putt. However, the yips can also affect people who play other sports — such as cricket, darts and baseball. It was once thought that the yips were always associated with performance anxiety. However, it now appears that some people have yips that are caused by a focal dystonia, which is a neurological dysfunction affecting specific muscles.
The most common symptom associated with the yips is an involuntary muscle jerk, although some people experience tremors, twitches, spasms or freezing.
•Change grip. This technique works for many golfers, because it changes the muscles you use to make putting stroke. However, if you have the type of yips related to performance anxiety, changing grip likely won't make much difference.
•Use a different putter. A longer putter allows you to use more of arms and shoulders and less of hands and wrists while putting. Other putters are designed with a special grip to help stabilize the hands and wrists.
•Mental skills training. Techniques such as relaxation, visualization or positive thinking can help reduce anxiety, increase concentration and ease fear of the yips.