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Why We Should NOT Have Heroes. 

I was a huge B.J. Surhoff fan. He played baseball for the Brewers and the Orioles. I didn’t just meet him, I bum-rushed into him at a bar at the University of North Carolina and I apparently freaked him out. He wouldn’t even let me buy him a beer. It was awkward.

I also was once backstage at a show of my favorite band, Bad Religion, and met the lead singer, Greg Graffin. I learned my lesson not to bum-rush him. But, since I had just finished his book, I figured I had an “in.” He merely said “oh hey, thanks” and walked away.

In both instances, I was really let down…

My son sometimes wears a Batman mask to school and bed. Maybe he has it correct, be your own hero.

I’ve met and interacted with tons of professional athletes since it’s my career. Some are really cool and great people, and some I’m not so sure about. Having athletes and celebrities as heroes though is dumb. Just because someone can throw a pitch 98 mph doesn’t make them a good person. We have NO IDEA the type of person he or she is off of the field. We are who we are when we are alone. That’s why I always thought he should not have heroes. 

To be fair, athletes often don’t have a choice if they want to be a role model, it’s a de facto position.  I was afraid to be a role model or a leader or a hero because I thought “what if I messed up?” I didn’t want to let others around me down.

It is far better to have quality people as heroes, and perhaps they just so happen to be great athletes. These types of heroes are easier to root for.  Dwayne Allen, Rickie Fowler, Derrick Brooks, Webb Simpson, Maya Moore, Fred Barnett, and Kirk Cousins are a few athletes that receive my check of approval as heroes.

I want to add one to the list, Zach Miskovic.

Zach Miskovic is a hockey player for The Indy Fuel. After a Sunday home game, all families in attendance were encouraged to skate on the ice immediately after the game while the players rejoined the ice and skated with everyone.

I can’t imagine that after a game in which they lost their third home game in a row, that skating for another 45 minutes was the best of times.

I thought, at first, that Zach merely had a ton of his own children because he was skating, chatting, and playing around with so many. You could tell he was enjoying the moment.

At one point, he skated up to my daughter Ryan, grabbed her, and skated along with her. I doubt there was even one kid on the ice who he did not touch or talk to during the 45 minutes. Real heroes seem to go above and beyond.

What’s more impressive is that at dinner that evening, we saw Zach eating at a nearby table with his friends and family. Ryan and I both went up to thank him and he said “Hey Ryan!” “Did you have fun?” Now, I struggle with remembering my neighbor’s names sometimes, but out of all of those kids, he still remembered Ryan. Wow!! A true class act!

I told my daughter that it takes as much effort to be an outstanding guy as it does to be miserable.  It’s not about messing up, it’s more about doing our best with where ever we are. Hey, Maybe it is okay to have heroes…


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 our most recent books on Mental Toughness- 

one way to be confident

One Way to Be Confident


Let’s face it, Everyone faces adversity, encounters struggle, and goes through dry spells.

Mental toughness is how we handle, deal, and cope with these setbacks. and adversity. It’s simple, but it’s just not easy.

Confidence is the most important part of mental toughness and a true indicator of how we handle the struggle… So, here is one way to be confident.

Nothing Bothers You!

Confidence is simply the belief that it will all work out.

Trust in our own team also means we believe that they will get the job done as well. A result of confidence is that the best remain relaxed and don’t freak out when the outcome is not going their way. The one way to be confident is to not let anything bother you! 

The best simply let nothing bother them. They believe in their process so much, that they refuse to let setbacks affect their mindset or their team.

It’s amazing to see, but the best manage to keep their poise and focus. Nothing bothers them! They keep their head when others are losing theirs. It is the major impact of trust and the true test of one’s level of belief and mental toughness.

Now, we all get stressed, but what is our level of confidence during these times?

The Little Things

It is common for the major changes or setbacks to bother us… However, ever notice when we get stressed that everything seems to bother us, like the person next to us in traffic or our family? When we our confident, these things don’t bother us at all, however they become the first thing to annoy us when we lose our belief that things will work out.

“Nothing Bothers You” is one way to be confident!

We can actually make this mantra a goal to be achieved rather than just an outcome of confidence. The only way we can achieve our goal of “nothing bothers me”, is if we are confident! What we are really agreeing to is the belief that “I don’t need everything to go my way in order to be successful. I believe it will work out and I am going to act as if.”

Check out this Golf Channel clip from PGA Tour player Ryan Blaum on his mantra of “nothing bothers him.”


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- 

confidence

Why Confidence is Just A Feeling


I have had a few head coaches that I really respect disagree with this statement that “confidence is a just a feeling.”

Folks on twitter have messaged me with their own arguments about confidence. Even some mental coaches disagree with this statement.

But, I’ll defend it…I’m stubborn.

It is the most important part of mental toughness, because it’s the most difficult and it  affects all other skills.

It’s second tier on the hierarchy of Mental Toughness because we do things and attempt things we’ll be successful at and believe that we can do. Belief & trust are also the same concept. So, why is it just a feeling? 

Research has shown that there are four sources of confidence. Physiological states are one source. How we feel!

  • When athletes or musicians perform at their best, I ask them; what were you thinking about? Their answer………” nothing.”  They were in the moment, in flow. 

  • Have you ever finished a workout or a run, looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “Hey, I look good.” Honestly, you look absolutely no different from when you began, except you now feel different. 
  • Elite performers all stress that when they are playing their best, the event actually slows down. They feel in complete control.
  • The first thing that goes when an athlete starts performing poorly is the lack of FEEL. Their play or technique may look fine, but if they don’t feel confident, they will search to get that feeling back. 
  • Our prayers are not automatically answered, but we feel better after doing so, or even meditating. We feel at peace. 

Body language doesn’t talk, it screams.

Mental coaches, myself included, teach ways to become confident by changing our physiology, our body language, and how we feel.

If trust wasn’t a feeling, then why stress focused breathing, becoming centered, or getting B.I.G.?

What happens when we lose confidence however is that our feeling now turns into thoughts. We just begin to think too much. We no longer trust our instincts, our gut. Instead, we get stuck inside of our own head and try to think our way into right acting.

The real key is still finding a way to win when we are NOT confident! 


Dr. Rob Bell Mental Toughness

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