Psychological Stress Destroyed my Backhand

Back in my University days, something was wrong one day on the tennis court. My backhand has left me, almost stunned that there was no longer confidence in my ability to deliver a solid double-handed backhand drive, what was I to do? Watching the Mardy Fish Netflix documentary over the weekend, with mental health being addressed now more than ever, lets investigate that day I lost my backhand, and what does science say about this phenomenon in dealing with performance anxiety?

The yips are a term used in baseball, golf and other ball sports; focal dystonia is a real medical term used to describe neurological dysfunction in executing a specific chain of movement. I was helpless at the time yet coping with this debility by deciding to change my backhand completely towards a defensive slice, and never went back to the technique that served me in my junior years. The Netflix documentary reminded me that there may be many others that could benefit from my predicament.

It does start with that small voice in one’s head, most of the best performers out there know about this, and deal with it intelligently. It is said that the bigger the occasion, the more this conflict plays out therefore some greats have defeated their inner sabotage before breaking new barriers.

Those of you would want me to elaborate exactly what happened with my backhand that day. Quite simply I was blocking and snatching at my shots that put my confidence in my ability at an all-time low. It was like I was asking for the hitting partner just to focus on hitting on my backhand side until I got it right without quite understanding the “why” things were falling apart. It is one thing to get it right in a practice, but to never go into a match with this belief that I could keep it up more than a few times in a rally was all in my head, and I never talk the time to address what was going on.

The Mardy Fish not only showed non-sports people that the game of tennis can be too repetitive for one’s well-being, and in his story, he dedicated a period to improve his world ranking status that ended up being the number one American based player at the time, this all had an effect on his mental health for it was dealing with new stresses that were not generated in the past.

Not facing your “dragon” is what would be related to looking into the mirror and becoming the authentic person you were supposed to be can take a lifetime, and the periods of three or four seasons will take much time to process, in my case, it took 20 years to realize that my fundamentals were not sound and I cannot beat myself up with the expectations that I had set myself.

The coaches I had in my formative years were probably unaware of how I was learning the fundamentals, and a good example of my backhand looking OK during some of those early days may be because this weakness was never exposed to the point where I would need to decide “Do I fight this, or do I just let it go…and it will come back to me…”

It took me so long to realize my nuances because now with my golf swing, I had to address some fundamentals that got me thinking. It was a moment, and even still, it’s easy to fall into that habit or defaulting to behaviors that would lead to that snatch or that blocking mentality. It took me some introspection to realize that I was not shoulder rotating like I should, and golf exposed this lack of force that is required in precision performance.

It takes me back to that day, because when psychological stress begins in your mind, maybe it’s the scoreboard, the spectators or your expectation that raises the anxiety. Quite simply I was not doing the move that loads the right sequences in my tennis stroke. As I would freeze upon one error, the shoulder rotation of mine was gone, and then there is a reliance on your smaller muscles like your hands and wrists to generate the missing chain that your postural muscles provide. This was revolutionary to think of now, and to hear of focal dystonia being directly related to the pathways that would deal with fine motor skills like the above other side arm sports like baseball and golf. The baseball pitcher loads the respective sequence and releases through his finer motor controls and overuse will affect this release to the point where it becomes, “That pitcher is choking under the pressure, because releasing correctly with loose kinematics is the difference between 100mph curveball and the 85mph knuckleball”.

In golf, the repetition of blocked practice especially with putting can have cerebral implications. The golfer may rely on fine motor control of his right hand influencing the putting stroke and behold when he visits a sport scientist the recommendation of left forearm and equipment modification solves his yips, and hopefully this new pathway does not reach that point of fatigue.

It’s ok to be overwhelmed, the brain is taking in information all the time, and sometimes the objective reality gets in the way of someone making sense of the situation. I did not go on to succeed in tennis but found that coping strategy with daily tasks and what happens in the flow state are worth the mention. It is not the end of the world if I lose this match, this is either a learning opportunity or a confidence booster with the appropriate exposure I am embarking on. This is all music to one’s ears if you are currently in a slump. Learning a new language, confidence issues with technology, anxiety in public places are all part of the new normal.

My double handed backhand may be gone, but an understanding of the psychological stress and how it impacts your performance are serious as the local Police officer required to make an arrest or diffuse an escalating situation between two belligerents. The Policeman may be faced with multiple cues as the stimuli in his environment require a prioritized response to handle the situation. Blocking out the psychological stress and effectively moving into a objective reality of not being emotionally affected by a household that reminds him of his family, but his cognitive ability to react requires a state of being present that may be compared to a performance on stage that requires extraordinary moments in time slowing down with the physiological adrenaline boosting the body’s preparation to react, and knowing his training protocol mounting his firearm are all examples of autonomic reflexes that are requiring no cognitive ability. This is fundamentally understood, and the consistency of doing this under the highest of pressure trumps my flailing backhand that was put away never to open that pandora’s box ever again.

That was another insight into the study of Human Moves, any similar analogies you would like to hear more about, drop a comment, like, share and subscribe to this blog.

Landing WFH job interviews, elevator pitches in an urban garden and making track OLYMPIC history.

How has your week been so far?

It’s August already, and a year that should be forgotten. All-time track performances at the Tokyo 2020 games, alchemy in your victory garden and a successful remote job interview can change this pandemic year in a heartbeat.

Continue reading

Is your business about to get left behind?

Time for digital leadership!

Digital Business

Brian Solis nails it. This isn’t time to react. This is the time to lead.

  • Now is the time to decide you are going to be a digital executive.
  • Now is the time to decide you are going to be a digital business.
  • Now is the time to not be disrupted.
  • Now is the time to connect people.

Tomorrow will have you left behind both personally and corporately. Disruption is around the corner.

Now is the time!

Most businesses are merely reacting to the rapid evolution of technology rather than trying to create engaged customer experiences throughout the life-cycle.

In a world where screens and real-life moments define the impressions and resulting actions of customers, businesses need to rethink their approach. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, smart watches, Google Glass et al., it’s not slowing down. Technology and innovation is only accelerating.

Via Brian Solis

View original post

The Week that Wasn’t…

I am super excited to have the option for my articles to be published in audio podcast. It is the Study of Human Moves, it was the first week of July, how is your 2021 turning out? (I am definitely not the countdown type!)

Learning something everyday is necessary for my ‘One Thing’. Dabbling with some GitHub learning content was a start, however the LinkedIN learning algorithm sends my profile free courses that are available for a 24 hour period.

The need for Creativity in your Business-by Seth Godin

The main take-away was that for most of my career I was results orientated.

It is okay to feel overwhelmed and sometimes it’s okay to head down a path that leads to a learning opportunity.

The WordPress environment has also been a deep learning path, to which I have considered work options with Automattic (Parent company of WordPress).

On the the strike of midnight, the kindle and hard copy version of my first self-published book went on sale.

Brianna McNeal and other athletes were handed an Olympic heartbreak!

Not only is my favorite Kaley Kinin archetype not heading to the Tokyo Olympics, her lost appeal with the CAS, has lead to a five year ban.

Sha’Carri Richardson the top finisher in the 100m trials received a months ban that ruins her individual chances of a medal, yet the ability to compete in the relay lies outside of the offense for testing positive for a recreational drug.

It goes to show that the whereabouts laws to which these athletes comply as well as the pressures to perform in a Covid 19 bubble, opens up the Tokyo Medal chances for alternates!

Two more bans in the track and field involve two Namibian athletes that did not meet the prescribed testosterone criteria outlined in the new guidelines of the World Athletics governing body.

This all sounds like my self published book playing IRL in the build up to a postponed games, and who knows the news that is yet to come.

On the financial front, I have had no big pipeline of business to consider, and this may be the case for many serial entrepreneurs like myself.

In my line of business, I have made INCOME, the most prioritized lever for transformation change, yet just like the Seth Godin advice, I am probably not considering the hard questions that will solve many peoples problems presently.

I only in the last week, have launched a digital asset that will produce commissionable sales. I added a donation button to fast rack the crowdfunding required for a responsive website. I have not started with the option of selling more items online, but this will be imminent considering that I have weekly cash ups that require scrutiny, and every business requires thus accountability.

It is hard to also consider the transaction of investors that will conditionally hold equity in your designed engine for possibility. I guess, I am deep into this endeavor, and require the necessary step to great!How is your business? And what corona proof strategies does your enterprise face on a weekly basis?

My UpWork Connects is a mere 10 new renewables a month, and it’s a hard task to rank on this freelance site to guarantee long term work, but do I even use those positive reviews in my other profiles? Landing better paid jobs is an art, and I could do better linking my portfolio to make the job market more open to collaborate!

On a health front, my victory garden is looking good. I need this simple affirmation daily, as I have never felt this disconnected even though my social media would not correlate with this morning routine. The Gardening and the Circular economy may be also an injection of angel investing, however I don’t have any volume to offer instead the instructions to lead a sustainable garden in your backyard!

Health, Soul, Skill, and Mind Set all covered in this podcast, a tip of the hat to Robin Sharma and his 5am club, may this week whether it start on a weekend, lead to a cascade of change transformation that benefits you and your future self!

Dubai-based businessman wins UAE’s 10-year Golden Visa

Interesting article on Wealth options…

Business Insights

The Dubai-based Dutch businessman Bilal Moti has been granted a 10-year Golden Visa in the UAE.

Bilal Moti, the Managing Partner of Windmills Valuation Services, is a long term resident of the UAE.

He said: My family and I are truly delighted to receive a 10-year Golden Visa by the UAE authorities. “We feel further welcomed for living and doing business here, and adding our part of professional and social value to the unparalleled growth and development of this country.”

I chose to set up my valuation services business in the UAE based on its internationalism, professionalism and its fastest growing market size, and am very happy with my decision. I foresee the local economy multiplying in the coming 10 years,” Moti added.

The UAE has transformed into one of global business hubs over the last 30 years, with safety, business- friendly regulations, advanced infrastructure, diversity, excellence in many economic…

View original post 109 more words

The origin of my new tagline_

“The study of human moves” may be a fanatical way of supporting the ideology in the 1984 film ‘Color of Money’. My Big Short was an ideation looking into the digital version of doing business, we are in the age of augmented reality. The Big Short was an inspiration to the understanding of macro economics and money supply. One would say its an opinionated take on the control of treasury bills that runs the world, I would rather think its a reminder of the game that has repeated itself in centuries of industrial revolution.

Head Space – Excellent method for Mind Body Connection

Head Space is an App (available on iOS and Android). I have been using it for Rest, Recovery as well Sharpened Focus in Career and Sports.

The App has a Introductory Course on Meditation, and it took me to a place where I was mindful of my fixed-rhythm breathing. It was the Introductory Steps from beginner that built some good habits, building up your tolerance to meditation sessions from 3 min to 10 min.

I decided to have the evening sessions that would assist with relaxation before bedtime. The problem lately has been the decompression after the day, and requiring the compartmental review of the day.

The app has options to select different dialogue, I have a preference to have a male voice as this reminds me of my real time feedback and that phantom voice in the moments decision making.

Adam Greentree on Joe Rogan Experience

This podcast is available on the spreaker, iPhone app, and Youtube.

A wealth of information by connecting with nature

Episode #1224- Adam Greentree

It is something worthwhile. Listening to this Australian, you only root for the individuals striving for their passion with big dreams.

His passion is bowhunting and filming documentaries to survive in the bush. He has a range of topics from his travels to the most diverse of American Rockies to the Nevada Desert.

He was raised by aboriginal tribe back in Western Australia (100 miles from any neighbour!) His knack for bush photography and wilderness filming detail encounters with wild boars, black bears, as well as some of the collateral beauty when commissioned to cull eco-systems on isolated islands with over-population of gazelle roaming.

Enjoy the stories and the nature connection in his quests. He starts off the podcast with his family travelling in the States for the next five months, and the DisneyWorld experience (Walt Disney spewed in my mouth!).

His encounter with Mountain Lion, and the comparison of being ended by either a crocodile at a watering hole vs. a grizzlie. “Those bears will play with you like he does his staple salmon supply, and that could be a long painful death,” Adam remarked.

The Wolves Packs are super intelligent. The Wild has a code, and the developed technological world is another predator, to which there is constant hunting in analogous terms.

Joshua Tree Air Traffic, Haptic feedback in AI with Scarlett Johannssen, Meteors camping out are all part of random flow of two conversationalists both appreciating the serenity of silence, but the depend on the social media following to fund their endeavours.

That Little Tournament in Augusta- Countdown to the Masters- PART TWO

Amen Corner

The second shot at the 11th, all of the 12th, and the first two shots at the 13th hole at Augusta are nicknamed “Amen Corner”. This term was first used in print by author Herbert Warren Wind in his April 21, 1958, Sports Illustrated article about the Masters that year. In a Golf Digest article in April 1984, 26 years later, Wind told about its origin. He said he wanted a catchy phrase like baseball’s “hot-corner” or football’s “coffin-corner” to explain where some of the most exciting golf had taken place (the Palmer-Venturi rules issue at twelve, over an embedded ball ruling and how it was handled, in particular). Thus “Amen Corner” was born. He said it came from the title of a jazz record he had heard in the mid-1930s by a group led by Chicago‘s Mezz MezzrowShouting in that Amen Corner.

Hole 12: Golden Bell (155 yards) Par 3.

In a Golf Digest article in April 2008, writer Bill Fields added some new updated information about the origin of the name. He wrote that Richard Moore, a golf and jazz historian from South Carolina, tried to purchase a copy of the old Mezzrow 78 RPM disc for an “Amen Corner” exhibit he was putting together for his Golf Museum at Ahmic Lake, Ontario. After extensive research, Moore found that the record never existed. As Moore put it, Wind, himself a jazz buff, must have “unfortunately bogeyed his mind, 26 years later”.

Hole 13: Azalea (510 yards) Par 5

While at Yale, he was no doubt familiar with, and meant all along, the popular version of the song (with the correct title, “Shoutin’ in that Amen Corner” written by Andy Razaf), which was recorded by the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, vocal by Mildred Bailey (Brunswick label No. 6655) in 1935. Moore told Fields that, being a great admirer of Wind’s work over the years, he was reluctant, for months, to come forth with his discovery that contradicted Wind’s memory. Moore’s discovery was first reported in Golf World magazine in 2007, before Fields’ longer article in Golf Digest in 2008.

Hole 11: White Dogwood (505 yards) Par 4

In 1958 Arnold Palmer outlasted Ken Venturi to win the tournament with heroic escapes at Amen Corner. Amen Corner also played host to Masters moments such as Byron Nelson‘s birdie-eagle at 12 and 13 in 1937, and Sam Snead‘s water save at 12 in 1949 that sparked him to victory. On the flip side of fate, Jordan Spieth’s quadruple bogey on 12 during Sunday’s final round in 2016 cost him his 2-stroke lead and ultimately the championship.

These are the 5 types of property that can be expropriated without compensation under a brand new Bill

Phillip de Wet , Business Insider SA Dec 21, 2018, 09:26 AM

The Cape York building in Johannesburg after it caught fire on July 05, 2017. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Wikus de Wet)

  • The minister of public works published a new version of the Expropriation Bill for public comment on Friday morning.
  • It spells out exactly how expropriation – mostly with compensation – will work.
  • These are the five kinds of property the draft law specifies could justly be expropriated without compensation.

Public works minister Thulas Nxesi on Friday morning published a draft of the new Expropriation Bill, kicking off a 60-day comment period.

The draft law spells out in detail how expropriation – mostly with compensation – will work, detailing how valuation should be done, how disputes should be settled, and how money should be paid.

No property, including land, may be expropriated arbitrarily or for any reason other than the public interest, the law holds.

See also: The Land Bank says expropriation without compensation could cost the government R41 billion overnight – or it could be amazing

But the Expropriation Bill also specifically holds that “it may be just and equitable for nil compensation to be paid where land is expropriated in the public interest” – under certain circumstances.

These are the five kinds of property the new Expropriation Bill says could be subject to expropriation without compensation.

Abandoned property

Zero compensation could be fair “where the owner of the land has abandoned the land”, the draft law holds.

It does not specifically refer to hijacked buildings in central business districts, but legal experts have previously speculated that such buildings would be easy targets for expropriation without compensation.


Property owned by the likes of Eskom and Transnet.

Not paying compensation could be just “where the land is owned by a state-owned corporation or other state-owned entity”, the Expropriation Bill says.

The more than 700 state entities in South Africa include many with extensive land holdings surrounding various facilities – including such urban gems as Eskom’s Megawatt Park headquarters north of Johannesburg,.


Land held for speculation

It may be equitable to pay nil compensation “where the land is held for purely speculative purposes”, the draft reads.

It does not specify how to differentiate between land snapped up for future development and land bought with the idea of flipping it for a profit.


Land into which the state has already invested more than its value

Expropriation without compensation could be done when the market value of the land is less than the value of “direct state investment or subsidy” spent either to buy it, or on capital improvements made.

There has been speculation that failed land reform projects, where government has heavily subsidised community farming projects, could be subject to expropriation and re-redistribution.


Farms with labour tenants – or perhaps just portions of such farms

Expropriation without compensation may be appropriate where “the land is occupied or used by a labour tenant”, the draft law says.

Labour tenants are defined as people who live or have the right to live on a farm, or in some cases those who had parents or grandparents who worked on a farm in return for living there. They also include some people who had the right to cropping or grazing.

The draft bill makes provision for partial expropriation, which could be used to expropriate only sections of farms, but also has a mechanism where those affected by partial expropriation can ask for the full property to be taken instead. 

For the full document published for sixty day comment…