Avoid “The Yips” & Business Anxiety

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Avoid “The Yips” & Business Anxiety

You’ve Had The Yips Before, Maybe You Just Don’t Know It



If you’ve played sports you’ve definitely gotten a case of “the yips”!

The way high level athletes are able to perform under stress is almost identical to how high level entrepreneurs and CEO’s perform under similar conditions.  The ability to focus, prepare, analyze, react, think, and implement are skills that cross over from sports into business all the time.

Can you recall a time that you felt like you were “in the zone”?  When the game you were playing seemed to come to you with little effort yet you were amazingly focused?  You seemed to see the entire game in slow motion.  As if you could almost predict what your opponents next move would be and you could deliver for your team at will.  You can’t put your finger on a specific reason why you felt that way, but if you played at the collegiate or professional level you definitely know what I’m talking about.

What was most humbling about being an athlete was when you would be feeling this way and then all of a sudden you didn’t!  You’d go from being “in the zone” to feeling like you had no idea what you’re doing anymore!  That’s what makes sports so incredible.  You can one minute be the hero and in the blink of an eye be the goat.

The Yips and Anxiety in Business

The same can be said when you’re in a position of leadership in the real world.  You can at times make focused, clear minded decisions for your organization and at times you can feel like every decision you make is leading your company  in the wrong direction.  In fact, unfortunately in the real world the decisions you make that are leading your company or organization in the wrong direction may not be as clear as you striking out with a runner in scoring position or missing a 2 foot putt by 6 inches.  Those are very clear mistakes.  However when you’re in a position of leadership, the decisions and actions you take may not have clear consequences until much further down the road.

One of the ways we’ve looked to make a direct impact on organizations and limit their anxiety and clouded judgement is through the use of top notch science and sports psychology.  In fact, we feel so strongly about making sure our business leaders and CEO’s are prepared mentally and emotionally for running their companies that we’ve partnered with one of nations top sport psychologists Dr. Nick Molinaro.  His work is unparalleled when it comes to helping professional athletes and top business executives find ways to become the leaders they need to be in order to perform at their highest levels.  Here is an example of Dr. Nick explaining his work on The Golf Channel as he speaks about “the yips” in golf.  As a golfer myself, I’ve seen cases of the yips in first person and many times!  When it’s your playing partner it’s hilarious, when it’s you it’s devastating!  The “yips” are when you’re ready to take your swing and just before impact something goes haywire.  The ball does something absurd like dribble off the tee or go 90 degrees to the right.  Like I said, hilarious or devastating…

Dr. Nick does a fantastic job explaining what they are and the beginning steps to overcome them.  The same concept can be applied to those in a role of company leadership.  Being able to think clearly, communicate, picture a positive result, be aware of the entire situation, and execute your game plan are all things we as entrepreneurs have more control over than we give ourselves credit for.

Leaders Need to Constantly Improve Their Skills

As someone who is a leader for their organization, maybe you founded your company or have worked your way into a leadership role over the years, your ability to get “into the zone” will prove to be instrumental in your development and upward mobility.  When we are on the road speaking with business owners, sports complexes, sports management graduates, and sports entrepreneurs we spend a portion of our time talking about what it means to be a great leader and how to effect change to move an organization forward.

When we’re working with business owners and leaders, we speak a lot about the importance of values, such as being honest, fair, reasonable, the ability to give and receive good direction, and finally the ability to be firm in your decisions.  In addition to those core beliefs, we also stress the importance of self awareness, being empathetic, developing acute focus, and the ability to see things from a macro and micro perspective.  Those are often times clouded by anxiety in business.  These are all learned traits as opposed to being an honest person.  If you’re not honest, there isn’t a whole lot we can do to help you.  That’s a value you just need to take care of on your own.  However, by applying some top notch training, we can teach entrepreneurs and business leaders to become more aware of their surroundings, to think more strategically, and to be open minded to other people’s backgrounds, ideas, and creativity.  All instrumental for the success of a sports facility or sports complex (or any business for that matter).

Where To Start

In order to truly help those in leadership positions we need to find a baseline for where they are now.  Something that Dr. Nick uses is an assessment test that helps to not only identify an individual’s personality under stress, but more importantly comparing those results to other professional athletes or Fortune 500 executives.  In a truly amazing process, Dr. Nick  identifies clear strengths and inefficiencies of an individual, analyzes the results, and then puts together a detailed plan to improve in any areas of concern.

For example, after the 15 minute, 140 question online exam, Dr. Nick can take a sports facility owner’s results and compare them to data compiled from Fortune 500 CEO’s.  This gives our clients the ability to see where they stand and where they can improve.  These results allow us to put together a comprehensive strategy to move them closer to performing at their highest possible level and become the absolute best CEO/Owner/President for their sports facility or sports complex.  Reducing the amount of anxiety in business decisions allows for the best possible outcomes for the entire organization.

Path to Success

The “yips” in business aren’t that far off from the “yips” in golf.  Both stem from being distracted, lacking focus, poor confidence, and an ineffective way of handling stress.  People handle tough situations differently.  The reality is that the most successful people in business and sports handle those situations similarly.  They find ways to get “in the zone” more often and most importantly work on staying “in the zone” longer.  They can quickly assess a situation, use rational thought, focus clearly, and coordinate a detailed plan to execute.  Essential, non-negotiable traits for success.

So tell us, how do you handle the yips for your sports facility, sports complex, or sports based company?  Do you find yourself overwhelmed at times with anxiety in business decisions?  Maybe a conversation with Parkview Sports and a T.A.I.S assessment from Dr. Nick Molinaro might be just what the doctor ordered!

As a side note, maybe the best case of “the yips” can be found in Charles Barkley’s golf game.  As a HUGE Charles Barkley fan I’ve enjoyed him as an NBA player growing up and now as analyst.  But here is the most extreme case of the yips you’ll ever see!  Enjoy!



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