The Yips

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Do you recognize the man pictured above? He’s a former first round draft pick, AL Rookie of the Year, a two-time silver slugger, a four-time All-Star, a four-time World Champion, and a Gold Glove Award winner. Even though Chuck Knoblauch experienced such impressive success, he is most well known for his famous case of the unspeakable…yips.

He made an unprecedented number of throwing errors, routinely making abnormal throws out of the reach of the first baseman. (During one game, an errant throw sailed into the stands and hit sportscaster Keith Olbermann's mother in the head.) After making three throwing errors in six innings of the Yankees' 12–3 loss to the Chicago White Sox, on 16 June 2000, Knoblauch voluntarily left the game. He then left Yankee Stadium in his street clothes while the game was still in progress. Stumping commentators, fans, and himself, Knoblauch never fully recovered his throwing accuracy. He was reassigned to left field by manager Joe Torre, never to return to his old position.[i]

Knoblauch went from being a Gold Glove second baseman to being unable to throw a ball 45 feet without hitting Keith Olbermann’s mom. It was really hard to watch and no one could fix it. No amount of throwing seemed to shake the yips. Make no mistake; the issue was not a physical issue. It was mental. Somewhere along the way, Knoblauch believed a lie that he could never overcome.

If it could happen to him, it could happen to any of us. What are the lies that you tell yourself?

  • I can’t throw 45 feet.
  • I’m not good enough to be here.
  • I’m too good to be here.
  • I can have success without spending time in the weight room and the cage.
  • I work harder than everyone else so I deserve more.

All it takes is belief in one little lie and it’s toxicity spreads into your attitude and into your actions. The only thing that kills lies is Truth. In the end Truth wins. The beauty is that God is Truth and there is no problem too big for Truth.

“Similarly, the difficulties twenty-first-century churches and Christians face are no problem to him either. Entrenched unbelief, arrogant intellectualism, socially-accepted sin, careless indifference—all can be broken down by the power of the Holy Spirit.”[ii]

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” -2 Corinthians 10:4–5

Satan is the author of lies. Don’t allow the lies that he produces to have a stronghold on your play or your life. Kill lies with Truth by taking every thought captive. Don’t let one thought slip through unfiltered by the Holy Spirit that lives in you. The consequences could be catastrophic.

[i] Wikipedia “Chuck Knoblauch”

[ii] Deuteronomy: An Expositional Commentary