Dystonia is a collective term used to describe involuntary body movements, tremors, and muscle contractions that lead to reduced motor skills. While some may experience these symptoms throughout their entire body, specific manifestations of the disease can affect only the hands and arms. "The yips" is a colloquial term used in athletics to describe the sudden inability to perform that seems to come out of nowhere. For a long time, most people believed the issue was purely psychological.


1. About the Yips

The term "yips" originated in the 1920s. It was used to describe a jerky motion of unknown origin, presumably born from weak nerves. In 1973, Steve Blass, star pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, suddenly lost his ability to throw accurately, and his name became synonymous with pitchers losing fine motor skills. In golf, the yips usually manifests as involuntary wrist spasms during putting, and in cricket, bowlers lose their accuracy and form, much like pitchers. Doctors suggest that people with elevated stress, anxiety, and perfectionist tendencies are more at risk of developing the condition.

yips steve-blass wrist-spasms woraput / Getty Images


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