The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Big Tea
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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El Scorchio wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:54 pm
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.
I believer the USA version is called 'Buck Fever', stemming from hunting. When a magnificent trophy was being hunted, (apparently) excitement caused an unsteady hand and aim. Ball players, especially rugby, it is when there is a free run in to the line and you get the pass and drop a ball you would catch 999 times out of a thousand because your mind has already moved to the 'glory' before making sure the simple work is done
(I know because I have done it more than once :oops: )
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raymondu999
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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I need a bit more context. I’m not familiar with this term “yips” - but English is my 3rd language. Can anyone help?
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El Scorchio
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Big Tea wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:19 pm
El Scorchio wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:54 pm
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.
I believer the USA version is called 'Buck Fever', stemming from hunting. When a magnificent trophy was being hunted, (apparently) excitement caused an unsteady hand and aim. Ball players, especially rugby, it is when there is a free run in to the line and you get the pass and drop a ball you would catch 999 times out of a thousand because your mind has already moved to the 'glory' before making sure the simple work is done
(I know because I have done it more than once :oops: )
No, that's not it. (At least just in my opinion, from what I understand)) That's situational and it's pressure/choking. The yips as I understand is a more consistent problem regardless of external pressures like a big moment or the crunch time (although it often brings more pressure- but internal pressure- onto the individual because they are aware of how the yips will affect them when they know they have it.)

It's from the very outset just having issues doing what you normally can. Eric Bristow is a good case to study. He just found that every so often, he couldn't let go of a dart properly- even in practice. Then it because a bit more common and thus he would start to worry, and it started to affect his throw more and more like a vicious circle. Then he just basically lost the ability to throw. Although in darts they call it dartitis, but it is the yips.

The equivalent in hunting would be just to inexplicably not be able to pull the trigger or to at least hesitate and do it in a non natural way, rather than to simply pull and miss because of pressure. Or in rugby to just not be able to catch (or throw accurately) any pass, even in practice or in any game situation- just a basic pass. Not a key one. It would equate more to throwing than catching though.

However there is a lot of vague and even conflicting info about it- mainly because it's something that doesn't have a rational explanation for why it's happening. (like dropping a game winning try in the last minute is easily explained because of the pressure of the occasion)

Fascinating though!

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

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Seriously, I really recommend reading the New Yorker article I posted.... It includes diverse examples of the phenomenon from sports, music and other activities one might not consider Yips-worthy.

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Big Tea
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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El Scorchio wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:25 pm
Big Tea wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:19 pm
El Scorchio wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:54 pm
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.
I believer the USA version is called 'Buck Fever', stemming from hunting. When a magnificent trophy was being hunted, (apparently) excitement caused an unsteady hand and aim. Ball players, especially rugby, it is when there is a free run in to the line and you get the pass and drop a ball you would catch 999 times out of a thousand because your mind has already moved to the 'glory' before making sure the simple work is done
(I know because I have done it more than once :oops: )
No, that's not it. (At least just in my opinion, from what I understand)) That's situational and it's pressure/choking. The yips as I understand is a more consistent problem regardless of external pressures like a big moment or the crunch time (although it often brings more pressure- but internal pressure- onto the individual because they are aware of how the yips will affect them when they know they have it.)

It's from the very outset just having issues doing what you normally can. Eric Bristow is a good case to study. He just found that every so often, he couldn't let go of a dart properly- even in practice. Then it because a bit more common and thus he would start to worry, and it started to affect his throw more and more like a vicious circle. Then he just basically lost the ability to throw. Although in darts they call it dartitis, but it is the yips.

The equivalent in hunting would be just to inexplicably not be able to pull the trigger or to at least hesitate and do it in a non natural way, rather than to simply pull and miss because of pressure. Or in rugby to just not be able to catch (or throw accurately) any pass, even in practice or in any game situation- just a basic pass. Not a key one. It would equate more to throwing than catching though.

However there is a lot of vague and even conflicting info about it- mainly because it's something that doesn't have a rational explanation for why it's happening. (like dropping a game winning try in the last minute is easily explained because of the pressure of the occasion)

Fascinating though!
Is this not the same? your (his) head has moved on to the next step in the sequence before completing the one he is at?

If he was just throwing a dart at a wall, would he still have the problem, or were his expectations so high that he could not complete the step he was on through pressure of not being sure the next step was good enough? (I mean being a treble 20 or what ever.)

With the ball catch, in my case anyway, it seemed to be a case of acting too quickly. by the time the ball arrived i had completed mechanical act of catching before the ball was in the correct position. The catch would have been fine if it had been a half second later
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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raymondu999 wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:08 pm
I need a bit more context. I’m not familiar with this term “yips” - but English is my 3rd language. Can anyone help?
You can read the New York times link Njrz posted.

Very insightful. I learned quite a lot from reading it just now.
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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El Scorchio wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:54 pm
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.
Read this link...
nzjrs wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:46 am
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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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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If I understand the Yips correctly now, it’s the (sudden) loss of physical abilities to perform your sport, loosing precision with it.
In autosport you don’t have that as much, because although the sport is very physical, it’s less meticulous then for instance golf. The motions are not as free. Most controls are just in one dimension. What does happen is trapped nerves and vains, either through trauma or the stress inside a cockpit.
Of course, the main reason for suddenly being slower is head trauma, what caused many drivers speed (Massa, Piquet and Moss as the best known).

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

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Quite right NZJ. Your articled linked sums it up nicely.
At least as I understand the term, as a golfer.
If I may from that article:
Haney was suffering from a much dreaded golf malady, which consists of an involuntary disruptive movement of the hands, wrists, or forearms. In the great majority of cases, it affects putting or chipping, both of which involve relatively small, relatively slow strokes, but, as in Haney’s case, it can infect full swings, too. Versions of it have been known over the years by many names, among them “freezing,” “the waggles,” “the staggers,” “the jerks,” “whiskey fingers,” and “the yips.” That last term is the one that’s used almost universally today. It was coined around the middle of the last century by the Scottish golfer Tommy Armour, a sufferer, who defined it as “a brain spasm that impairs the short game.” Bill Mehlhorn—a contemporary of Armour’s and a leading tour player in the nineteen-twenties—once had a short putt in a tournament in Florida, but he jabbed the ball so far past the hole that a competitor standing in the fringe on the far side of the green had to jump out of the way
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Daniel's turn?? :?
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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El Scorchio wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:54 pm
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.
Very good post. I think some here are misusing the term.

Examples of the yips:
A tennis player who keeps mistiming their serve (overthinking the ball toss height or the timing of swing)

A driver who keeps screwing up the clutch release at the start. Massive wheel spin or bogs down every time.

A driver who loses their feel for threshold braking and overshoots or locks up on lap 1 every time.

A driver who keeps turning in for the corner too early or too late (Try taking a GT3 car through it's paces at Spa and you'll might find yourself with a case of the yips trying to get the right turn in point through Eau Rouge and Blanchimont). Turn in too early and you mount the kerb and spin out. Turn in too late and you run wide.

A driver who either overshoots or undershoots the markings in the pitbox every time.

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

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I’d always thought that it was caused by that moment of second-guessing yourself; at the top of your game you just ‘do’, when you have to take time to ‘think before doing’ you seemingly lose your edge. Once you notice this yourself, you start to second-guess yourself, then you start to doubt yourself, then you start to concentrate on what you are doing wrong.

In mountain biking there was always a belief that you must look at where you want to be (and letting the bike deal with it), rather than look at the things you want to avoid. Tree-hugging at speed hurts, but tends to be caused by the rider being too concerned about tree-hugging.
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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Yeah it is called lack of motivation, lack of self-confidence, low self esteem (regarding driving), lack of trust in the team, lack of interest

Look at Vettel when he went out in 2018. He was never the same, it's as his self confidence was shattered forever

Then look at Alonso, still driving like it's his first season.

Some drivers just lose the interest of being in the edge and start being a little bit careless about performing at 100% (yet still fast enough to be in F1) like Kimi Raikkonen did and sort of indirectly admitted when he said it was just a hobby for him

Some people are tougher than others, drivers who empty their minds the moment they hit a track are less likely to lose their speed with age, of course, within realistic limits.

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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Teddy Yip did exist, he was one of the last millenia team owner stalwarts in F1 and F5000.
Another one on whom all subsequent teams stand on the shoulders of.

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Re: The Yips - does it exist in Motorsport?

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Stu wrote:
Tue Oct 25, 2022 6:59 am
In mountain biking there was always a belief that you must look at where you want to be (and letting the bike deal with it), rather than look at the things you want to avoid. Tree-hugging at speed hurts, but tends to be caused by the rider being too concerned about tree-hugging.
Same thing in motorsport really, you don't look at the corner you're approaching, you look at where you want to be at the exit.