What is Mental Toughness 

There are way too many definitions of what is psychological strength. And I’m talking published research definitions. It seemed to be such a sexy term, that scholars just ran with creating their own meaning.

But, I am a wash and wear kind of guy, I keep it very simple.

But, it does take a genius to keep it simple. 

I simply continue to use Jim Loehr’s definition. (Performing well under pressure and how we cope with adversity, 1986). 

In my podcast- 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness,

I ask every expert on my show- what is mental toughness to you?  I value how these tough people define strength and more importantly, how they exhibit it in life. SO FAR, I’ve interviewed two different stroke victims, 10 professional athletes, 5 professional strength coaches, two amazing women that ran 383 miles, ultra-endurance athletes,  6 personal development coaches, and 4 successful entrepreneurs. 

Please check out the podcast, subscribe if you will, and leave a review!

Experts define What is Mental Toughness


dr rob bell

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & Associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books.   

Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment.

(INFOGRAPHIC) 8 Deadly Ways to Build Persistence


Every morning, I tweet out the same phase:

Patience & Persistence…

It’s a mantra. A belief system.

Persistence, Mental Toughness, and Grit are all muscles. We can build persistence and we can build patience. 

Theses skills are muscles that we build like creativity, speed, and strength.  You increase the perseverance muscle by exercising the very traits detailed within this infographic. 

The simple reason why this title has “deadly” in it, is that in order to build persistence, we must fail, fail, and fail some more. Losing and failure sure feels deadly, but just remember failure is NOT fatal. 


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dr rob bell

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness 


[Infographic] 7 Helpful Ways to “Act As if” Toward Mental Toughness


I absolutely can’t stand the saying ” fake it until you make it.” Why do you want to fake anything in life on purpose, especially to yourself?

We already fake enough. We have social media profiles of our happy faces. We posture and become in the business not of being real, but of image management. So, don’t fake it. 

Instead, simply ACT AS IF.

The difference is that we can act our way into right thinking easier than trying to think our way into right acting. Here is a fun infographic for you to follow to build your mental toughness by “acting as if.” 

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness 

 

No one wants professional conferences to be like a middle school dance. You know hanging out only with your friends, afraid to ask someone to dance, hiding in the bathroom, OR worse, stuck in a nowhere conversation.  Here are 4 important networking strategies for any conference.

4 Important Networking Strategies for Any Conference

networking strategies for any conference

Here’s an example: The Follow-Through A restaurant taking a reservation is nice, but KEEPING the reservation is more important. If you don’t follow through with an email or hand-written note, then you’ve missed an opportunity.


Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness 

steps for injured athletes

(INFOGRAPHIC) 5 Simple Action Steps for Injured Athletes

Injuries are one of the toughest things for athletes to go through. The reason it’s so difficult is that athletes cope with LIFE through their SPORT. Now, that primary coping skill is removed and they struggle! 

If you are currently one of the injured athletes on your team then follow these five action steps for injured athletes and it will help! 

1. Grieve space-

Allow yourself to experience the pain of being injured. Injured players need to set aside times to think about being sad/getting angry/ worrying/ etc. Then you can avoid these emotions at inopportune times (dinner, etc.)


steps for injured athletes

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness 

out of comfort zone

11 tested ways to get out of our comfort zone

I’ve run two marathons, completed an Ironman, and I put everything I had into them. My best time was a respectable 3:21 and that was running six days & fifty miles a week with speed work. I kept track of every run and reviewed it the other day; it was intense.

I’ve also done ultramarathons and a  Tough Mudder.

We get nowhere until we get out of our comfort zone.

Mental Toughness is not just physical. Most relate mental toughness to physical tasks because we can measure it and it is indeed difficult. However, we all can improve our mental toughness.

We just need to get uncomfortable.

 My 4th book on mental toughness was published specifically for parents. I wrote every single morning for 1-2 hours. It is uncomfortable and some days are worse than others. But, my belief is that they don’t give bestsellers away.

1. Want to vs. have to…

If we are not doing what we love to do, what’s the point? Not many people get better at things they don’t enjoy. Our mental toughness is aligned with our passion, perspective, and gratitude.  If we dwell on the things that we don’t have, we are operating from a viewpoint of scarcity instead of abundance. Remember, we focus on negatives in the darkroom.

2. Start with the hardest…

One of the PGA Tour players that I worked with taught me tons about mental toughness. Before Scot Stallings won his 1st PGA Tour victory, we were at an event that changed the way I approach life. He had to complete a putting drill in order to leave the course. There was one putt that was unreal and I figured he would save the toughest putt for last. He pointed at the Rasputin of holes and said,“ I’m starting with that one!”

Tracy Thorsell graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Academy and speaks five languages. She took Chinese in High-school because it was the toughest.

Too often we start with and only want the easy tasks. Get uncomfortable and build our mental toughness by starting with the hardest task.

We get confidence and get momentum from accomplishing the most difficult first.           

3. Sit in a different seat & go a different route…

When I was a University professor, I had no seating arrangements, but people sat in the same seat every time. We seek comfort and we are creatures of habit. That is why we congregate around the same area and drive the same route. Go a different way is a simple way to engage the mind and get out of our comfort zone.

4. Be Honest…

I was once asked if I had seen a certain movie. I actually lied that I had because I wanted to be in on the conversation.

Honesty with others is tough, but honesty with ourselves is way more difficult. Changing for the better is a good thing, however, it requires honest self-assessment. Not many people can be honest because it makes them vulnerable.

5. Connect with others…

Mushrooms and negatives grow in the dark. It takes little mental toughness to isolate. But, our condition changes with the books we read and the people we meet and interact with. Get out of the comfort zone by meeting one new person a day.

6. Suit up & show up…

A boxing coach, Jason Minnick, told me that the boxers who are mentally tough are the ones that show up… after a beating.

The toughest part is indeed showing up. Too often we allow one mess up or mistake to define us. It doesn’t matter how bad we messed up, learn from it, and get back on the path.

7. Don’t complain…

John Wooden said, “Don’t complain, whine or make excuses, your friends won’t need them and your foes won’t believe you.” Life without complaint means responding to situations and people, not reacting.

8. Face the fear & do it anyway…

I wrote NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness because FEAR is the biggest thing keeping us from our goals.

Everything we want in life is on the other side of that fear. The story that we tell ourselves either lifts us up or tears us down. Everyone is afraid, but few addresses it. Get out of the comfort zone and just do it, whatever your “it” is.

9. Trust others…

My friend Keith Tyner took his family on an R.V. trip out west. For every person he encountered and had a conversation, he simply gave them a little book reading light. Do you know how many people struggled with taking that small gift?

I hate trusting others because it means I may get hurt. I hate asking for help because it means I’m stupid.

That’s the story I tell myself that brings me down. The better story is I need to trust others because we can help each other. The odd thing is that no one wants to ask for help, but everyone wants to give it.

10. Pray & pray again…

Get uncomfortable by surrendering the things we cannot control. If prayer doesn’t’ work the first time, then pray again.

11. Trust your gut…

Our gut is our in-born smoke detector. It’s our GPS. However, it’s a tough choice whether we listen to it or not. I am convinced we are right more often than not when we trust our gut. However, we will still be wrong on occasion, we just can’t let our mistakes to dictate how we operate. When we trust our gut, it simply reflects that we are confident.

ways to get out of your comfort zone

 

 


dr rob bell

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-


5 Practical Tips to Be The Best Assistant Coach

  1. Information- Convey knowledge, not just problems to your head coach; or bring solutions to the problems. Being the best assistant means to support the head coach in all decisions and personnel. The best job that you have is the one that you’re in.

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness 

hacks for injured athletes

 6 Mental Toughness Hacks for Injured Athletes


Injuries are unfortunately a part of the world of being an athlete, even a corporate athlete.  

I feel bad however when I witness so many athletes having the wrong experiences through their injury and especially returning to injury. Here are 6  hacks for injured athletes.   

mental toughness hacks for injured athletes


Athletes will experience getting depressed. 

Feeling the blues, getting down, sad, and angry is normal, so expect it. Remind yourself that this is temporary. These mental toughness hacks for injured athletes include being patient and saying “this too shall pass.” 

Click here if you want more information on Mental Toughness Coaching.

Remember,  It’s not about the setback; it’s about the comeback.


Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & Associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness 

your team's motivation

Use This CAR to Drive Your Team’s Motivation


Have we been trying to build your team’s motivation the right way?

Most coaches, executives, and owners want their team to be more self-driven and internally motivated. However, the measures that leaders employ are usually all externally driven. We too often refer to outside measures to help facilitate change, namely rewards for good results or punishments for poor effort or outcomes. Your team’s motivation will increase dramatically when you use these three (3) keys! 

But, if you are searching for a more internal drive from your team, here are three metrics to examine and implement. 


dr rob bell

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

6 Ways to Build Pre-Season Mental Toughness 

pre-season mental toughness


  1.  Set the Mental Tone. Everyone is optimistic, driven, and enthusiastic during pre-season. Determine how you and your teammates will approach the entire season with unshakeable belief. Adversity will hit so start preparing.

  2. Be #Blessed. Every day someone is #blessed on social media that they received a scholarship. #Blessed has become a cliché’. Don’t brag about the work you are putting in during the pre-season mental toughness sessions. Save that for the real season.
  3. Sprints- The best way to get in shape is to stay in shape. Sprints prepare the body and the mind to embrace the discomfort.
  4. Avoid Grabbing Your Shorts- Push yourself through these so you’ll be prepared when the season begins. Fatigue makes cowards of us all. You build up your pre-season mental toughness by putting your hands over your head and breathe instead. If you can’t, then take a knee and stretch.
  5. Just One More.  There is a secret to success—Just do one more. One more sprint, one more rep, read one more page, etc. Finish strong- just do one more.
  6. Talk With Coach. Re-connect with the coach and ask how you can best help the team!

top mental toughness coachDr. 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-