By Lynn Francis
Having worked with hundreds of cases using EFT for emotional issues I decided to turn my attention to using EFT for sports performance. "Yips" is defined as a psycho-neuromuscular problem that often strikes golfers when they are putting, but can also affect them during other types of shots, whereby the golfer experiences freezing, jerking or twitching just prior to impact. The movements are involuntary and can add an average of 5.5 shots to a round.
Psychological responses include frustration, embarrassment, intense anxiety and increased self-consciousness.
The longevity of the problem means most golfers end up quitting. They cannot rationalize what is happening so they tend to over-analyse what is going on.
Yips can also affect other athletes, especially tennis players, as well as surgeons, dentists and musicians.
So serious is the problem that the Mayo Clinic has conducted its own study to determine the cause, treatment and a possible cure.
There are many theories as to the cause of Yips and a mirad of different treatments tried over the years, with some claiming to have cured yips. However, none of the people I asked had any solid documented proof of a cure. This is when I decided that I would try and work on Yips using EFT with golfers and document my work.
I advertised for golfers suffering with Yips to take part in a study. I had no shortage of volunteers and I chose a group of 5 people based on their varying handicaps and ages, which ranged from professional to double-figure handicap, with the youngest being 28 and the oldest 59-years-old. I asked each player to write a lengthy report prior to treatment describing their symptoms and how it affected their game, after the treatment they were asked to write a follow up report.
I successfully cured all 5 out of 5 cases using EFT to uncover and eliminate emotional issues.
Below are two article written about this that appeared in the media. The first outlines the study with names and details of the yips participants. The second is more general in nature.
First Article by Paul Chappell, Editor Golfers Chronicle:
LYNN Francis has just completed a ground-breaking practical study into finding a cure for the yips and her results have proved staggering.
The yips is defined as a psycho neuromuscular problem that often strikes golfers when they are putting, but can also affect them during other types of shots whereby the player experiences freezing, jerking or twitching, immediately prior to impact.
So serious is the problem that Mayo Clinic in America is conducting its own study to determine the cause, treatment and a cure...something Lynn feels she may already have found!
Lynn explained: 'I took a group of five yips-affected golfers ranging from a professional to a 16-handicapper. The youngest was 28 and the oldest 59.
'I asked each player to write a report prior to the treatment describing their symptoms and how it affected their game.
'After the treatment, which ranged from two to four sessions, they were asked to write another report
Name: Cliffe Grimshaw
Yipssuffered for: Six years
Shots affected: Short putts and chips
Approximately five years ago I started to have the yips while putting.
At first it showed itself as a jabbed stroke, but increasingly it developed with me freezing over the ball. It became difficult, even almost impossible to draw back the putter.
In trying to accommodate the problem I tried several different putters including the 'broomstick' type. I then started to putt with my left hand below my right. This still did not remove the problem, by which time it had also started to affect me while chipping the ball.
The dread I used to feel when faced with these particular shots has gone. I no longer display the jabbing and freezing over the ball that I did prior to this treatment.
Name: Gerard Daly
Yipssuffered for: Two years
Shots affected: Short putts
My problem with the yips originally surfaced when it came to driving off the tee. I could not get the club back in the normal length of time.
Eventually, the condition subsided after two or three months.
Last year I started suffering the same, this time with my putting.
As soon as I have a putt of 10ft or less I have an uncontrollable turn of my wrist. The shorter the putt, the more likely I am to push or pull it.
The lengths I have gone to in order to eradicate this problem include: four different putters, shortening a putter and changing my grip. But still the problem persists.
Lynn has eliminated my yips problem completely. My game has improved to the extent that, rather than fear a six foot or less putt, I now look forward with confidence in my ability to hole them on most, if not all occasions.
Name: Philip Leaver
Yipssuffered for: Five to six years
Shots affected: Chipping and long putting
Nearly four years ago I started to suffer the yips while chipping around the greens. No matter how much I practised, it showed no signs of abating. It arose only in pressure situations, for instance if I needed to chip over a bunker to a tight pin location. My arm would stiffen and this caused me to thin the shot.
This spring I also started to demonstrate the yips while putting too
Since having the treatment I feel like I have been cured from an illness.
My chipping has improved to a level I now feel comfortable with any kind of pitch shot. Lynn has also worked on my putting problem which showed up on six or seven foot putts. My old stroke is back and I'm at ease with myself again.
Name: Gareth Bradley
From: Bramhall Golf Club
Yipssuffered for: Six years
Shots affected: Chipping and long putting
The problem has been progressively getting worse from about 10 years, developing from the odd poor chip to much more.
In the past two or three the problem has crept into my longer putting. I am still OK with short putts.
The frustration it is bringing is starting to become difficult to cope with and could possibly lead to me giving up the game.
After just two sessions with Lynn she appears to have completely eliminated the problem.
I have played 17 competitive rounds since the sessions and have had no yips. The dread I used to feel before chipping has gone. Yes, I have hit some bad chips but these were down to poor technique and not a yip.
My game is rejuvenated and I'm enjoying the game again.
Name: Jason Hartley
From: Originally South Africa but currently in Hertfordshire
Yipssuffered for: 12 years
Shots affected: Most shots
I first experienced the yips in 1992 at the age of 16. I was playing in a provincial tournament in South Africa. I remember walking up to a putt of about eight feet, I was feeling confident. I went through my normal routine but when I tried to make the putt, my hands seemed to jump just before I made contact with the ball.
A little confused, I walked up to my remaining putt (above one foot in length) and did exactly the same thing again.
Gradually it became worse. After struggling for a year I swapped from putting left-handed to putting right-handed, which I still do today.
When I try and putt left-handed, I get a pins-and-needles feeling all down my right arm.
In the last two years the yip is developing in the rest of my game from a short chip to a drive.
I find it hard to believe that the hands have time to twitch when the club is being swung at 125mph.
I am terrified of actually hitting the ball.
I need to sort this out as soon as possible as the game is becoming a chore and my confidence is at an all time low. Just the thought of playing golf gives me that tingling feeling in my right side and I know my full swing is taking the same route as my putting did when it all started.
I still find it hard to believe that something that was so ingrained could be cured over the space of a few hours.
Since seeing Lynn, my confidence is at an all time high and I have started looking forward to playing again, and my scores are reflecting this.
People who have never experienced the yips find the subject hard to comprehend but for people who have and do, it is good to know that there is finally a definite cure.
Those of you with a good memory may recall a story we covered more than a year ago in the Golfers' Chronicle when a former nurse from Blackburn claimed she'd found a cure for the yips. At the end of 2004 she cured five golfers out of five including Cheshire player Gareth Bradley. Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University then approached Lynn Francis to scientifically test if her claims were true. And guess what... they were! PAUL CHAPPLE reports.
What are the yips?
The yips are a golfers worst nightmare. Those who experience the yips will add an average five and a half shots to their round.
Jerks, twitches, tremors and freezing are all physical antecedents of the yips. Psychological responses include frus$, embarrassment, intense anxiety and increased self-consciousness.
The longevity of the problem means most golfers end up quitting. They can't rationalise what's happening and they over analyse what's going on.
The movements they exper$are involuntary therefore they have no control over them.
The yips also affect other sports such as darts (commonly known as dartitis) and cricket bowling.
At present there is no scientifically tested cure.
DURING the past two years Lynn Francis (pictured below) has been working on curing the yips in golfers with so far, 100% success.
She now plans to travel throughout Europe working with sports people from all over the world.
Mike Rotheram and Dr Mark Bawden, researchers at Sheffield Hallam University, were that intrigued by Lynn's apparent success that they asked her to team up with them to trial her treatment.
Mike explained: 'Lynn uses a process called the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and her theory is based on the fact that the yips have an underlying emotional cause, which manifest themselves in a yip.'
EFT is a psychological version of acupuncture, whereby acu-points are tapped on while the client focuses on underlying emotional causes.
To test Lynn's treatment, 50-year-old golfer Nigel Grice, who suffered from the yips, took part in the study.
His handicap was still five through the fact that he had learned to putt left-handed. However he wanted to putt in his conventional style.
When reporting into the laboratory for his baseline test, Nigel said: 'I have suffered from the yips since the end of the 1999 season, when during a matchplay singles knockout semi-final competition, I missed about six very short putts due to what I can only describe as an electric shock in my left forearm.
'This caused the putter head to move involuntarily leading to the putt being hopelessly missed.'
Since then, Nigel has been unable to putt, and even broke down in tears at one point, due to the disintegration of his short game.
Mike added: 'Nigel was required to take part in five data collections at the University following intense treatments administered by Lynn.
'All measurements were recorded when putting at a distance of two feet from the cup, where the yips tend to be at the most severe. Measures included a behavioural assessment (whether I could see the jerk), and self-report (Nigel's self assessment).
'In addition to this, I used the latest golf putting technology from SAM Motion Analysis, which measures the yips in golfers.'
Of particular interest to Mike and Mark's study was the velocity of rotation on impact as Nigel jerked the putter at impact.
'The results show that Lynn's treatment was effective in helping this particular golfer. All four measures improved dramatically from baseline scores,' added Mike, originally from Liverpool.
Behavioral assessment of the putting stroke added support to the findings.
Before the treatment, yipping occurred about 70% of the time. After the final treatment, there were no visual indicators of a yip occurring.
The most important assessment, the golfer's self-assessment, added further clarity to the results.
At the start of the study, Nigel reported the yip $at maximum intensity when performing in the laboratory. However, after the final measurement, there now were no feelings of the yip at all.
Mike asked Nigel to perform out on the golf course.
'Again, there were no feelings of the yip occurring,' said Mike.
Nigel added: 'The start of every golf season was always terrifying for me, as I never knew how much worse the yips may have become, but now I look forward to the 2006 season with much excitement, fully confident that this terrible affliction has been finally exorcised by Lynn's exceptional skills and ability. I also believe that, as a bonus to curing the yips, I am now a different person. I see things and react differently to situations in everyday life. I feel better. I know that this is as a direct result of the therapy I underwent and would recommend it to anyone.'
It is clear that Lynn's treatment certainly has merit. Mike concluded: 'Her work is based on her skills as a practitioner in finding underlying emotional causes. The benefits of this treatment are not only relevant to amateur golfers. They are also relevant to tour players who experience the yips and people in other sports such as darts and cricket.