Bowling News

Dealing With the Yips – Part 1


Article Contents

  • 1. New ball problems
    • 1.1. Tweaking your ball’s performance
    • 1.2. How’s your fit?
  • 2. Environmental changes
  • 3. Was it me or the lane?
    • 3.1. The four possible scenarios
  • 4. Risk versus reward
  • 5. Approach with confidence

Brisk nights are here in my part of the world, which means the bowling season is underway and tournaments are starting to fill the calendar.

How has your league been going? If you’re an avid Bowling This Month reader, you’re likely performing well with all the help from the BTM coaching staff. You’re constantly learning, improving, and working on your game.

But that doesn’t mean you’re invincible from the yips. In golf, this is often referenced to putting, but in bowling, it’s more likely related to struggling to get started in your approach, or balking regularly partway through. If you bowl long enough, it’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. The yips can be extremely frustrating and mentally draining. For this article, let’s chat about what we can do when we suddenly start to struggle with just getting started.

Yes, the yips are a mental issue, but they can be rooted in your physical game or your lane play. They can even have their roots in your equipment itself. You’re questioning if what you’re doing will work, you’re unsure of where to stand, and you’re unsure of how to throw it. It could be that you haven’t sorted through the primary challenge of bowling: was it me or the lane?

So, what do you do if you have the yips? Keep it simple; always start with the basics. But before that, you need to decide if it’s you or the lane. It can’t be both! Did you recently get a new ball, and that’s all you have been throwing? Are you cleaning or adjusting the surface regularly between sets? Did the center get a new lane machine?

Often, the yips are caused by some small change to the environment that we innocently miss. The good news is that once we figure out the …

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