mental toughness Growing up, Mary Towe was the oldest of 8 children, and had to take care of her brother and sisters.  For instance, she couldn’t go on any dates as a 16 year old until her newborn brother was asleep. She had mental toughness.

The entire family delivered newspapers when they were old enough (10 & 11) and each child had to go door to door to collect the money!!! If a household didn’t pay, the money came out of their own check.

When Mary was 16, she wanted to a pair of contacts. In 1966, contact lenses were $150 for one pair.

To raise the money, she babysat three children after school for $14 a week for 6 months, which she had to take a bus back and forth. She then took a job at a bookstore working from 4-9, five days a week and all day on Saturdays.

It took her 2 years to raise the money because she also had to buy her own clothes, own food, and bus fare, while also saving for Washington School for Secretaries. There was no safety net if she fell.

That’s mental toughness!!!

When my mom and dad separated when I was 9, Mary proceeded to obtain her Associates, Nursing degree, Bachelor’s, followed by an MBA. (I know because I was a child sitting in some of those classes). She eventually became Vice-President of the hospital and was very successful.

She not only ran a 40-million dollar budget, but was an incredible baker, could train dogs, horseback ride, cross stitch, type 80 words a minute, and run half-marathons.


Nowadays, the safety net is really close…

I often see parents waiting in their minivans with their children when it’s cold outside for the bus to arrive.

Currently, if a high school kid forgets his/her swimsuit, they call up mom or dad to bring it to them.

The present state of athletics is if a child is not getting enough playing time, parents just switch club teams or even high schools.

And we wonder why there is a sense of entitlement?

Rob Bell revised slide3Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with professional athletes & corporate athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  His 2nd book is titled The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness. Follow on twitter @drrobbell  or contact

Check out the new film & e-book, NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness .