Two years ago, on April 27th, 2011, I faced a very real and dangerous storm. That day EF4 tornados ripped through the state of Alabama and my home of Tuscaloosa. The immense amount of devastation Tuscaloosa and the surrounding cities experienced that day is hard to put into words.

In the wake of immense devastation and tragedy, the spirit and pride of the Tuscaloosa community shined brightly. Immediately after the storm, the entire community united together to help everyone who had been affected. It didn’t matter what the job was, who it was for, or what it took because people were willing to do anything they could to help clean up and rebuild the city. In the days that followed the storm, the Tuscaloosa community taught me that it’s not the storms you experience in your life, but rather how you respond to them that defines you.

Do Your Worst!

My favorite scene in The Count of Monte Cristo is the Birthday Toast. In this scene, the Count of Monte Cristo remarks, “The boy’s reply to all of this was do your worst” as he toasts Albert for his display of courage when he was attacked and threatened by criminals. He then finishes the toast with this statement: “You must look into that storm, just as you did in Rome and say do your worst, for I shall do mine.”

This type of resiliency by a community is not an isolated example. Nearly two weeks ago, a different type of storm took place in Boston when the bombs exploded. This strength shown by the people in Boston made them a stronger city and now more people than ever will try to qualify for next years race. People have seen the worst a storm can do, and now they want to show it what their ‘worst’ looks like.

Life is full of storms and they come at the most unexpected times… We aren’t in control of the storms, but we are in control of our response. Whatever type of storm you may be experiencing, I hope that you respond with the strength and resolve that I witnessed in Tuscaloosa. Look at that storm and say ‘Do your worst’ because you know you can get through it and will be stronger because of it.

This article is dedicated to the victims of the April 27, 2011 storms. 4/27/11 Never Forget

Will DrumrightAbout the Author: Will Drumright is an Associate of DRB. He works with athletes of all ages, especially good one’s. He can be reached at  wcdrumright@gmail.com or twitter  @wcdrummy15

Hinge (definition): Noun–A movable joint or mechanism…that connects linked objects. (v): A circumstance upon which other events depend.

The Greenbrier resort in White Sulpher Springs, WV, housed a secretive bunker that was built in the early 1960s. Located about five hours from Washington D.C., this

The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier

underground bunker actually became a part of U.S. defense. It was built to survive an indirect bomb strike, relying on the secrecy of its location and the West Virginia mountains for protection. If needed, it would have housed the entire Congress as a fallout shelter. This secret bunker lasted for 30 some years, only to be revealed in 1992.

The Bunker possessed three massive, blast-proof doors, each weighing over 20 tons. The doors were about fifteen feet high, thirteen feet wide, and 20 inches thick. Despite the enormity of these doors, it only took about fifty pounds of pressure to open and close them.

The reason one person could easily close these enormous doors was the hinge. The stronger the door, the more important the hinge, and the hinge used for the blast doors weighed 1.5 tons. Without the hinge, the massive doors would have been unmovable.

TILLAMOOKCHAMBER.ORG/CAMPOAMOR/

How often have we felt like that door? We felt confident, in control, at ease, and self-assured of what we are doing. We were as strong as the 29-ton door with amazing hinges. Other times, we have felt the opposite. We have been discouraged; lacked confidence, focus, or burnout from our passion. The door has not changed, it has remained strong. What has changed is the hinge…

The hinge is so integral to any door, cabinet, table, or bridge that, without it, these items become useless. The hinge is also crucial to our anatomy: hips, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles. No matter how strong our legs are, if we have a torn ACL, our legs are useless.

The hinge connects. We need the hinge. Connection is why we are here…

The hinge is real. The hinge connects. And it only takes one.  The hinge is moments or opportunities that make all the difference. We are the door, but a door without a hinge is a wall. Since we can’t know when a hinge will connect, it is our role to have mental toughness.

The Mental Toughness takeaways from 2013 Masters were from the two Aussies, Jason Day & Adam Scott.

Jason Day made three consecutive birdies on the 13th, 14th, & 15th. His tap-in birdie on the 15th captured the lead (momentarily) by 2 shots. What happened next were tough back-to-back bogies on 16 & 17.

Jason day

www.golf.com

He was honest afterwards and admitted that the pressure got to him. Pressure gets us out of our normal, automatic routine. If we even think “do what your doing, stay relaxed, etc.” we are already doing something different.

In golf, pressure makes fast players slow down and slow players speed up.

Jason Day, a fast player, became very deliberate in his pre-shot routine that he slowed down. You could now see him focused on his breathing and really visualizing his shot. He got out of his normal routine.

Adam Scott, the first Aussie winner of the Masters, provided the other mental toughness example. He made nothing with the putter all day long. His lone birdie at the 3rd was the only birdie with his putter all day. He kept hitting great shots, and missing the putt.  Twitter even began to blow up with the jokes about his putting.

Never forget it only takes one! 

What he did however was he kept himself in it, hanging around, giving himself opportunities. He then made it when it mattered the most! The birdie putt on the 72nd hole was iconic, and the birdie during the playoff on the 10th was the finisher.

Adam Scott

www.radiosport.co.nz

Dr. Rob BellThe Hinge-The Importance of Mental Toughness Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  His 2nd book titled The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness was recently released. Follow on twitter @drrobbell  or contact drrobbell@drrobbell.com

Sport psychologist caddying on pga tour

A caddy is the closest thing to being a sideline head coach. It provides amazing insight into the game that no one else can get, and caddies save a professional golfer, in my opinion, about one shot a round. Here’s my take, since I loop a few tour events each year for my clients that I help coach with the mental game.

“Keep up, clean up & shut up”

Caddying is all about timing. The best have an awareness of when to speak up and when to stay silent. They often know what their player is thinking and can even anticipate a response before a question is asked. Most importantly, a great caddy isn’t afraid to make a mistake.

“There is a reason why their name is on the bag”

A caddy is still perceived like a head coach because he/she is only as good as their player. But two of the absolute best that I know are Paul Tesori and Joe Skovron. They have played golf at the highest level, have caddied for winners on tour, Rickie Fowler & Webb Simpson, and prepare better than anyone else.

A great caddy is like a sponsor in A.A. It is built upon a mutual relationship of trust and is also 100% confidential. The best aren’t afraid of calling out their player if they are not preparing the right way, abandon game plans, not committing to shots, or getting in their own way. 

We shot 66, he shot 74” 

The bags are never heavy shooting a 66, but they can get weighty when the player is not playing well. In fact, the toughest part is often removing oneself from the actual score and not getting caught up in what the player is doing. The player himself can ride an emotional roller coaster, so staying positive, calm, in-control, and un-emotional at all times is huge.

“Every shot counts”

I am constantly reminded the importance of every shot! But, once my player 3-putted the last hole of a PGA tournament, which cost him a top-25 finish and $21,000. Ten percent of that amount, my cut, is more than I have ever attempted at gambling in my life.

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness