Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher has missed five extra points in a row as of this writing. Some think he has the yips, but what does that mean?
Brett Maher is a kicker for the Dallas Cowboys, for those unfamiliar. In Dallas’ first postseason game of the 2022-23 season against Tampa Bay, Maher missed four straight extra points. It was an extremely embarrassing display for a kicker whose job depends on his or her ability to kick a small, oval-shaped ball through the uprights.
Some believe that Maher’s struggles are mental, rather than physical. His struggles continued in the Divisional Round, when his first extra point was blocked.
Got the yips: What does it mean?
The Mayo Clinic explains it as a mental disorder, or an involuntary motion, rather than something the patient has any control over.
“The yips are involuntary wrist spasms that occur most commonly when golfers are trying to putt. However, the yips can also affect people who play other sports — such as cricket, darts and baseball. It was once thought that the yips were always associated with performance anxiety.”
In this case, it is impacting the gridiron, as well.
What is the yips in sports? Rick Ankiel, Chuck Knoblauch and more
The yips could have a major impact on any athlete. After a few missed opportunities, an athlete could convince themselves that they not longer have the athletic ability necessary to repeat a motion. In this sense, it is out of their control, thus eliminating any chance of ever returning to the norm.
In baseball, there are several example of this, such as Rick Ankiel, Mackey Sasser and Chuck Knoblauch.
Does Brett Maher have the yips?
It’s unclear if Brett Maher has a similar issue, as he could very well regain his confidence, perhaps in a different situation. Maher is in his mid-30’s, and has kicked for five NFL teams. It’s surprising to see such an affliction impact him at this point in his career.