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June 15, 2022 40 mins

From Simone Biles’ brush with the twisties to Rick Ankiel’s experience of the yips, the constellation of phenomena known as the yips–and the stories of the athletes who experience it–are some of the strangest in the world of sports. Far more common, but perhaps equally opaque, are mood disorders like depression and anxiety, and on this episode of Losing Control, host Justin Su’a talks with Karen Swartz, a clinical psychiatrist who specializes in mood disorders and community education. Mood disorders destabilize confidence, shift the relationship with the things we care about the most, and impact how we see ourselves–just like the yips–and in the second half of the episode, retired Major Leaguer Rick Ankiel reflects on the yips, mental health, and how his experiences in baseball have shaped his relationship to sports, and to life.

  • Rick Ankiel, a retired professional pitcher, outfielder, and author of “The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life”
  • Karen Swartz, the director of clinical and educational programs at the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

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