“He Called it the Paradox that the Upper Parts of our Brains Invest the Games that we Play... Then the Lower Parts are the Ones that Play it”
Joe Yurko Part-2 Interview 2021-11-11
Joey Myers 00:06
Hello and welcome to the swing smarter monthly, well not monthly newsletter anymore, last time Joe and I got on, it was the swing smarter monthly newsletter.
Joey Myers 00:13
Now it is the Swing Smarter Hitting Training Podcast. So first I want to welcome you to the show, Joe.
Joe Yurko 00:19
Thank you, Joey, thanks for having me back.
Joey Myers 00:21
We got to collect our Joe's and Joey's as many as we can on one call.
Joe Yurko 00:25
Yeah, not too many.
Joey Myers 00:27
Well, hey, this is a take two or part two, not take two because we didn't do it over. This is a part two to our sports psychology of hitting series, and Joe's got 10.
Joey Myers 00:37
We'll go over though just briefly, but 10 different principles, sports psychology principles, that he's got into system that he works with.
Joe’s 10 Sports Psychology principles that are a part of his hitting system
Joey Myers 00:48
We're going to be going over the second one today, which is the unconscious brain versus the conscious brain.
Joey Myers 00:55
Joe, just give people who didn't listen to the first episode, just a little bit about your background that makes you credible to talk on sports psychology.
Joe Yurko 01:04
I taught in northern New Jersey for 41 years, and I coached baseball, different levels for 38. I was varsity coach for 21 and I retired in 2014. I still did some coaching at a Catholic school down in New Jersey and I did that for four years.
Joe Yurko 01:31
COVID came around and interrupted 2020 season and 2021 season, it's all the players who graduated, and then they missed their senior season. I decided not to go back. But I've been doing this since I retired, writing these articles just for the heck of it.
Joe Yurko 01:51
I taught a sports psychology class that I created at my school. It was the only class I took with me, I put everything in a couple big notebooks, and I sent out. I wrote this way back in the early 90s for my players, it was only just a few pages, just basic things.
Joe Yurko 02:19
I said, one day I'm going to expand on this and take the stuff that I was using in my sports psychology class, like different units. Probably my famous favorite one was the conscious unconscious aspect of how the brain works.
Joe Yurko 02:37
I saved a lot of things, a lot of the articles, there was one about Mike Schmidt from 1983 and George Brett from 1980. There was an article from New York Times Magazine in 1989 called Find the Zone or Finding Zone, and I save that from 1989 a hardcopy. I probably still have it somewhere.
Joe Yurko 03:12
I was interested in this stuff since I was in college. I get a term paper relating this book. I think I mentioned that last time PSYCHO CYBERNETICS by Maxwell Maltz. I related to the game of handball.
Joe Yurko 03:26
Basically, when you try to hit a kill shot, you can't and when you don't try to hit kill shot, you do. 19-20-21 years old, that kind of drove me crazy. If you're strong willed, it's probably a disadvantage.
Joe Yurko 03:43
I think George Brett probably had that problem in 1980 trying to hit 400. I was always interested I just never found an outlet for it.
Joey Myers 03:59
I think what's interesting is your journey is like my journey, into the hitting side of things, you’re not a sports performance psychologist, just like I'm not a biomechanist or a physicist or an electrical engineer, where I can talk about hitting, but I think the thing both you and I have in common is we have a passionate curiosity for an aspect of hitting.
Joey Myers 04:18
Now you do the mechanical side, but it seems like the sports psychology side has really been the bug in your brain that has never really deafened down.
Joey Myers 04:29
Joe has been on an obsessive grabbing information about sports performance psychology and reading into it and you can have a master's in it without having a master's in it. So that's what I like about Joe. He's always thinking about this stuff and it's thinking about this stuff almost obsessively.
Joey Myers 04:50
Like you said, he's got hard copies of some of these articles that go date back into the 80s and in the 90s and things like that. I mean, that's somebody who's really into something and is going into different nooks and crannies of it.
Joey Myers 05:03
Before we dig into the deeper part of the unconscious brain versus the conscious brain, go over your 10 pillars that you talked about. Again, you don't have to go deep into any of them, we're going to go deep into the second one.
Joe Yurko 05:14
Well, while there's 10. Last time, I forgot number nine, so you inspired me to put the number nine into number eight, the first part of number 10 and make that number nine. So here goes, the other thing, the conscious unconscious, that's not the second one.
Joey Myers 05:37
Oh, that's right. Oh, four and five, right?
Joe Yurko 05:39
I did a series of articles for a website of mind design sports. Started by then sophomore at Ridgewood High School in New Jersey. It's kind of amazing what he did, he brought in people from like, over 30 countries around the world on this project.
Joe Yurko 06:05
I was just texting him the other day because he texts me, when was this? When's the Spanish meeting? I guess you got me mixed up with somebody else.
Joe Yurko 06:18
I tried to write my best Spanish, I haven't taken Spanish a long time, but you know, no comprendo, what are you talking about?
Joe Yurko 06:25
Anyway, the 10 rules, first one is know yourself. I took personality theories from the personality chapter in my psychology book and just incorporated them into hitting, like a hitting mindset and I found it interesting.
Joe Yurko 06:50
Second one is know the pitcher. I have like 15 Different things under that as to what the pitcher does kind of like what people talk about now, about what your approach is, and that sort of stuff.
Joe Yurko 07:07
The third one is know the situation, I did a takeoff on the poem Casey at the bat, and I incorporated concepts from the social cognitive theory, Albert Bandura. I applied it to Casey at the bat.
Joe Yurko 07:26
Namely reciprocal determinism, how your thoughts affect your behavior and behavior affects your thoughts and your thoughts affect, they affect each other, all three of them. I put that into Casey at the bat.
Joe Yurko 07:43
The fourth one was, the so-called paralysis through analysis and the fifth one was basically you can't make yourself hit it, you can't force yourself to hit, you can't try to hit.
Joe Yurko 07:59
George Brett talked about that a lot in 1980, Alex Rodriguez talked about it when he's going for his 500th home run.
Joe Yurko 08:08
The sixth one is the conscious brain versus the unconscious brain. We'll go into that today. That's one of the articles that's on the website.
Joe Yurko 08:21
Number seven is don't beat yourself and then go into the emotional and even do a thing on fear and I'm finishing that up and then I'm done with this project.
Fear: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod Crane, in the story, he was afraid, but it was his own imagination that caused him to be afraid, there was no Headless Horseman.”
Joe Yurko 08:36
I'm doing a thing on fear, I even incorporated probably my favorite short story of all time, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod Crane, in the story, he was afraid, but it was his own imagination that caused him to be afraid, there was no Headless Horseman.
Joe Yurko 08:58
Number eight was deal with the ups and downs, which I threw in number nine and made it part of number eight and the number nine was, even when you hit the ball well, you might fail.
Joe Yurko 09:17
I incorporated that number eight and number nine is, live in the moment. I took that from number 10 because number 10 was quite long.
Joe Yurko 09:30
Number 10 I changed to find the zone, but the subtitle was let or let the zone find you which is more the case when you can't find the zone. You can't hit a home run when you try. Alex Rodriguez said that that's the hard way.
Joe Yurko 09:52
You can't do a kill shot handball by trying, so I mean what the zone finds you and it's a great book. I don't think I mentioned it the last time, it was from the 1950s, believe it or not.
Joe Yurko 10:07
The remarkable thing about this whole thing is now it's like common, everybody's into this stuff. But this stuff goes back, it goes back to 1950s. This book called Zen in the Art of Archery is about either a student or teacher in Japan who wanted to learn to be an expert Archer.
Joe Yurko 10:29
He got in with this expert archery teacher, and they go into the whole thing, and it's so applicable to hitting that it's incredible. I go back and read the highlighted things, very short book, I think you could get it on Amazon, it's really, really a great book.
Joe Yurko 10:52
I included a part about archery, then I kind of got fascinated with rock climbers. It was a series on PBS by a Stanford neuroscientist by the name of David Eagleman. He went in about rock climbers and Alex Honnold came along, and he scaled El Capitan without any ropes
Joey Myers 11:27
Free solo for that documentary on Netflix.
Joe Yurko 11:30
Yes, and even the photographers, the people, they got Academy Awards for it. The shots would make your stomach turn.
Joe Yurko 11:48
They did a study on him when they did a brain scan of him on his amygdala. They did all these tests, trying to elicit fear, and the participants at the study and all this stuff. His amygdala, which is basically in simple terms, it's where your fears are processed, or where they lie.
Joey Myers 12:18
The reptilian part of the brain, it's when they say, it's missing in serial killers.
Joe Yurko 12:22
Yes, right. Well, his amygdala didn't light up in the experiment. He made the comment that, do I have one? The people conducting the experiment says, Yeah, you have one, that's light up.
Joe Yurko 12:44
In other words, he had no fears. I'm thinking, because when I was coaching, you put people in situations, or you wind up in situations that some of them never really anticipated or imagined.
Joe Yurko 13:06
Being in Bergen County, New Jersey, they have a county tournament, which is, I guess, going on 60 years now, and it's a big deal. We were a small school, small group two school.
Joe Yurko 13:25
There were Catholic schools that are large powerhouses, and they could draw kids from far, near, and far. It was tough to compete against them. Matter of fact, one of the schools was coached by Mike Stanton pitched for the Yankees, when we play them in a county tournament. That's the kind of competition we were up against.
Joe Yurko 13:51
Probably in their wildest imaginations, they didn't anticipate getting in a county final twice in a five-year period, which was unheard of for school our size at the time. You're dealing with fear and you're dealing with emotion and how do you deal with that as a coach? I even I showed them.
Joe Yurko 14:11
One year I showed them the cartoon version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, players asked my assistant coach, why does he show us that? My response to my assistant coach was because he's one of the people who are guilty of being afraid of headless horseman that don't exist.
Joe Yurko 14:32
One year I had this parent, there was a good pitcher on a team we played in a state tournament. See, the interesting thing about New Jersey, or at least Bergen County, New Jersey, is that the county tournament, the state tournament was going on at the same time, or it used to be, then they kind of staggered it a little bit.
Joe Yurko 14:52
To compete in both tournaments at the same time for a school, our side of the group two school is four groups. 1 for 2, and 3 for 4 against, the type of competition we faced was difficult.
Joe Yurko 15:08
Anyway, we faced the other kid who was probably their best pitcher, didn't throw anywhere, like in the 90s. But the father is going around telling us, telling our kids that the pitcher we might face throws like 95 miles an hour.
Joe Yurko 15:08
You just didn't have enough arms to make it and we did. This father, we're getting ready to play this team in the state tournament. And he starts telling the kids of this opposing pitcher on the other team, who we never went to facing in the state tournament.
“These kids were walking around saying, we're going to face a guy throwing 95 miles an hour. I'm trying to counter that.”
Joe Yurko 15:45
I remember I was in a delicatessen in town getting lunch. I heard that this guy said this, oh, you got to be kidding me. These kids were walking around saying, we're going to face a guy throwing 95 miles an hour. I'm trying to counter that.
Joe Yurko 16:05
This is when you've got your information from printed newspapers, not online. I went looking for the statistics, because they used to put the statistics, high school statistics in every like Monday, and they went back to an old issue.
Joe Yurko 16:22
The kid was like, ranked 15th in strikeouts. I said to my team, this kid doesn't throw 95, so if he throws 95, guess what? He'd be striking out 18 kids a game, maybe 21 kids a game, nobody would touch him.
Joe Yurko 16:38
Throwing a legitimate 95 back. Yeah, a few years back before nobody threw 95. Now everybody does. I found it and put it on bulletin boards to hear, this guy doesn't throw 95, if you throw 95, you wouldn't be 15th in strikeouts.
Joe Yurko 16:56
You're dealing with that as a coach, and you're trying to dip into all the resources you possibly can. I was always interested in this sort of thing.
Joey Myers 17:09
So, let's segue that into the unconscious and conscious brain, the differences in those and I love the stories that you tell because there's a lot of your principles in those stories and some of the stories you've told there's elements of that unconscious brain.
Joey Myers 17:24
What I want you to do is just kind of briefly explain the difference between the conscious brain, the unconscious brain, and then what I like to you to do is tie in the cup experiment with the kid.
Joe Yurko 17:39
I'm not a neuroscientist. I'm not a psychiatrist. I'm certified to teach psychology in the state of New Jersey, which is separate certification. So, everything I learned, I learned the hard way.
Joe Yurko 17:57
There's an old saying, if you want to learn something, teach it.
Joey Myers 18:02
Joe Yurko 18:03
I had great textbooks. I taught advanced placement psychology, too and that text, I still use that textbook, that was incredible, and there's all this stuff in there. Obviously, I gravitated towards it. Before I forget, I tell stories to teach things.
Joey Myers 18:35
Exactly, which is great.
Joe Yurko 18:38
I relate it to whatever, like the story of Mike Schmidt. It's kind of like unforgettable, story of George Brett, you don't forget that, so that's what I do.
Joe Yurko 18:53
Basically, I'm telling stories in these articles that I wrote, the last one, I did a thing on distractions and related it to Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor with the Mets with the thumbs down controversy thing. So that's what I was doing.
Conscious Brain: “...your thinking parts, the parts that land rockets on the moon and invent sticky notes and whiteout and things like that.”
Joe Yurko 19:14
Basically, the more recently developed parts of the brain, your thinking parts, the parts that land rockets on the moon and invent sticky notes and whiteout and things like that.
Joe Yurko 19:36
That part of the brain that wants to do your Algebra homework for you and that sort of stuff, that gets in the way of your athletic performance, in the lower parts the brain, around the brainstem, the limbic system, your hippocampus, especially your cerebellum, and the amygdala gets involved.
Joe Yurko 20:09
There's a part called the basal ganglia, that's when I first ran into reading that article from New York Times Magazine, the journalist was Lawrence Shainberg. That's where I first ran into basal ganglia. What the heck's basal ganglia?
Joe Yurko 20:27
I was teaching my psychology class about the basal ganglia. I had all kinds of diagrams on the parts, I forgot all the different parts, but it's how, what you take it from your senses gets transferred to wherever regions of the brain that do it.
Joe Yurko 20:47
The thing is, when you're really performing well, in the zone type of thing, you don't even realize you're doing what you're doing. David Epstein, he wrote a book called The Performance Cortex. He did a review on Amazon for another book. I forget which one it was.
Joey Myers 21:15
He did The Sports Gene, too, I think.
Joe Yurko 21:18
Yes, he might have been the guy who did sports gene. Performance cortex might have been the book that I'd have to check.
Joey Myers 21:26
Joe Yurko 21:27
I wind up doing things, you get me into questions. And then I start relating to things and I forget stuff. But anyway, he wrote this interesting thing on Amazon and a review.
Joe Yurko 21:40
I'm paraphrasing, the fascinating thing about athletes is that when they're doing what they are good at what they do, they don't even realize they're doing it. I said, that's great.
Joe Yurko 21:58
I put the quote on that article on the unconscious brain and versus the conscious brain thing. I said, that's good. That's the article where I talked about Mike Schmidt, and his problems with self-awareness.
Joe Yurko 22:21
There's a quote at the end of the movie Bull Durham, by Annie Savoy, played by Susan Sarandon. And she says, the world is made for people who aren't cursed with self-awareness, or I think something like that.
Joe Yurko 22:45
Obviously, she was referring to Luke LaLoosh who was totally out there. I didn't put that into the article originally and I ran across that quote, so I added it to the whole mental roles of hitting thing that I've been working on and that's it.
Joe Yurko 23:12
Like Mike Schmidt, back in 1983. I guess he thought too much. Pete Rose said some problem with Mike is that he cares too much. Mike Schmidt's manager, Paul Owens, I guess he was old school, not enlightened in New Age psychology.
Joe Yurko 23:32
He said Schmidt was just insecure. I say to you guys, hall famer. He struggled with thinking too much. He said, I admit I'm too self-aware.
Joe Yurko 23:46
How do you shut that off? When I was young, it drove me crazy that when I wasn't trying, I did something good. When I was trying, I didn't do anything good.
Joe Yurko 24:10
I didn't have a psychology teacher in high school, so here read this book. I know what you're dealing with. Even a college professor. The professor that I wrote the paper about handball and Psycho Cybernetics. She didn't say you're onto something.
Joe Yurko 24:30
Today, everybody you'll see that people, they give you a step-by-step thing, but it's not really a step-by-step thing. It's like driving a car and driving a car down the street, and a deer runs out in front of you, which happens up here quite a bit.
Joe Yurko 24:45
Deer runs out in front of you, what do you do? I got to pick my foot up. I got to put it on the brake, I got it so hard. You don't do that at all. It's just you react.
Joey Myers 24:58
Well, it's interesting too, you say that about being self-aware. I was one of those players that was too self-aware as well. I found that whenever I got super frustrated, being too self-aware and knowing my surroundings a little bit too much, and my performance wasn't doing very well, when I finally got to the point of frustration, and or disappointment, where I just finally said, you know what, I don't care.
Joey Myers 25:24
I don't care and I'm going to walk away from this thing. I don't care how horrible or good or whatever. It seemed like every time and like you said, it's not a conscious thing, per se. It's an unconscious emotional reaction.
Joey Myers 25:39
You can get that unconscious emotional reaction of you know what, I'm done. I'm going to take a day off. I'm going to take two days; I'm not going to think about it. Hey, it is what it is. Within those one or two days, something clicks.
“The moment you said, I don't care anymore, you just turned your brain on.”
Joe Yurko 25:52
The moment you said, I don't care anymore, you just turned your brain on. It happened to me. I had to pitch home run in college. He benched a bunch; we had a lousy senior year.
Joe Yurko 26:08
I was sitting on the bench, he brings me up, man on first and second late in the game, I'm sitting there stewing on the bench and then I walk up there. Now he wants me to like to save the day here.
Joe Yurko 26:20
I've been sitting around, and I went up there, trying to hit a three-run home run course, first couple pitches I didn't. And then I felt one off that unless you have one and squared it up in long.
Joe Yurko 26:36
I just got out in front of it. Long flyball down the field. The coach from the other team said to the pitcher, keep it in the park. That's what he said to him. I stepped out of the box. I remember saying to myself, screw it. Whatever happens, happens.
Joe Yurko 26:56
I walk in and hit three homeruns. The coach saying, pitcher keep it in the park, whatever. He got my mind off myself. Why did he say that?
Joe Yurko 27:12
I told the story the last time about my assistant coach and county tournament. I sent my assistant coach out he was my first-year assistant coach to talk to my team because they were starting to lose it late in the game.
Joe Yurko 27:23
I sent him out and they go, what's he doing on here? They were thinking so much about him going out there to talk to them. And not me. Because I said if I go out there, who knows.
Joe Yurko 27:38
They walk out and they're talking themselves, what's he doing out here? Why did he send him out? So unusual, and it got their minds off of what they were doing, and we won the game.
Joey Myers 27:49
It's a pattern interrupt.
Joe Yurko 27:53
Yes, we talked about that. It's in the article, I mentioned a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco
Joey Myers 28:04
Was that the cup flip guy or the cup stack guy?
Joe Yurko 28:07
Not yet. That's Eagleman. I'll talk about that in a second. Benjamin Libet, or Lipid or Libet. He passed away in 2007. He did studies on this, that the conscious brain isn't aware that you do something, let's say you press a button, or you do something voluntarily.
Joe Yurko 28:28
He did this study where he timed it. He rigged up a device to measure. And that conclusion was that the conscious brain realizes that something is done after you already did it.
Joe Yurko 28:54
The phrase I think it's probably one from my AP psychology textbook. But the conscious brain is late
Joey Myers 29:01
To the party.
Joe Yurko 29:04
Yeah, exactly. I should mention his name. Former player of mine. He holds the school record for hits, he played three and a half years. He got injured his freshman year but had more hits, but he had his school record for hits, name's Jason Marlowitz, he went to get a degree in Computer Engineering and then started his own business. Worked with playgrounds and games and that sort of stuff.
Joe Yurko 29:38
People put in their backyard; he has his own business.
Joey Myers 29:41
Joe Yurko 29:42
He just gave up on the computer engineering thing. He read one of my articles. He made a comment on the article and the website mind design, and he says when I hit well, hit the ball well, I didn't even realize that I swung the bat.
Joe Yurko 30:02
It's on there. I know the last part is basically what he said. He said, I don't even realize that I swung the bat. I said, I can't even say that better myself. That's the thing.
Joe Yurko 30:14
I just saw J. J. Bleday, the Marlins, he was talking about his Arizona fall league performance. He talked about when Derek Jeter came to scout him when he was in college.
Joe Yurko 30:37
Everybody is saying, do you know Derek Jeter is here? And he says, yeah. He obviously did well, he got drafted by the Marlins, probably to be on the team this year, maybe. There's the whole thing, if you're standing and thinking about Gee, Derek Jeter is here, I better do well, pull Mike Schmidt, and start thinking about everything.
Joe Yurko 31:04
Or George Brett, trying to hit 400, and he didn't hit 400, because he tried to hit 400. And that's another thing in there. With George Brett talks about in the second article, he talks about when he was trying to hit 400 in 1980 in September, and he said, every at-bat I come to the plate and next, my batting average up on the scoreboard.
Joe Yurko 31:30
As high as six story building or something like that. He says, it's right in my face. I cannot like just to turn my brain off and not be aware of my batting average. Every time I come up, it's one minute, it's 400. And then two minutes it's 399. And next time, the end of the day, it's 397, and it got to him. He didn't know how to deal with that.
Joe Yurko 31:57
The interesting story about Steve Carlton. I don't even know if you'd find that anywhere. It's hard to find these little articles. I remember these as a kid.
Joe Yurko 32:05
He used to tune out the public address announcer and not look at the scoreboard so that he wouldn't know who was batting. Who he was facing, Henry Aaron's coming up or Pete Rose or whoever, and he used to tune it out. He was kind of aloof and mysterious. Probably Steve Garland, probably people didn't understand. But he was onto something, shut everything off.
Joey Myers 32:39
It's just a body. It's a body up there hitting and you're throwing against it.
Joe Yurko 32:42
He said I was just throwing to Tim McCarthy's glove. They didn't even know who was batting. It's the awareness thing.
Joe Yurko 32:51
Anyway, to that cup stacking thing. I put the links in the articles.
Joey Myers 32:57
I'll put the links in the show notes for those that are listening can check that out.
The links for the articles are:
Joe Yurko 33:01
Yes, the links are in the articles that I wrote. You can put the links for people to check it out. David Eagleman was, still I guess, a Stanford neuroscientist, they did a series on PBS called The Brain with David Eagleman.
Joe Yurko 33:21
He really goes into all this unconscious stuff. He goes into like everything that you're attracted to women who look a certain way, and you don't even realize, he went through all this stuff.
Joe Yurko 33:38
Of course, the only thing I focused on in the beginning was he mentioned baseball, hitting a baseball. I said there it is. And it was on one of the episodes. I forget which one maybe episode three or four? Basically, saying the same thing.
Joe Yurko 34:06
He tried to hit a baseball and stuff. So, he had to test it. He gets at the time a 10-year-old cup stacking champion by the name of Austin Neighbor. He was 10 years old. Eagleman and this kid Austin Neighbor got rigged up to EEG, electroencephalogram, to measure the brainwaves while they're stacking cups.
Joe Yurko 34:38
Of course, if you ever tried to stack cups. You ever tried to do that?
Joey Myers 34:43
Joe Yurko 34:45
It's like mechanical. You're like a robot. Anyway, so this kid was a champion cup stacker. I don't know what he does now. He might be out of high school by now. When he first started doing it, Eagleman asked them, how long did it take when you first started doing it? He said, two and a half minutes. It was 10 cups.
Joe Yurko 35:18
How long does it take you now? He says five seconds. The kid can even do it blindfolded. Which I used to have my players do with their hitting, they go through drills, blindfolded, or close your eyes and do it. You want to feel where your foot is, you want to feel where your shoulder, you don't want to see it, because it's a different type of process going on in your brain, it's got to go through your eyes, and it's got to go wind up in the occipital lobe in the back, and God knows where it goes from there.
Joe Yurko 36:00
I said, just close your eyes and feel it. Like you're not even watching it. Anyway, so they rigged them up to the EEGs and they showed them on the program. The links are in the article, they're on YouTube. And David Eagleman when he was doing it, his EEG just lit up like a Christmas tree
Joey Myers 36:27
Meaning his conscious brain was active.
Joe Yurko 36:30
Yes, his conscious brain was going through it step by step in a methodically. He was thinking through it. It's like when you're a kid, you learn how to ride a bike for the first time.
Joe Yurko 36:45
I still remember the first time because I crashed. You're thinking about what you're doing. The young man at the time, Neighbor, his brain didn't light up hardly at all. There's nothing going on in the upper regions of his brain, he wasn't thinking at all. He wasn't trying.
“He called it the paradox that the upper parts of our brains invent the games that we play... Then the lower parts are the ones that play it.”
Joe Yurko 37:19
He wasn't even using a lot of energy his brain uses energy. And Eagleman said, Neighbor's brain was just hardly doing anything, and mine was like working overtime. In that article Finding Zone, Shainberg talked about that. He called it the paradox that the upper parts of our brains invent the games that we play.
Joey Myers 37:55
Then the lower parts are the ones that play it.
Joe Yurko 37:57
Yes, exactly. He said, that's the paradox. Like, Naismith invented basketball, and whoever invented football, it's that part of your brain. It's like inventing like checkers or chess or clue or monopoly.
Joe Yurko 38:21
You're thinking through this. But like in sports, that part of the brain is circumvented when you play it well, you're not thinking about it. When you hear coaches yelling the kids, don't get your elbow, do this, do that. You hear coaches yelling at kids all these instructions. Why?
Joe Yurko 38:49
You're only making them think about something that you're taking them away from what is natural.
Joe Yurko 38:59
Yogi Berra would probably make most neuroscientists jealous. He said you can't think ahead at the same time. When he was in a slump, they said, what are you going to do about your slump, how are you going to combat your slump this summer? I'm not in a slump. I'm just not hitting.
Joe Yurko 39:25
He knew something. Whatever people's impressions, he said a lot of crazy things that are very, very funny. He's even quoted in my AP Psychology book. It should tell you something.
Joe Yurko 39:43
Yogi, he understood something at a basic human level, and he was no neuroscientist. He didn't have to be. If he was, he won't be able to hit. That's the interesting thing.
Joe Yurko 40:08
Thinking about the results or worrying about the results or worrying about who's watching. I think you said this on one of your posts about parents. The worst thing about playing sports for kids is the ride home.
Joe Yurko 40:26
I think you said that, am I right?
Joey Myers 40:28
It wasn't my original idea. But it was from either one of my parents or it was from something I read.
Joe Yurko 40:33
I think I heard it from you first. That's where I heard it. That's usually the case.
Joe Yurko 40:40
There's another thing in that article. I throw in stuff from old different places. The movie Last Samurai, I think you mentioned you like that movie. I think I mentioned it to you.
Joe Yurko 40:58
The main character is captured by the samurai. He eventually learns the ways of the samurai. One of the things he must learn is sword fighting, but they trained with wooden or bamboo swords. I think it's called kendo training.
Joe Yurko 41:27
He's really getting his rear end kicked in by the samurai guys who enjoy picking on this American, but he keeps fighting. The leader of the samurai's son, his job was to teach him the way of the Samurai.
Joe Yurko 41:47
Basically, try to teach him kendo training without him getting his rear end kicked in all the time. He says to him, too many mind, too many mind, it means your mind is too active. You're thinking too much.
Joe Yurko 42:07
The thing is he says no mind, no mind. You got to shut everything off. You got too many mind, you're minding the sword, you're minding the people watching you and you're minding the enemy.
Joe Yurko 42:27
The same thing when you're hitting. You're thinking about your bat. You're thinking about the people watching you. Then you're trying to deal with the pitcher. How do you do that? You can't.
Joe Yurko 42:50
I battled that as a kid and drove me nuts. The more I tried, the worse I did, the less I tried, the better I did. The process of writing this article for that website. Craig Kimbrel shows up and Corbin Burnes shows up in a summer. I already sent the article and it's already on their site quickly, got it updated and sent it in, could you add this to the article, it fits perfectly?
Joe Yurko 43:35
Well Kimbrel was the closer in a no hitter combined no hitter that comes through against the Dodgers. Zach Davies, I think was a starter and Ryan Tepera came in and Andrew Chafin and Kimbrel came in last, last three guys with the Cubs, by the time I was writing the article.
Joe Yurko 43:59
Kimbrel gets interviewed after the game, you don't understand why everybody's running out, like celebrating, like what's going on? Everybody's running out and like they won the World Series.
Joe Yurko 44:10
The person who interviewed him. He asked him, he says I had no idea. I had no idea that I was in a no hitter. Well, there you go. I mean, Mike Schmidt, there you go Mike Schmidt, you can't be too self-aware.
Joe Yurko 44:26
He had no idea that he was doing it, he even said I had no idea, he must have heard Kimbrel. He said I had no idea and what happened after you start out the 10 guy that kept the 10th guy, the catcher threw the ball into the dugout.
Joe Yurko 44:26
Well, Kimbrel had no idea he was involved in a no hitter without a bullpen, because the bullpen and Wrigley Field is under the stands. Then Corbin Burnes, for the Brewers, he struck out 10 guys in a row, tying a Major League record.
Joe Yurko 45:02
He goes, what are you doing? Why throw the ball in the dugout? And then he realized that he tied this record. First pitch the next batter, line drive single right there. He broke the spell, and he had no idea and he said after the game he said, I had no ideas, what did I do?
Joe Yurko 45:31
As soon as somebody called his attention to it, he gives up a line drive single. I think he wound up striking out 15 I think, he pitched, maybe eight innings that day, something like that.
Joe Yurko 45:45
He stuck out 15 but there's the point, pattern interrupt. He lost; he fell out of the zone. Somebody drew his attention to it.
Where can people find you Joe?
Joey Myers 46:04
That's a great story, Joe, to end this one on like an unconscious and the conscious brain, the differences between the two. Before I let you go, anywhere people can find you to reach out?
Joe Yurko 46:14
I created a new email, it's the hittingmindset at gmail.com. The hitting mindset. Surprised nobody has used that, yet. Who knows what I'm going to do with that? This is like a work in progress.
Joe Yurko 46:46
Joey Myers 46:46
Joey Myers 46:55
I'll link those in the show notes for people that can go to the exact articles.
Joe Yurko 47:00
I think mine is the only baseball articles on there. There's one about distractions like getting people out of their conscious mind. I reference Lindor and Baez. The whole thing they had with the Yankees, they were stealing pitches that Taijuan Walker was tipping supposedly, I don't know how they knew that and second inning.
Joe Yurko 47:30
I don't know why they had their Lattice Whistler reliever Wandy Peralta in the bullpen in the second innings, obviously somebody knew something from somewhere, either scouting or somebody tipped somebody off.
Joe Yurko 47:44
I related that story but all the controversy with Baez and Lindor, they created so much controversy and so much ill will and Lindor forgot that he was doing terribly. He hit three home runs against the Yankees that weekend.
Joe Yurko 48:09
The old Francisco Lindor just showed up. He was probably thinking so much about everybody hating him and thumbs down this and thumbs down that, the whole business that he just forgot about how bad he was hitting all year. I don't know it worked.
Joe Yurko 48:26
In that article, too. I related to obviously the movie The Legend of Bagger Vance, Golf, and The Natural, remember when Glenn Close got up? She was in a horrendous slump in Chicago, and she gets up and everybody's telling her to sit down and the sun was shining from behind her. She was like an angel dressed all in white. Then he hits one, breaks the clock on the scoreboard.
Joey Myers 49:01
That'd be a good part three, the distractions, how to do those pattern interrupts
Joe Yurko 49:09
That's one of the three articles.
Joey Myers 49:17
Very cool. Well, hey, Joe, thanks for your time again today, man. We'll have to do a part three. We'll get to 10 probably, I'm sure, but thank you for your time.
Joe Yurko 49:26
You too. Are you going to stick around a little bit after you close this down?
Joey Myers 49:29
Joe Yurko 49:30
Joey Myers 49:31
So, thanks again for your time, brother.