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From The Doctor Who Cures “The Yips”.

Dr. Richard Crowley

With Forewords By Steve Blass & Shawn Green

Foreword by Steve Blass

Richard Crowley came to Florida during spring training in 1998 looking for Braves Mark Wohlers who had the yips. Instead, he found me. He helped me find my way to enjoy being back in the middle of a baseball diamond again. It finally came to pass on January 30, 2005 at the Pirates’ Fantasy camp where I pitched nine innings without a hitch. It was a return to the joy I always had pitching at any level during my career.

My journey has been well documented. A fine major league career: 10 major league seasons; over 100 wins; an All-Star selection; a second place Cy Young finish; and, a terrific World Series performance. Suddenly, all of that was followed by a loss of control causing a much too early departure from professional baseball. During that freefall I tried everything to come back and throw strikes. Nothing worked, but I felt I had to exhaust every possibility. I didn’t want to wonder later whether I had given up too soon and overlooked the one possibility that would have made a difference. I got to the point where I rationalized that perhaps my allotted time as a major league player was 10 years. But it still gnawed at me that I never knew why –why this had happened.

Dozens of well-intentioned people offered suggestions to me after my baseball career. But what struck me when I met Richard was that he said he wasn’t particularly interested in the whys and wherefores of this “thing.” He just said, “Let’s get rid of the damn thing.” I’ve never been one to over-analyze things. My style is just wing it and trust my instincts to get the job done. Maybe it was the right time or maybe enough time had passed (25 or so years), but Richard’s responses struck a cord with me. My gut feeling, combined with the urge to throw batting practice, pitch in the old-timer games or even just play catch, made me receptive to him.

Working with Richard’s technique brought about mind-shifting revelations that made playing baseball possible again; this is the heart of Mentalball. I love being around positive people who aren’t afraid to try things; Richard Crowley is one of those people. He’s confident in his abilities and he’s not afraid to take a shot at something he believes in. I believe in Richard, and I have all the confidence he can help many more as he has helped me.

Steve Blass

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mentalball

Mentalball, Beat Your Invisible Opponent at Its Own Game with forewords by Steve Blass and Shawn Green. Mentalball views the imagination, and not the intellect, as the basis for human consciousness and the source of all our experience. Mentalball quickly removes throwing problem yips in about three hours over the telephone.

Mentalball presents 45 personal stories from high school through MLB ballplayers who were struggling with baseball yips and who reconnected to their original top performance and mechanics in a fairly quick period of time. Mentalball is endorsed by Emmy award-winning veteran CBS sportscaster Gil Stratton and Hall of Fame baseball coach Bob Bennett.

 

yips

Foreword by Shawn Green

During the baseball season of 2003, I was trying to work through an injury to my right shoulder.  It was a nagging injury that would pop up occasionally throughout my career, but it had finally gotten to a level in which it wouldn’t subside. It was the type of injury that only hindered my swing; it didn’t completely prevent me from playing.  So, I played the entire season with it, and my production at the plate declined considerably. I kept thinking I could work around it, but in the end I wasn’t able to swing the bat in the same manner that I previously had. 

When the season was over, the shoulder was surgically repaired, and I was ready to go for the 2004 season. This next year, however, I was still recovering from the injury in more ways than I had realized. I was improving physically each month, yet I was having difficulties recapturing the swing I had had prior to the injury. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t find it, and once again I was struggling at the plate.

Halfway through that season, I came into contact with Richard. I was terribly frustrated at the time we first spoke because nothing was helping my downward spiral. He explained to me that my shoulder was physically healed, but we still had to remove a “splinter” from my psyche that was lingering because of the injury. We did some work over the phone that first day, and I went out that night and had a breakout game against the Giants that started to turn my season around. We worked together over the phone for the rest of that year and my production for the second half was right on par with my best seasons.
I’ve always been a person who has searched for new ideas and has welcomed “alternative” methods in baseball and in life.  Yet, at the same time, I’m very skeptical as I explore these different frontiers. I can honestly say that Richard’s techniques have been very helpful to me, and I will continue to work through slumps and injuries with his help.

I’ve come to realize that there are intangible forces or energies that greatly affect performance.  In baseball, you can show up to the stadium one day in the middle of a great hot streak, get in the batting cage, and all of a sudden feel completely lost.  You look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Where did it go?” Believe me, every player you watch on TV experiences these very feelings numerous times throughout their careers.  Every golfer on the planet has gone to hit balls, only to feel as if they’ve never swung a club before. 

The opposite is also true.  An athlete can go from being “lost” to being “locked in” from one day to the next. Baseball is a constant struggle, as is life, but I feel as though Richard has discovered a way to grab hold of an intangible “opponent” that plagues all of us.

By working through our own individual challenges, we can free ourselves of some burdens and allow our natural abilities to take over.  Just like a car, we constantly need our tune-ups if we want to run smoothly. Believe me, competing is much more enjoyable and rewarding when we feel focused, relaxed, and free.

Shawn Green