most difficult mental skill

The 2nd most difficult mental skill is also the 2nd most important.

Can you do it on your own, or is it best with the help of coaches? It’s the biggest issue I’ve seen with competitors today. 

 


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   

dr. rob bell Notre DameThe weekend was planned, Friday night, my family and I went to the Notre Dame football pep rally, visited the locker-room (touched the famous sign) and went on the field. Friday was incredible!

Saturday, we were going to the Notre Dame game versus North Carolina. All set! Now, my children are 6 & 4 years old, not exactly pre-game connoisseurs and we were staying on a lake about 30 minutes outside of South Bend. So we planned to arrive at 1:00 (game is at 3:30), watch the player walk, listen to the band & the trumpets play in the main hall, visit the grotto, etc.  All awesome traditions.

We parked, walked about 15 minutes and arrived in time to settle in & watch the player walk! I spy a guy selling tickets and then it hits me! I FORGOT THE TICKETS!

One rule I think in life, is that you don’t forget the tickets!!!! It’s basically the only thing you need to remember going to a game.

MY REACTION(S):

ANGER was my initial reaction, it always is when I mess up. I hate it. I frankly despise that part of me. But, it was my reaction, not my response!  My reaction is usually incorrect, because it is filled with emotion. Our response on the other hand is often correct.

BLAME was my 2nd knee-jerk reaction. I turned to my wife looking for someone to blame. I stopped this pretty quickly, because I knew it wasn’t her fault. Although I did mention earlier that she should be in charge of the tickets.

DECISION-MAKING time followed and quick. There was honestly no time to waste! Do we all walk 15 minutes back and then drive to get the tickets, or do the wife & kids stay? Very quickly, we decided. Let’s all go, stay together, we are a team.

STAY COMPOSED I thought.  Now, when one has kids, everything is magnified. Travel, messes, and especially stress levels. As a parent of two, the stress levels automatically increase a notch in general because there are just more things to take care of. At this moment, I was extremely aware of my kids! I must maintain composure because I do not want to model the behavior of losing it in front of them. I threw my son on my shoulders and tried to enjoy the walk back, while FUMING inside!

ANGER returned soon thereafter and this time it was directed inward. This emotion lasted much longer and manifested itself with my own verbal self-talk OUT LOUD! I (for some reason) needed to have this verbal boxing match out in the open and not just inside my own head. We are driving back and I am berating myself out loud (the kids have their headphones on watching a movie).

Here is a sample of some of the kind words I spoke: “You piece of shit”, “what is wrong with you”, “how could you be so stupid” “You call yourself a human being”? All top-notch affirmations!

After 10 minutes, I asked my wife, “Do you have anything to offer to this conversation I am having with myself?” She said, “what would you tell your athletes or coaches?”

I said  “Do the next right thing”, “Let it go”,”Re-focus”  and “rely on the fact that this happened for a reason”!  After that I was good, almost completley back emotionally. We arrived back to the stadium just in time to walk in and watch our 1st Notre Dame game. Now, I don’t know the reason why I forgot the tickets, maybe it prevented an accident? We will never know because “what-if” never happened. IMG_4360

What did I learn? 

It reinforced that we are human, we are going to make mistakes. It’s all how we respond to the situation and not how we react. People often fear the blame more than the actual mistakes as well! The situation and reaction all taught me more about myself and how I can grow as a person and as a coach. “That which hurts, instructs.” – Ben Franklin

Lastly & most importantly- What if it had been my wife who forgot the tickets? Would I have been able to extend grace and compassion onto her, or would my anger have been directed outwardly? Coaching and loving on others requires grace, sometimes extra grace is required for ourselves.

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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 Kid: Build Their Mental Toughness   

The Importance of Models for Mental Toughness

One shot is the reason why the LPGA is currently dominated by Korean golfers. The Hinge moment was by Se RI Pak during the 1998 U.S. Open and she became a model for others, namely Korean girls.

Click on the picture for the video…

Dr. Rob Bell speaking on mental toughness


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   

confidence


 

Confidence does NOT do this…

How many of us have been driving in an unfamiliar place,  following our GPS, and we suddenly sensed that we were not quite in the right spot? So, we turned at corner or drove straight ahead disregarding the map. (I sometimes believe that the GPS takes me past businesses so I’ll have to stop.) 

We all have a built-in GPS system. It’s called confidence! The belief that our needs will be met, and the ability to trust in our decisions, and those closest to us.

Trust is our gut, our intuition. It’s another reason why confidence is just a feeling. 

The GPS just points us in the direction we are supposed to go. It’s our decision whether or not to trust our gut. Even though, if we don’t trust it, we will often be incorrect.

To date, I’ve never had the GPS ask me “How did you get here?”  “Why are you in this part of town?” “Are you going to be late?” 

Confidence doesn’t judge!

It never asks questions like “how did you get in this situation”? This should be over, “why are you even here”? “Are you really good enough”?

Confidence is the ability to re-focus, to let go of mistakes, and to listen to our gut, our inborn GPS.

Confident people can do THIS skill. 


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 books on Mental Toughness-