This is what (we) did at the Tom Petty show. There is a mental toughness component to it (of course). They don’t give front row seats away, you have to pay for them or win them.

How to get front row at ANY show

A colleague  of mine,  Tom, was part of the group at the show. Our group of 8 people were camped out in the lawn at this concert and near the end, Tom announced, “I’m going down to the front row.” Off he went… Just like that…

Now, before we go further, Tom is blind…. so, actually Tom and his guide dog left to get front row.

After about 10 seconds, I say to the others, “I’m going with him” and run to catch him twenty feet down the path toward front stage.

How to get front row, takes audacity, because there are people employed to keep people from getting down front… Here’s what to do…

Rule #1:  Don’t stop!

I have been front row at many places before, and honestly most places I have been, I probably shouldn’t have. It all stems from employing rule #1.

Here’s how it went:

Row 60-We walked right past the first two set of ticket checkers without any problem to get front row. Now, if it was just me, there may have been a problem, but they looked at Tom and his guide dog and we kept moving….

Row 40-The second set of ticket takers also saw us, asked for our tickets, and we employed rule #1. They also saw Tom and his guide dog and they let us pass. We kept moving…

Row 30- We hit the lower level of seats and now needed to find a new path, we shuffled left and found a row leading us down. The lady checking our tickets actually grabbed us and now I employed the verbal response of “we are okay.” She let go and we kept moving…

Row 20- We were now in Box Seats Land, meaning the guide dog had a better chance of getting us closer than I did, because I was in front of and in-between sets of people (these people don’t dance either, they just sit or stand). I had no place to go.

Row 18- We slipped in with a group of people who looked at us, but did not say anything. Now, the lady who had grabbed us had followed us and was now standing right behind us. I told her we were here for one song and that was it. “Was that okay?” She said “1 song!”

I looked around and during the daytime would have seen the only way to the front row was from the sides not the frontal assault we had chosen. We were stuck.

We stayed until the entire encore was over and left the concert with everyone else…. We were close, 18th row… Now, if I knew the path, we would have made it, or maybe if Tom was by himself, he would have made it. Either way, this is the strategy of how you make it.

In life, whatever you want to accomplish, you’ll have to be bold and just do it.  Don’t stop just because people will try to stop you, just keep moving!

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 all the books on Mental Toughness- 

Five days into college softball practice, my world came crashing down….I tore my rotator cuff. It was a Hinge moment, because injuries for athletes are tragedies and tragedies are immediate hinges… I was devastated and in more pain than I had ever been in before.

I was an athlete and being an athlete was all I had ever known.  Up until this point I thought I was invincible, but without softball, I was lost.  I turned to softball whenever anything in life went wrong and that wasn’t an option anymore. I was tired of being in pain, tired of my teammates asking when I would return, and tired of everyone telling me that I would be good as new.

Before I knew it, my ability to study, eat, sleep, or enjoy any aspect of life was gone.  I had given my life to the sport and now it was gone. The thought of life without softball was unimaginable.

My coaches wrote me off, my doctors gave up on me, and my teammates moved on…I was told I was not “meant” to be a softball player. I started combining the painkillers with alcohol to intensify the effect. The combination made everything disappear and I felt completely numb! I hit rock bottom.


The Hinge is the moment that makes all of the difference. There are a few in this journey, and I was determined, tenacious, and would do whatever it took to rise up…

I asked for help… I came clean to my parents about being depressed. I had lost my confidence and needed to find a way.

When I returned to campus I picked up my glove and began throwing left-handed…Yep! Left-handed…

I still needed a second surgery to repair my rotator cuff.  Sweat and tears became my motivation.  My range of motion was limited, but I kept pushing through the pain. Against all odds, I was in the starting line up by the time season started!

I transferred to the University of Dayton, where I finished the rest of my career.  My final two years were a constant struggle, but no one could wipe the smile off my face. I was grateful that it paid off.

Our test becomes our testimony…

I wouldn’t have wished it, but I learned so many things from the experience. I was reminded of my strength even in my weakest moments and I gained mental toughness that I previously had not had. I also learned to be a really great coach, which is what I do today!

The Hinge is real and it makes all the difference….

photo About the Author: Alisha Burnstein is a softball coach in Indianapolis, and associate of DRB. Contact information is