Getting the Yips is most commonly associated with sports such as golf or baseball. As Wikipedia defines Yips: the loss of fine motor skills in athletes. The condition occurs suddenly and without apparent explanation usually in mature athletes with years of experience. It is poorly understood and has no known treatment or therapy. Athletes affected by the yips sometimes recover their ability, which may require a changing technique. Many are forced to abandon their sport at the highest level.
We have seen this happen with Tommy Armour – golfer, Steve Blass pitcher in baseball who lost control of his pitching ability, NFL football placekickers, etc. These athletes had all been in the proverbial “zone” then all of a sudden out of nowhere, completely feel lost and can’t perform even the simplest components of their sport. As with Steve Blass, a great pitcher in the World Series then could not even throw the baseball over the plate.
As entrepreneurs know so well with holding leadership position within the organization, there is the stage that is euphoria – sometimes called hyper growth. Sales are booming, the future prospects look great, expansion goals, etc. then all of a sudden a few decisions can lead the company in the downward spiral. It might not be obvious at the time, but just one or two actions that are not executed can cause a tumultuous experience on the business performance. Many times a decision might be made or delayed; example – new product launch shelved because too many other key factors are taking higher priority and then 2 years later nothing is going in the right direction.
How can you overcome this “business yip”? It can be just as difficult as a golfer not being able to make a 2 foot putt. They key is to get back to self-awareness and building focus back to the key components of the business. The entrepreneur needs to look at opportunities for personal improvement, strategic thinking and many times the business yip’s occur when being distracted – employee issues, strategic partners, dealing with B.S. people, looking at multiple projects without clear timelines all at once and these will all increase the overall anxiety and poor decision making.
With training, we have assisted many entrepreneurs to become more “present” in the business, stress management reduction strategies, openness to listening to creative solutions from team members and focus on strategic thinking again. The next step is to build a plan that can be implemented into the current business model and get back to the zone and out of the business yips.