Preliminary Evidence for the Treatment of Type I ‘Yips’: The Efficacy of the Emotional Freedom Techniques

in The Sport Psychologist

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Mike RotheramMetaphorics Performance Consultants

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Ian MaynardSheffield Hallam University

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Owen ThomasCardiff Metropolitan University

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Mark BawdenMetaphorics Performance Consultants

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Lynn FrancisSport and the Mind

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This study explored whether a meridian-based intervention termed the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) could reduce Type I ‘yips’ symptoms. EFT was applied to a single figure handicap golfer in an attempt to overcome the performance decrements the player had suffered. The participant underwent four 2-hr sessions of EFT. The EFT involved the stimulation of various acupuncture points on the body. The appropriate acupuncture points were tapped while the participant was tuned into the perceived psychological causes (significant life event) associated with his ‘yips’ experience. Dependent variables included: visual inspection of the ‘yips’, putting success rate and motion analysis data. Improvements in ‘yips’ symptoms occurred across all dependent measures. Social validation data also illustrated that these improvements transferred to the competitive situation on the golf course. It is possible that significant life events may be a causal factor in the ‘yips’ experience and that EFT may be an effective treatment for the ‘yips’ condition.

Rotheram and Bawden are with Metaphorics Performance Consultants, Bamford, England, UK. Maynard is with the Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, and has served as Editor of The Sport Psychologist. Thomas is with the Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK. Francis is with Sport and the Mind.

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