The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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PlatinumZealot
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The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Could getting "the Yips" be the reason for some drivers' form tailing off unexpectedly, at least from the outside, and without any firm explanation?

When I look back in F1 and see so many great drivers who had a drop in form out of the blue, still in their prime years, without any real solid explanation but for things like: "he's demotivated; he's got a new-born; his favourite Kardashian died! he got bit by a mosquito last winter;" sometimes I really do wonder, do those said drivers instead actually experience physical and mental malfunctions then keep quiet about them?

Do they stay silent to the point that the media have to come up with quite imaginative reasons for their drop in from?

If the Yips are really at play here, psychological studies show there is no shame in one admitting they have it - admitting so actually helps the athlete to overcome it.
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Scorpaguy
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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While I believe "the Yips" certainly exists (and is treatable)...I also have to to assume that many physiological changes are inevitable in the human species that cause declines in certain cognitive and motor skills which degrade a drivers ability to perform at their once peak level. These physiological changes (often called "aging"...somewhat correctly) occur at different chronologies depending upon the person...but are a guaranteed as long as one's body continues to metabolize O2 at the cellular level)...there are no 80 year old F1 drivers or E-sports wannabes.

However, I also aver that it is often the premature onset of physiological decline that can trigger and/or exacerbate the Yips.

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El Scorchio
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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How would the yips manifest itself in a racing driver?

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strad
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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That's a good question. How would it manifest itself?
In golf it causes you to strike the ball harder than intended on a putt.
I could picture it happening in pool.
But just how would it show in driving.
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Greg Locock
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Mistakes. Overcooking it on brakes. Silly overtaking attempts.

simieski
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Hamilton 2011, Albon this year, Grosjean ummm always?

In non US places this is normally referred to as ‘form’. Very clear in a sport like cricket where a batsmen can play sublimely scoring effortlessly and later on down the line loses some confidence and just gives their wicket away.
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Big Tea
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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I think Vetel almost certainly suffers from it. He seems to get into a downward spiral.
The more he needs result the more accident prone he becomes
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nzjrs
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Greg Locock wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:06 am
Mistakes. Overcooking it on brakes. Silly overtaking attempts.
To the degree one belives Yips is a real condition, the first two could fall under fine neuromotor issues (which is at least the most considered medical positions on what the Yips is seems to be), but the third one is just psychological, no?

Greg Locock
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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"Just" psychological ? Isn't that the point?

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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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F1 cars are so fast that they need 100% concentration at all times. The yips sounds to me as a phrase I would use if somehow the reality of the risk and absurdity kicks in. I believe Hakkinen had this, when during a test in his last season his steering wheel came loose on a fast straight (and Damon Hill had in his last year).

The term I would use for “being out of the zone” or “the off day” would be a lack of Flow. Flow is the mental state where you need to be for racing an F1 car. If not in flow, your actions aren’t natural anymore, instinct is gone, in other words, an off day. Flow is also our main source of happiness.

To read more about flow:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Greg Locock wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:50 pm
"Just" psychological ? Isn't that the point?
I think there is more than zero evidence that there is something neurological / physical there in some proportion of cases (i.e. focal dystonia, or other yet to be described phenomena)

Just_a_fan
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Greg Locock wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:50 pm
"Just" psychological ? Isn't that the point?
Go ask Mika Hakkinen. He admitted that he basically "lost his nerve" and that's why he retired.
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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It seems many have a definition of Yips that is indistinguishable from choking. FWIW I don't think that's consistent with the current professional use of the word. For a recent-ish overview I found this article quite thorough and balanced https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/05/26/the-yips

There are numerous reviews on PubMed about the topic and it remains an active field of study. My feel from skimming pubmed was that a good proportion of that research is going in the neuromotor/physiological direction and not purely in the psychological one.

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jjn9128
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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My first answer is yes isn't he a red bull junior!?

But obviously pressure gets to drivers and manifests as mistakes. Interestingly more so in red bull juniors.
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El Scorchio
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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The yips isn't really 'losing one's nerve'. It's an unexplainable mechanical/physiological deficiency which creeps into someone's technique then leads to psychological issues surrounding it, because there is no explanation as to where it's come from. (But the origin could be psychological)

As I said, I'm not sure exactly if it can be applicable to racing drivers. It's not an error of judgement or clumsiness or simply not being able to drive as fast. Look at the sports it usually affects- darts, golf, baseball, cricket, snooker. Very different. It's all about aiming and releasing an object or triggering an action. The closest I could equate it to would be some sort of inability to push the accelerator or let out the clutch and start a race properly.

I think the term 'the yips' has just come to be misused as an easily coined term for a number of other collective things.