I think we've all seen examples of it. Not only a catcher that can't throw the ball back to the pitcher (but can throw perfectly everywhere else), but pitchers who can't throw strikes, and infielders who can't make routine plays. Basically, the player starts doubting himself and too much thought preoccupies him to the point where all he is focussed on is the negative, and follows through on it.
A couple of terms for it are "The Little Man", "Steve Blass disease", "the Yips".
I've actually had this problem before, as a catcher and it haunted me for a couple of years. Suddenly, one day it was almost as if I just forgot how to throw. I can't explain it any better. I still catch now (I'm 24) but I don't have the problem, though every now and then I find myself focusing too hard on my throws and spraying a few around while trying to return the ball to the pitcher.
So now a younger guy I'm coaching (17) is having the same problem and I feel for him. He is thinking too much about the throw back to the pitcher, and it's a shame cuz this kid could eventually sign a minor league deal.
So I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this, or know of any ways to help deal with it. It's exactly the same as the situation in Major League II where the catcher can't throw back to the picture. I'm not sure the whole Playboy memory thing would work. Any other ideas?