Serving is a very interesting and mentally intriguing aspect to our sport. Similar to a free-throw in basketball, it is the only time when you are in complete control of the contact. We all know this and we’ve all been told this thousands of times by one coach or another over the years and yet, standing there on the back line, alone with just your thoughts can be the biggest mind-f**k... ”Do I go for it or play it safe? Should I rip it middle again or risk it and go for the sideline? He’s leaving me a LOT of sideline but that’s my least consistent serve; I just missed my last serve so if I miss this one then I’ll really be in a rut, but I have to put the other team out of system because they’re too strong of a sideout team; it’s match point, do I go for the ace or put the pressure on them to sideout?….The list goes on and on and on and on. In the ten to twenty seconds you have from the time the last point was scored to when you finally contact the serve, scientists claim that your brain has the capacity to think anywhere from 10-20 thoughts. And pry their way in they will! So, the question stands, WHAT DO YOU DO? Do you try to suppress them, push them down into the depths of your subconscious? Do you try to interrupt them with your own positive self-talk? Or maybe you try and distract yourself with focusing on something else? I believe there is more than one right answer to this question but the 2 biggest tricks/strategies that have helped me this second half of the season is: Breathing and Grounding: but before Instagram cuts me short and if you’ve read even read this far, let me know if you’d like me to elaborate on these 2 mind hacks, and in the meantime, check out our newest YouTube video where we battle it out against Johnny Hyden and Piotr Marciniak in the 2nd round of the AVP Hermosa Beach Open with slo-mo replay brought to you by @sharpevision_modernlasik.