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How Do You Beat the Yips?

2188 Views 103 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Mike1956
What they are, if you aren't familiar with the term:

"In sports, the yips (in gymnastics, lost move syndrome or the twisties) are a sudden and unexplained loss of ability to execute certain skills in experienced athletes. Symptoms of the yips are losing fine motor skills and psychological issues that impact on the muscle memory and decision-making of athletes, leaving them unable to perform basic skills of their sport."


I've been experiencing them as I've worked to up my speed and accuracy out of the holster. During dry fire sessions (which I've been limited to for the most part. Too cold for working on live fire much.) things work great. Moves are fast and smooth. I pick up the target quick. Effective trigger pull, no muzzle movement. Beating the par time. Life is good.

On the rare outdoor live fire sessions I've been able to get in, a much different story. Everything was just falling apart. Cover garment, draw stroke, marrying the hands, extending, picking up the dot, everything became rigid, exerted, frenetic.

My last couple trips out, I've been getting things worked out. I'm not sure how to describe that frenetic feeling that was coming over me, but I could feel its absence after breaking down each part of what was going wrong on the range and working them out during dry fire. I've started my live fire sessions off with some slow, sure hits and then speeding things up. It feels like I'm back on track with both the seven yard stuff and twenty-five yarders. My goal on the twenty-five is sub-1.5, and I was hitting 1.4s regularly by working my way down. Same with the seven-yarders. I started out with reliable 1.2s, and sped things up.

There won't be any live fire sessions for the next few weeks, given the weather forecast. That said, it feels like I'm right back on track.
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Sounds like to me like it's totally stress-related. You're driving yourself too hard. Your skill level is higher than most bother to reach...I think you should stop pushing and enjoy more.Your mind will drive...you look for where the hole needs to be and start your draw...the rest should happen on automatic. You could cut your speed by half and STILL be faster than someone holding a gun on you could make their mind up to squeeze the trigger...more if they were talking. Your discipline and your made-up mind buy you time a lot don't have...they're still trying to figure out the what-ifs when they ought to have taken the shot. Go for nothing but fun a coupla times...it'll take the frenetic hurry feeling away.

Edited to say the above's just my oldpinion. Ain't gonna argue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds like to me like it's totally stress-related. You're driving yourself too hard. Your skill level is higher than most bother to reach...I think you should stop pushing and enjoy more.Your mind will drive...you look for where the hole needs to be and start your draw...the rest should happen on automatic. You could cut your speed by half and STILL be faster than someone holding a gun on you could make their mind up to squeeze the trigger...more if they were talking. Your discipline and your made-up mind buy you time a lot don't have...they're still trying to figure out the what-ifs when they ought to have taken the shot. Go for nothing but fun a coupla times...it'll take the frenetic hurry feeling away.

Edited to say the above's just my oldpinion. Ain't gonna argue.
Nope, no arguments. I put it up here for opinions. Thanks!
 

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Do you think that, mentally, you are psyching yourself out as you compete against yourself? Then, because of that, every little mis-step gets you more flustered. I've had days like that.
 

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Target Panic. It’s a real thing.

When you are practicing at home you are relaxed. But the actual firing of the gun is making your subconscious mind tell you that this is the real deal, for all the marbles, do or die…

Archers experience this all the time, but it can manifest to different shooting sports.

This may help you realign your thought process;
 

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I say overtraining because I’ve done it off season dryfire. Shooting white hot, too much dry fire for a month with zero live fire, came back from break absolutely terrible. To the point regulars noticed and asked what was going on. I took a couple weeks off and was right back to business, like nothing had happened.

In my case we suspect my dry fire got sloppy and then I built that in. I didn’t shoot any live rounds to confirm and I went off the rails. To a lot of people’s enjoyment, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Target Panic. It’s a real thing.

When you are practicing at home you are relaxed. But the actual firing of the gun is making your subconscious mind tell you that this is the real deal, for all the marbles, do or die…

Archers experience this all the time, but it can manifest to different shooting sports.

This may help you realign your thought process;
Excellent article. I see lots of mike1956 in there.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do you think that, mentally, you are psyching yourself out as you compete against yourself? Then, because of that, every little mis-step gets you more flustered. I've had days like that.
Something like that. You've watched me perform at levels I've already mastered. Once I have it down (achieved the breakthrough), I'm good to go. Until I get there, the Yips are often part of the process.
 
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Excellent article. I see lots of mike1956 in there.
Me too. I have to make an intentional effort to verify my sight instead of just seeing it before I pull the trigger. There is a difference as I have learned.
Kind of like the difference between hearing vs listening.
 

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I say overtraining because I’ve done it off season dryfire. Shooting white hot, too much dry fire for a month with zero live fire, came back from break absolutely terrible. To the point regulars noticed and asked what was going on. I took a couple weeks off and was right back to business, like nothing had happened.

In my case we suspect my dry fire got sloppy and then I built that in. I didn’t shoot any live rounds to confirm and I went off the rails. To a lot of people’s enjoyment, too.
Ye gods, I went through the same thing, although I wouldn't call it overtraining in my case. Back problems kept me away from shooting from April through September last year, and recovery from August spine surgery was slow. Even though I kept up with dry fire sessions at least 3x per week, actual live fire was a huge awakening as my shots were not going where I was calling them. Ouch! Twice-weekly sessions in the desert (away from the restrictions of my club's public range) helped get me back in the groove, enough to avoid completely embarrassing myself at the USPSA Area 2 match which my club hosted in November. The physical recovery is now at about 90% of mobility and 80% of strength, but I'm impatient with my progress and over-think my corrective actions (e.g., much more grip pressure from weak side). The proof to me that my problems are more mental than physical is that I shot pretty well in the last .22 pistol steel match, where there's no pressure to achieve the next higher classification or win anything
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I say overtraining because I’ve done it off season dryfire. Shooting white hot, too much dry fire for a month with zero live fire, came back from break absolutely terrible. To the point regulars noticed and asked what was going on. I took a couple weeks off and was right back to business, like nothing had happened.

In my case we suspect my dry fire got sloppy and then I built that in. I didn’t shoot any live rounds to confirm and I went off the rails. To a lot of people’s enjoyment, too.
I was going from smooth, light and fast while dry-firing to clunky and clumsy frenetic when transitioning to live fire.

I've made some nice progress with it lately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ye gods, I went through the same thing, although I wouldn't call it overtraining in my case. Back problems kept me away from shooting from April through September last year, and recovery from August spine surgery was slow. Even though I kept up with dry fire sessions at least 3x per week, actual live fire was a huge awakening as my shots were not going where I was calling them. Ouch! Twice-weekly sessions in the desert (away from the restrictions of my club's public range) helped get me back in the groove, enough to avoid completely embarrassing myself at the USPSA Area 2 match which my club hosted in November. The physical recovery is now at about 90% of mobility and 80% of strength, but I'm impatient with my progress and over-think my corrective actions (e.g., much more grip pressure from weak side). The proof to me that my problems are more mental than physical is that I shot pretty well in the last .22 pistol steel match, where there's no pressure to achieve the next higher classification or win anything
I've been known to overdo it with grip pressure, as well, which makes absolutely no sense to me when I think about it. The guns I run are fairly low recoil. Whatever I'm doing wrong isn't due to inadequate grip pressure.
 

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There was a time that I would think about what I was supposed to be doing.

When this happened my reactions would be compromised.

It took a little while for me to understand that my body knows what to do.

My father would tell me you are thinking about it to much. Just do it….
 

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Breath through your eyelids like the lava lizards of the Galapagos Islands.
 
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