Yips and the SAM Puttlab compared to the DVPutt

Bob
Bob

January 31st, 2005, 7:24 pm #11

Dear Bob,

Reading back over all the above strikes me (and you as well, I imagine) as all fine and good, but I'm sure you're asking what ELSE can you do other than schedule some time with Christian Marquardt. So let me take this interim stab at your problem.

The precise timing of your stroke flinch in the overall stroke seems to be a very discrete moment in the stroke just prior to impact. This suggests that your flinch is related to anticipation of impact of the putter with the ball. The brain is probably a little too focused on what will happen to the ball once impact occurs, and this is something of a "hit" consciousness. This is the typical consciousness of golfers in general, so it is not unique to you. But in your case, this "hit" consciousness may be linked with some emotion-like concerns about what will actually happen once contact takes place. The relationship in the brain between these sorts of lurking emotional impulses and movement are not well understood or straight-forward. My educated guess is that in your case this "presence of concern" and doubt, which is really the "absence of a NON-presence of concern" -- the desired state of mind -- if you follow me) triggers a movement flinch in the neurology of your movement brain. It's like a small fumble.

If this line of thought is accurate, what you want is a lack of concern for the putter impacting the ball. You actually get that by PREFERRING and DESIRING a "hitless" stroke because you believe in your soul that a "hitless" stroke will send the ball rolling where you are aimed, and there is no concern for that. In my mind, I have no fear or concern about impact with the ball. I have a technique where I focus upon the FORM and TIMING of the stroke so that I KNOW what the impact with the ball will result in -- a straight, smooth roll with solid online-impact.

I find that almost all golfers don't really understand what about the stroke motion itself rolls the ball straight consistently. This is managing the putterface thru the impact zone so that the putter sweetspot moves square thru the center of the ball straight online as defined by the initial aim of the putterface from about 3-4 inches before impact to at least 5-6 inches past impact, however you can get this done. I just work on the form of the stroke in a simple motion pattern so that I go away from the bottom of the stroke arc in the middle of my stance and then return to this bottom with the putter coming down naturally and then transitioning to an upward pendulum motion right at the bottom and then continuing squarely down the line for at least 6 inches (and preferably farther, if you are able).

With this FORM and TIMING, what happens to the ball is KNOWN clearly -- it rolls smoothly straight where I had aimed the putter face to start with. This allows me to ignore the ball entirely, once I have a consistency in ball position slightly forward of the stroke's bottom. I watch the grass blade at the bottom of my stroke and "putt that," not the ball. I don't think about impacting the ball. Instead, I think that so long as I make the FORM and TIMING of the stroke correctly, the straight roll of the ball simply results as it should. There is nothing I want to know about impact that is not already inherent in the form and timing. I CERTAINLY don't want to concern myself with trying anything cute during impact to get the ball to roll somewhere other than straight off the putterface or straight out of my setup -- where the heck would that go?!

So my advice to you is to practice the FORM and TIMING of a stroke that will roll the ball straight, without a ball! During this process, try to rid yourself of lingering concerns about "managing" impact to "make" the ball roll to a target somewhere off to the side. Instead, view the situation as a loaded gun bolted down to a shooting table -- just pull the trigger with the stroke and forget the bullet! It will go where the rifle is aimed.

Ultimately, you want to think and feel "nothing" about impacting the ball -- once the putt is planned, the putter aimed, and the body set for the stroke, "put a quarter in and get the same old great stroke out" -- whatever happens to the ball and regardless of whether the ball finds the hole. None of that helps, and only hurts.

Cheers!

Geoff Mangum
Putting Theorist and Instructor
Geoff Mangum's PuttingZone
Golf's most advanced and comprehensive putting instruction.

Over 905,000 visits and growing strong ...

518 Woodlawn Ave
Greensboro NC 27401
(336) 340-9079 cell

[url=mailto:geoff@puttingzone.com]geoff@puttingzone.com[/url]

AIM: puttmagic
Yahoo!IM: puttmagic
MSN IM: geoff@puttingzone.com
ICQ#: 277025051

I think you've hit the nail on the head. This is more a trust issue.

Thanks for your help.

Bob
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Geoff Mangum
Geoff Mangum

January 31st, 2005, 11:41 pm #12

do other than schedule some time with Christian Marquardt?? Is this possible? where can one do this if they wanted to?
Dear David,

I have met Dr Marquardt in the US last fall and again this past week. He was at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando Florida from Wednesday thru Sunday and then flew to another meeting out west. So I'm sure he'll be here in the US fairly often in the future. He has Golf Academies in Europe and perhaps he will set up some here in the US as well. Also, I would not be surprised to see major schools and universities work with him in the near future to bring him over here on special occasions.

Cheers!

Geoff Mangum
Putting Theorist and Instructor
Geoff Mangum's PuttingZone
Golf's most advanced and comprehensive putting instruction.

Over 905,000 visits and growing strong ...

518 Woodlawn Ave
Greensboro NC 27401
(336) 340-9079 cell

[url=mailto:geoff@puttingzone.com]geoff@puttingzone.com[/url]

AIM: puttmagic
Yahoo!IM: puttmagic
MSN IM: geoff@puttingzone.com
ICQ#: 277025051

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Damon
Damon

February 1st, 2005, 4:17 pm #13

Dear Geoff,

It would seem as though you have finally found some technology that you 'fully' embrace. What are some of the aspects that you like, and think would benefit the golfing world at large?

Also, how does Dr Marquardt's system complement or supplement your teachings?

Do you have plans to have the technology at one of your teaching facilities?

Any criticisms?

Finally, congratulations on being named one of the keynote presenters at this year's European Coaching and Teaching Summit.

As always, cheers,
Damon
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Joined: February 5th, 2005, 6:30 pm

February 5th, 2005, 7:25 pm #14

I think you've hit the nail on the head. This is more a trust issue.

Thanks for your help.

Bob
Dear Bob,

I think Goeff has done a great job by explaining the true background of the Yips problem to you. Indeed, our research reveals that Yips is not a psychological problem (although it strongly seems so), nor any kind of pathological brain dysfunction. The psychological problems (like anxiety) are more the trigger for the Yips.

The Yips itself is mainly a motor strategy problem. Hard to understand, but it can even affect any golfer. There is always a conflict in executing fast but precise movments: Precision tends to focus attention to details of the movement which leads to slowing down of the movement (feedback control), whereas smooth automated movements have to be executed at a certain speed without direct conscious control (feed forward control). Here comes the problem: The underlying motor control programs are not compatible and can not be processed at the same time. Precision control - or precision execution. You have to decide. This means, the more precise you want to be to control the outcome (also unconsciously) the more the movement execution tends to be disturbed.

Our SAM PuttLab system definitely helps to train on Yips problems, because it can measure even the smallest Yips in any stroke, also in strokes where you would not recognize it. Try putting with the right hand only and feel what your hand tends to do at impact.
Treatment of Yips is quite sophisticated, I needed over a decade to really understand all the complexity of the problem. However, there are some simple tricks to cope with the problem.

1) First, you have to understand that the problem comes only from one hand (in 95 %)

2) The problem is already "programmed" before movement begin. There will be no chance to avoid Yips inside of movement execution once it is integrated in the movement plan.

3) Never fight against the Yips. Never train against the Yips.

4) The simplest way to avoid Yips is to find an appropriate "image" of your movement, which makes the Yips "superfluous". This may sound somewhat strange, but this method is very powerful. If Yips is triggered by anticipation of ball contact, then try to find a picture where there is no explicit ball contact, i.e. try to use the putter like a broom to sweep the floor.

5) Seperate precision and execution from each other. Precision before movement begin, but while execution is only rhythm. No other thought. This can be trained. As Goeff mentioned, the putter head will then whole the putt, not you.

6) Please understand, that not "you" know how to hole a putt, only your "hands" know. We are complete layman to the execution of highly complex skilled movements.

7) A simple drill: Block ball movement by putting the left foot on the ball. Make a normal putting movement. You will have an extremely stabile feeling of impact. Remember this feeling and make a normal putt. Feel the difference!

8) While training, do not try to avoid the Yips if it comes. Use the Yips then to understand the difference in your movement planning to a not yipped putt. Once you understood the mechanisms, you will be able to cope with the Yips.

I hope these tips helped you. I know that it is very hard to overcome the Yips on your own. But sometimes it works pretty well if you find the right training drills. More than that, not using inadequate training drills will prevent the problem from becoming worse and worse over time.

We will set up SAM YipsClinics also in the US, but this will take some more time. Our Yips training is a fundamental behavioural like approach. I am sure Goeff will certainly keep you up-to-date.

Best regards,
Christian

Dr. Christian Marquardt
Science&Motion GmbH
Fritz-Lange-Str. 2
D-81547 München
Germany
cm@scienceandmotion.de
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