My Top 5 Mental Toughness Books

“You are paid to read.” That’s what my coach told me, so I obliged. It takes Mental Toughness and discipline to read and consume information. Here’s my top list.

Power of Broke The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage I never watched Shark Tank, but I do know FUBU-For Us By Us.  I’ve also been broke. This book by Daymond John is a fast read, but more importantly is chocked full of stories and insight from the best entrepreneurs on how: Empty pockets, A tight budget, and a hunger for success is actually a competitive advantage.

Mental Toughness of a POW The Forgotten Highlander: An Incredible WWII Story of Survival in the PacificThe Bridge over the River Kwai was a movie I watched with my dad. This book is exactly like that, except it’s not hollywood; it’s the “real” thing. All I can say is that after reading this book, I realized that I can’t basically complain about anything. I simply take too many things for granted. #perspective.

leaders eat last Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t  This is the 2nd Simon Sinek book I’ve read and this book is better than Start with Why.  I always thought that the main chemicals in our brains for success were just endorphin & dopamine, right?! The feeling from a job well done and the feeling from exercise. These are selfish chemicals though, Serotonin & Oxytocin are the leadership chemicals in our brains. The specific actions that we take release or don’t release the essential chemical we are really seeking. This is just one of the fascinating nuggets from the book.

spy the lie Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception My kids are still young, but I’m now prepared for when they become teenagers. Coaches & Parents- You need to read this book! I actually preferred the audio book on this one and I think you’ll hear why. 

Extreme Ownership Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win Jocko Willink has a podcast that is just straight up nasty. There are so many HUGE learning lessons from the podcast as well as the book. Since not many can actual relate to Navy Seal’s, this book breaks it down so that no matter your profession, cause, or passion, you’ll benefit from reading it. It boils down to one thing- there are no bad teams, only bad leaders. Discipline = Freedom.


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   

Thanks to Coach Martin Rooney and Training for Warriors for the Pformula for greatness!

It’s Not a typo, sound it out- Pf Pf Pformula. Just see if you can adhere to the 5 Principles for greatness. Winning & success are not a sometimes thing, they are habits. Here’s 5 step formula for greatness.

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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 books on Mental Toughness-


Virgil Herring, TN PGA Instructor of the year provides the 3 c’s for becoming a champion.

Champions before Championships.

Competence- Confidence- Compete. We are not only working on our game, we are working on ourselves.

This is Just ONE way to Build Mental Toughness. If you are interested in learning more Mental Toughness Techniques. Check out RING THE BELL FOR Mental Toughness. 

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I hate the word Choke, but the reality is this, EVERYONE HAS CHOKED. Wait, not everyone, just those who have been successful. Jordan Spieth has won 2 majors and had yet to trail in The Masters in two years. You have to be in it to win it – No one in 35th place has ever choked.

So here’s how it happened~

Choking- Suboptimal performance given one’s skill level where incentives for optimal performance are at a maximum (Beilock & Carr, 2001).

This isn’t bad play or a slump but more of an event that takes place under high-pressure situations. Again, you have to be in it to win it.

There are a lot of theories about the anatomy of a choke. But this theory holds true time and time again.

Catastrophe Theory- All performers have an optimal range of arousal under pressure circumstances. Pressure is a privilege. When arousal gets too high, it turns into anxiety and then there can be an extreme drop-off in performance or a “catastrophe” (Hardy, 1990).

The catastrophe is caused by one error or mistake which leads to another and another, a complete drop-off, or meltdown. 

The catastrophe is what happened to Jordan Spieth.

Jordan Spieth, the defending Masters champion, made the turn at -7 at clicking on all cylinders making four straight birdies. He had a five (5) shot lead, Complete control!

 

Spieth bogeyed 10 as he entered Amen corner, and missed his par putt on 11. And then it happened; Catastrophe on 12.

There were tons of players this tournament that found the water on 12. However, the miss was BAD. The precision that it takes to execute under pressure at Amen corner is enough, but it also takes working memory, (the strategizing and decision making in real time). The working memory by Jordan Spieth on the Tee Box was completely occupied.

Not convinced? What followed after the tee shot in the water was unfortunately worse!  It was a bad decision that Jordan later admitted “not to use the drop zone”, but instead he dropped it in an awkward spot near 13. What followed was another ball in the water. The drop on 12.  Quadruple bogey.

All of us watching were in complete disbelief. The feeling that hit Jordan Spieth at that moment was more than likely complete numbness.  A fifteen minute span of what just happened?

(Read: What happens after the Big Loss)

 

He did show incredible mental toughness by bouncing back with birdies at 13 & 15 to finish second. However, the damage had already occurred. More so, only at The Masters does the defending champ (Spieth) have to put the green jacket on the winner. Can’t imagine Cam Newton handing Peyton Manning the Lombardi trophy at the Super Bowl.

Read: 3 ways to prevent the big meltdown.

 Choking is an event, not a person! Spieth does have proof that he can win majors because he has done it before. He indeed will recover from this event. But, no matter what the media pundits think or spout off, the only person that counts is the Man in the Arena. 

 

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   

ways to build mental toughness


This infographic 10 Everyday Ways to Build Mental Toughness  

shows 10 simple, but not easy Ways to Build Mental Toughness. Mental Toughness means performing our best when it matters the most and it means how we cope, deal, and handle the adversity. Some of these action steps will come easier to you than others, but our mental toughness will grow everyday the more often we utilize these challenges.  Check out our page of how to build mental toughness. 

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top mental toughness coach

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 Strength. 

-Click Here to Watch BONUS Video-

parents can build mental toughness


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Here are 5 Ways Parents Can Build Mental Toughness.

“Perfect little Rachel ” She was not mentally tough and it had little to do with her. That’s how her parents described and introduced their child, a high-school 2nd baseman. That’s pretty high expectations, and I was curious how long they had been calling her that. These tips are how parents can build mental toughness in their kids. 


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top mental toughness coach

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   

As Good As its Gets Tri-Star Pictures

As Good As its Gets
Tri-Star Pictures

When I first heard the Beatles song, HELP  in high school I loved it, but actually thought it made little sense.

When I was younger (So much younger than) so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way! 

But as with life, songs that were just cool, Glory Days, & The Summer of 69′, actually began to change and deepen their meaning over time.

I always enjoyed listening to a coach’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech, as they thanked their partner! It made sense, rightly so, but like the songs, I couldn’t really get it until later in life! No one gets there alone, and especially without a loving, supportive partner! A coach’s husband or wives are the one’s who make the biggest sacrifice!! My wife is the best! I needed her help.

My life used to be predicated on the erroneous belief, that if it needs to be done, “Rob, you better do it.” That’s the wrong song to play in my head. The issue was that in many ways it was effective. Running a marathon, publishing 4 books, starting a business, working with elite athletes, caddying on tour, was on my own strength, right? ha, wrong! It’s only after things go bad, do we understand how much that we need others!

Mental Toughness is not doing it all by yourself, it’s actually being able to ask for help!  People want to help, but ironically no one wants to ask for help! It is best to know what type of help that we want and are we willing to take it?

Here’s five ways to ask for help!


  1. Can you watch this?

    These are a coach’s favorite words to hear! A coach is someone who helps you get somewhere that you want to go. They want to help, so be prepared to be willing to receive the feedback they offer.

  2. I’d really like your opinion on something…

    I have found that most people don’t expect you to solve their issue for them, but to just listen! However, too often we feel the need to sweep in and try and fix it. If we do this, then they may not turn to us later, or worse, expect us to always fix “it.” Either option actually build’s dependency, not capacity.

  3. Have you ever struggled with?

    Just be honest! Lay it out there and you’ll see how many people will connect with you. A true friend or coach is someone who can tell you, “Hey, I get it, it’s okay.”

  4. How do you?

    My friend Matt Tully is a good golfer, but every time we play, he starts asking me questions about swings, mechanics, strategy, tour players, etc. Then he proceeds to shoot 74 and beats me. This isn’t a game by him, (he actually is the best guy ever) so I concluded that he really wants as much information as possible just so he can get better.

  5. I look forward to hanging out with you…

    The things that people miss most are just hanging out with one another. That’s why so many    relationships are built on the golf course. Peyton Manning said it during his retirement, the thing he will miss most is the time in the locker room, just hanging out with one another. So, be sure to  tell whomever your going to hang out with that you look forward to talking.


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