part of my conversation with good friend
Craig Kotilinek where he turned the tables on me and started grilling me
with some questions in particular actually a really cool question he’s
asking about his tennis game and the fact that he’s encountered the serving
yips right so basically the ball toss yipping that and having a hard time
getting that down in a consistent basis and feeling confident about it a lot a
lot of parallels between that and the putting and chipping yips that we see in
golf so really cool conversation I’m really glad that he put me under the gun
it really wasn’t the gun but we had a great time with this talk and hopefully
you guys find it valuable and if you’re a tennis player
I suspect you might find it really valuable thanks guys this is the golf
essentials podcast with Casey Bourque cool to you you’re gonna you’re gonna
flip the table on me now yeah crazy right I started a podcast was so
that I could be grilling others I don’t oh man see this is the part I shouldn’t
know I had my way I right I should have the big hot lights that we have for
video you know there’s they’re full full studio lights and I’d be shining it
directly in your eyes and yeah giving you any water and all that and taking
all your cigarettes and bad thing that’s right so so what I want to talk about a
little bit was I was listening to your podcast and the veterans out there will
know this is podcast the yips and I was really excited about this because I just
had a bout with the yes I play a lot of tennis I play a little bit of golf and a
lot of tenants and I’m not great at tennis but I love it
same with golf and so I was going through a thing with my serve where I
was just kind of nude alarming it and it just wasn’t working out and it’s the
equivalent of gifts for for tennis so interesting um you talked about the yips
and you talked about what a big deal it was to be at that tournament and and
just have things not work out and then you didn’t tell us how you fixed it
yeah well you’re you’re right and the truth is on that episode I didn’t I
there is a separate episode where I get really deep with a friend of mine who’s
up in New York that is battling with the yips and and he shared with me that
challenges he was going through and I did get him some recommendations and
sort of shared a little bit about how I got through it but yeah I mean in case
you didn’t hear that so in case you didn’t hear that episode I I have a
background of having the pudding lips to the point where I almost quit golf and
then four years later I was standing on the tee at the US Open so that was a
very cool thing but to me because it was so internalized for me I
literally my college teammates my fraternity brothers that I was at in
college they had no idea I had the yips I mean it was all on me and you’re eight
you’re keeping it completely under wraps 100% this guy that I just talked to on
the podcast he said I had no idea you had the yips in college you know our
team won three national championships in college and you know I was like I was
fighting my ass off to try to hang in there and everyone then it was good but
it was not easy times you know I love how it being talked about as if it’s
some sort of terminal illness yeah yeah yeah it’s this whole time I had no idea
man well it can feel that way if no yet and one thing we talked about and I’m
sure it’s not to the point with you with with your serve but in golf the fear is
not so much of the individual results like you don’t you honestly don’t care
whether the ball goes in or out the fear is the flinching itself like I just I
just want to be able to make emotion whether it’s a putting stroke or serve
without the flinching right I just want it if it doesn’t even go in that’s cool
if it doesn’t you know but at least in golf and I’m and I’m not sure I played
some tennis actually went there today with with Julia my daughter and she’s
getting into it right now Craig so that’s weird I didn’t didn’t invite that
but no no that was on purpose yeah but we need to get out there that’ll be fun
yeah but yeah the the advice I I offered was for him he’s up north
he’s got the wintertime where he’s got the luxury I call it the luxury of
having the winter but he’s able to practice and set up a system in his
house where he can make sure that he’s setting up over the ball the same way
every time and get a lot of repetitions in
and to see some improvement and to feel some confidence before you obsess about
the results you know what I mean yeah and yeah it’s that same for a serve so
for me it’s all about the technique and having a routine so once I got my ball
toss under control everything came to play again it was fine
relatively you know I don’t think you ever really completely get over them but
and that’s I think true because you’re trying to have a high level of whatever
it is so if you’re if you’re trying to have a high level of putting a high
level of accuracy whatever it might be if you’re having a high level serve with
more speed more spin whatever it might be I feel like this gets more amplified
where you know if you’re just thinking it over or you just you know screwing
around plotting it really doesn’t matter you’re never going to think about it
enough to have the yips but for those of us out there who do think about this
stuff enough it really it’s all about technique to me and having that routine
so if you watch the pros everybody does it the same way you know each person
does the same way over and over again for a reason right however they do it
it’s the same way right and there’s right yeah Lord of course like one day
they’re gone out there and doing a cartwheel before and the next on they’re
not you know absolutely absolutely but there there is an element of paralysis
through analysis and I’m yeah that’s very both right and 3-liter
personalities are different you know so some guys play golf and they don’t think
about anything they don’t think about any technique they just see ball hit
ball and that works for them and others you need to know the intricate move
movements of every body part and they like that and most of us fall in the
middle somewhere and you know I think moving too far to the end of the
analysis side can can lead to sort of this perfection complex you know for
sure for sure I think if you don’t that for me it was like I get to a big pole
and I started thinking well how high should my toss really these because my
toss must be above my head it supposed to be in front of me if you don’t have
that part dialed in or more if I can focus on just that one part then it gets
better because I don’t think about the serving motion I don’t think about the
racket speed I don’t think about my wrist I just think about the toss and I
just let the rest of it do its job ya ya know in um in in golf every shot is
dictated by the person in tennis at least most of the shots you hit are
reactionary so like a hundred percent reacting and I would think in tennis the
the likelihood of yipping or flinching for regular ground strokes is much much
less than exactly the dictator yeah shot of a serve and so that’s what we fight
in golf is and there’s a lot of science to it and there’s people that that
really try to make golf more reactionary so that you talked about a pre shot
routine and the stuff that you do it’s the same every time
but dwelling on it and hovering over the ball and you know getting in your own
head is not productive so there are golfers that you know will
really expedite that sort of pre shot waggle the club and rip it yeah you know
overly that looking like you see guys on TV tour guys that’ll they’ll do their
homework and plan their shot but when they get over the ball of but it’s get
over it and hit it like no dilly-dallying well and I think for them
to they’ve got the technique it’s perfect already you know or it’s good is
gonna be so I think for a lot of the people who are somewhere in the middle
it’s gonna be figuring out that technique whatever that one thing is or
multiple things whatever it might be that you can focus on that is technique
and then let the rest of it rip it that’s how it was for me for tennis yeah
yeah so have you have you worked through them or
you still you still feel them once in a while or where do you stand out it’s
really a results-driven thing so if I observing well that day I will not feel
them whatsoever and it’s getting less and less as I get more comfortable with
it but it really just comes down to the toss so I’m sure like with golf every
time I golf I try to think left arm straight no matter what that’s all I
think about you know I don’t think about head down or anything like that I just
think left arm straight okay and he it gives me one thing to focus on and then
I let the rest of it do its job so you know if you have enough of a foundation
to at least because I’m big on the pair of paralysis by analysis I’m totally
that person I will sit and think about it too long and and overanalyze
everything yeah and so if I can get out of my head and just think about one
thing and let the rest of it be more muscle memory then I’m good so I hope I
really hope that could help somebody else out there too because that was kind
of a big battle for me yeah yeah so for you serving its if you could get the
ball up there in the sweet spot up in the air from from there on you’re fine
it’s just tossing it consistently yeah and I mean for golf too it’s like you
said in that one episode about the the club’s opening yardage so that’s those
are the tough shots you know I mean it just for me I know if it’s 150 I’m
hitting a 7-iron and that’s probably pathetic to a lot of everything
that’s what it is right no yes so you know and like you’re close enough you
can chip whatever it might be but it’s them those middle yardages that are just
brutal because you have to do a half swing have to a slower swing whatever it
might be some people will tell you more wrists which I completely disagree with
you know those are the tough shots because you have to think about it much
more or you have to feel it much more so for me those are the key ones to just
focus on one thing typically it’s keeping my left arm straight right
whole thing right and and the the toss and setup and toss and tennis is it’s
not full bore it’s a it’s a feel thing right totally
oh yeah I mean in in that vein if you were gonna take the same approach as I
took with golf you know some of the stuff I did was you know putting over a
coin at home in the wintertime or in the offseason or even in season like while
everybody’s watching TV I’m standing there putting over a coin just to set up
a perfect environment and get reps in with your toss what what might build
some confidence would be like alright I’m gonna I’m gonna do that same thing
at home I’m not gonna I’m not gonna serve a bunch of them but I’m gonna
literally go through everything but and do the do the toss and somehow have a
target up there in the air like maybe a little hoop that you’re trying to toss
the ball through that is like 10 feet up or whatever and yeah and you know
anything goes to be able to toss it and have it land perfectly back in your hand
without moving your hand yes sort of some sort of thing where you
could measure factually you know how you’re doing it and build your
confidence and repeat and repeat and eventually you would you would aim to
turn your brain off as much as possible right to the right to lean on that work
that you had done obviously yeah being Vanessa but that’s such a big thing to
for anybody out there who is struggling with this and this could be anything you
know this could be people are bad test takers people are whatever it may be it
does get better if you just keep practicing it I mean you have to
practice with purpose obviously and figure out some of these things that are
gonna make you improve but it will get better and you’ll stop thinking about it
yeah yeah no that’s cool that you’re coming out of that though I suppose I’ve
heard of that but I’ve never really thought about it in tennis but any sport
it’s like Shaquille O’Neal shooting foul shots you know no my god yeah do it and
it was super it was so ugly and people say why can’t an NBA player just hit a
foul shot and it’s more to it it’s not that he’s not talented obviously you
know oh yeah I’m sure at home he can hit you know nine out of ten of them it’s
just the underneath the lights you know sports there’s gonna make fun of them
the next day all that stuff plays a big factor in it and it will with everybody
yep there’s I mean bunch of things cluttering your mind other than what
you’re doing right and in tennis to to go back to that too it was like if you
just rip every single serve you’re gonna probably miss 90% of them and that’s
you’re gonna lose every single match you know so there is you have to you have to
hold back a good bit you got to serve it say like 70% or whatever it is and I
think that’s a big lesson in golf too is just don’t murder it I mean for sure
accuracy is such a big thing in any sport you know there’s so few sports
like maybe powerlifting or something where you it’s just primal strength but
yeah nothing else compares like in golf you have the luxury of if you’re more
comfortable murdering it which a lot of people are you know a lot of people have
a hard time dialing it down but you could take a conservative strategy and
then murder it so if you instead of hitting your driver easy you could take
a 3-iron and then rip it you know what I mean you could take a strategy that
isn’t gonna get you in much trouble but so you have more I like golf but do you
feel like people there their techniques the flaws and their techniques magnify
themselves though as they try to hit harder for sure that’s what happened for
sure and the wonder the ones that say hey I just I just swung too hard or I
need to slow it down in order to hit it straight there’s a there’s a technical
flaw there right are you you ought to be able to turn it up and swing not as hard
as you can you could you could swing within your
bounds of keeping balance and and control but you should be able to rip it
more or less as hard as you want and have the club moved through the right
positions and hit the ball straight it’s read English in a Durham swinging slow
you know that’s what’s interesting to me about your yips is you obviously had to
have had the technique down because you’re playing at a high level already
yeah and it was completely mental I mean there wasn’t yeah the form was there was
just a complete mental situation which is really interesting to me yeah for
sure I had gotten years and years and years of reps like crazy but for me it
was a combination it it was something that was physical that crept into my
mental so when I came down here to play golf in Florida we all of a sudden were
playing on Bermuda greens which are a lot grainier and I didn’t know nobody
really educated me on how to read grain and if you don’t read grain you can look
kind of stupid on short putts sometimes like you could be way off it’s like
ignoring the wind when you’re hitting a barrier and yeah and so I wasn’t
comfortable at all and I look stupid a few times and then it gets in your head
and so that physical sort of manifested into into my mental and once it’s there
it’s real hard you know right but guys I’ll be there and that was fine I went
home in the summers and I was okay you know and then I come back to school
thinking everything’s gonna be good and then you know struggle in some ways it
was a technique thing it just was one you didn’t know about kind of yeah
I was I was aware that I hated Bermuda greens okay no I write it’s like most
people and Nickelback you know there’s no there’s a visceral hatred for them
they just don’t know exactly can’t put into words yeah but the super
interesting topic I think and one that I get a lot of comments on and questions
about is that sort of mental side and handling
pressure and whether it’s the yips or performing at the end of golf
tournaments or the end of a good round or you know that stuff is where that’s
real that’s where the real sport is they really is yeah that that’s what
separates the great from everybody else I mean yep and that that’s the kind of
stuff you can put in every part of your life too because whatever it might be
the end of a sentence at a board meeting you know the end of a match whatever it
is it’s all the same mentally you’re right right so do you feel like you ever
got completely over them no no even now and now that for me the challenge is I
have old expectations with new work ethic which means okay you know Tour
level expectations we’re a ten year old and a five year old
at home and playing golf you know not more than one week and hit a few balls
once in a while so what you do there is you go ahead and you transfer those
expectations and your kids and you push them as hard that’s reinforced some
lightly apparent but yeah I’m just gonna be the dad that just yeah just live my
daughter success you know right there’s gonna cost
yeah and and really the best motivator is yelling yes you’re fading yep and
though right for the record I’m not on board with that hey if you like my stuff
guys be sure to subscribe share it with your buddies and shoot me any questions
you have I’ll be sure to do my best to tackle it
in my next episode thanks guys

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Dennis Veasley

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