By Dr. Michael Lardon

For an interesting look inside the mind of a top-level college athlete, read Albert Chen’s piece on Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave in the Aug. 31 issue of Sports Illustrated, linked here.

In it, he describes the painful process Stave went through to recover from a form of the “yips” in his throwing motion — a problem that threatened to derail his career.

In the article, I talk about the two different kind of yips athletes experience. The first kind are a movement disorder — an actual disconnect between the brain and the muscles. The second kind are a sort of panic attack — the mind being overwhelmed by the situation and essentially short circuiting.

There are interesting lessons for anybody to learn from Joel Stave’s recovery process. He build his confidence and calmness back by concentrating on the basics and fundamentals, and caring only about those instead of results.

Stave made it all the way back, and the senior is starting again for the Badgers this season. It will be great to watch him get back out there and enjoy the game.