Steven Yellin began his athletic career playing tennis at the age of 12. He competed locally and nationally and won the Florida state high school singles championship in 1971 and was a member of the winning championship team. Recruited heavily, he chose the University of Pennsylvania where he was the number one player on the team. He was a member of the All-Ivy League tennis team in 1973 and had a win over John McEnroe in a dual match during his college career.
As a senior at Penn, Yellin had an extraordinary Zone experience that radically changed his understanding of sports. It was an experience unlike anything he ever experienced on the court before. Though he played on a level never before attained, he realized that the factors that precipitated this experience was something that was not taught in any lesson he had ever taken (and he had taken quite a few!), and for that matter not taught in sports anywhere.
For the next 35 years, he worked on developing a systematic program that allow athletes in every sport to set up the very subtle experience in their mind that allows for Zone experiences. Though he teaches something from a mental level, his program is not based on sports psychology, but rather on a crucial neurophysiological experience that has to occur in an athletes mind in order to play on an exceptionally high level. The inner feeling when athletes have this experience is that time slows down, the intellect becomes quiet and the motion becomes effortless.
Yellin’s program is not based on sports psychology because it does not involve emotions, beliefs, attitudes, self-confidence or any type of visualization. Though all these elements are crucial for the development of an athlete, these attributes develop naturally and holistically when they learn his program. This is one of the reasons why the program is so revolutionary and successful. Its uniqueness lies in although it is a mental program and is based on the mind, it does not fall under the rubric of sports psychology. Essentially, the program teaches a golfer how to systematically access the muscle memory they already have.
No doubt, sports psychology has been very valuable for many athletes. In fact, Yellin has referred some of the athletes he has worked with to sports psychologists. If an athlete has deeper issues preventing their success in sports, such as family background, challenges handling pressure, low-self esteem or poor confidence, then sports psychologists can help them. But for the vast majority of professional and amateur athletes who do not have confidence or family issues, the pressing issue is that they are just not certain what needs to occur in order to consistently play on higher levels. For the most part, they experience streaks or slumps randomly.
Yellin’s program takes the mystery out of that hit or miss affair and explains what needs to occur in order to play well. He considers himself a ‘motion expert’, a title that is opening up a new field in sports. A motion expert is someone that understands motion from the most fundamental level and teaches a program that allows someone to consistently repeat where motion originates.
The reason for the lengthy time needed to develop Yellin’s program is that when an athlete does go into the Zone, it is a very subtle experience. Athletes, for the most part, are not too sure why they slip into the Zone and hence they have a difficult time replicating it. It is a very subtle dance during a Zone experience and Yellin had to examine that experience from every conceivable angle in order to replicate it successfully and ensure it stays for an extended time.
When Yellin was teaching at the PGA Center for Learning and Performance in Port St. Lucie Florida, the former director of the Center, Joseph Hallett, thought that the Quiet Mind Golf program was so fundamental in teaching a golf swing that it should be included in the teaching and certification of all PGA professionals. That avenue is still being explored.
Because of his expertise of motion, Yellin can work with athletes in sports in which he has never himself competed. That is because once someone understands the origin of motion, it does not matter what motion an athlete is trying to execute, the dynamics are identical.
In 1996, Yellin partnered with former 1985 Kansas City Royals World Series hero shortstop Buddy Biancalana. Utilizing Yellin’s program they have worked with athletes and teams from the:
In 2010, Yellin and Biancalana, co-wrote a book called The 7 Secrets of World Class Athletes. The book has received outstanding reviews.
Click here to watch videos from Steven Yellin talking about the mental side of the game.