Exploring the phenomenological, environmental, and task-related aspects of the Yips in Tennis, Miniature Golf, Darts, and Archery

Martin K. Klämpl */**, Babett H. Lobinger * and Tim Lehmann */***

(*) Department of Performance Psychology, Institute of Psychology, German Sport University, Cologne, Germay
(**) Department of Sport Science, University of Federal Armed Forces Munich, Germany
(***) Exercise Science & Neuroscience Unit, Department of Exercise and Health, Paderborn University, Germany

Citation

K. Klämpl, M., H. Lobinger, B., Lehmann, T. (2020). Exploring the phenomenological, environmental, and task-related aspects of the Yips in Tennis, Miniature Golf, Darts, and Archery. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 51(4), 359-382. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2020.51.359

Abstract

In two studies of paradoxical performance in sports, we examined the appearance of yips-like phenomena and movement disturbances in four vulnerable sports and analysed the sensory demands and constraints of the affected actions. Groups of athletes (Study 1, N = 1,248) and experts (Study 2, N = 66) completed online surveys. Results revealed a prevalence rate of currently yips-affected athletes of 6% in tennis, 59% in miniature golf, 32% in darts, and 34% in archery. The yips-affected athletes had more experience in their sport than the non-affected, except in tennis and reported disturbances support the notion of the yips being a context-conditioned reaction or dynamic stereotype. Therefore, in study 2, affected actions and motor skills were put in vignettes and rated by experts regarding sensory demands and constraints. Comparisons between tennis, miniature golf and archery revealed that only kinaesthetic demands and time pressure differed. Overall, results add to a deeper understanding of environmental and task-related components of yips-susceptible actions in different sports.

Keywords: Action-theoretical framework, Movement disturbances, Online questionnaire, Paradoxical Performance


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