Actors Maurice Benard (“General Hospital”) and Jake Jensen discussed yips and mental health in Benard’s MB “State of Mind” podcast on mental health.
Ironically enough, Jensen came in to film “State of Mind” after he was stung by over 40 bees while on a rock-climbing adventure.
Benard gave the analogy of being stung by a bee and how that is similar to an anxiety attack, and how the best way to go through it is to keep calm and to stay still in both situations.
Background on Jake Jensen
Jensen is an actor, producer, and professor of Sport Psychology in Los Angeles area. He has booked films such as “King Richard” with Will Smith, “Challengers” with Zendaya, and he recently wrapped shooting a lead role in the upcoming film “Believe,” a romantic dramedy. He also appeared in two seasons of “Pacific Breeze” as well as a number of other short films and digital series.
Jensen also travels regularly to the Southeast, and he is a pianist, tennis player, and he speaks French fluently. “I moved to LA in 2014. Acting gave me a community, and it is a process of building,” Jensen said, prior to sharing that he did modeling, commercials, and took acting classes, which helped him land some acting gigs.
Jensen revealed that he has a twin sister, and he grew up as a Mormon in Salt Lake City, Utah. In school, he would get “straight As” and he had a perfectionist streak to the point that it led him to a dark place, as a result of putting too much pressure on himself in wanting to succeed and not fail.
Jensen subsequently earned his PhD in sports psychology, and he would help people and clients through relaxation techniques and meditation, among other methods.
He noted that he has been meditating himself consistently since 2008 (for approximately 40 minutes per day, give or take), and that has made a positive difference in his life
Opening up about ‘yips’
As a former college tennis athlete, Jensen shared about suffering “yips,” which lasted about two years for him. “The mind is so powerful that it can destroy a performance,” Benard said, and noted that “reverse psychology is needed to combat that.”
A similar correlation for Benard involved dealing with anxiety and stress during the pandemic.
According to Mayo Clinic, yips are “involuntary wrist spasms that occur most commonly when golfers are trying to putt.” Yips also can affect people who play other sports such as cricket, darts and baseball; moreover, it was once thought that the yips were associated with performance anxiety.
Both Benard and Jensen acknowledged that “yips are more common than you would think,” and they noted how paralyzing anxiety and stress can be.
They both opened up about doing modeling gigs. “I would have done anything to make it,” Benard expressed, and revealed that it was modeling that got him into acting.
Benard’s goal with his “State of Mind” podcast episode is to make people feel less alone, especially in the post-pandemic era, and it is safe to say that he achieved this objective.
Their entire informed conversation may be heard below, where both individuals connected on a level of depth as they were able to bridge their worlds of sports, acting, and mental health all in one.