James Altucher’s podcast and book stated the three types of business that SELL themselves. If you can help others out with one of these three issues, you’ll be rich.

We need mental toughness in order to achieve our goals, and my fun 4-minute talk was given on the mental skill needed to accomplish one of these…

Check out the awesome SPARKS Talks here…


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- 


AP Photo/Gareth Fuller,

AP Photo/Gareth Fuller,

Check out the INFOGRAPHIC- 5 ways to help your kid Build Mental Toughness

“Perfect little Rachel ” 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. She was not mentally tough and it had little to do with her.

1. Call them a competitor:

How do you introduce and describe your kids? “There goes our little winner” or “Here comes Johnny, our star goalie.” Be careful about using descriptors that emphasize only part of our identity. We are not always winners, and we certainly don’t always lose. We are also only an athlete at certain times as well. BUT, we can compete in everything we do. We can compete in grades, paying attention, and playing sports. Emphasize that competing means against yourself, not anyone else.

2. Love your partner:

It’s easier for me to be a good father than a good husband. I don’t like that part of me, but I can just love on my kids as much as I want. With my wife, I have listen, reflect, emphasize, budget, discipline, strategize, and co-parent. It’s part of being in a relationship, it takes more work. However, the most important relationships take place within the four walls of our home. How we interact, show affection, and disagree with our partner, models how our kids will see the outside world. Remember, whatever they see as a child is “normal,”  you get to define it.

3. Allow them to take ownership:

There is a big difference between ownership and buy-in. Buy-in means its someone else’s idea. Ownership is more powerful. If competitiors take ownership of their game, they will then assume ownership within the team.  Before each season, define your role and ask them what feedback they want from you…Allow them to pack their own bags, schedule their additional practice and free-time. Basically after the initial conversation, don’t intervene unless their safety or health is concerned.

4. Don’t call, email, or text:

I had an awful bachelor party. I even told my wife how disappointing it was, (it was even in Vegas). She actually emailed the guys in my party after the fact. Ouch, I was embarrassed. She fought my own battle…Kids develop mental toughness by overcoming the adversity they face. They need to be able to communicate with coach and other players, but if we don’t allow them to use their own voice, then they won’t face their fear and fear wins. Most coach-athlete problems are a result of a lack of communication anyway.

5. Don’t talk about other players, coach, or refs:  

Sports is about winning, but it is also about losing and getting better. Losing sucks, but it isn’t fatal. We help build mental toughness by allowing them to experience the setbacks and the adversity. If we try to remove their ownership by blaming anything else other than their play, then we have actually given them an out, an excuse. If there’s an out, they will use it and learn to use it. Bad calls, bad plays, and poor execution happen, but what’s the lesson when we blame, it wasn’t you, it was something else? Well, when they win, it has to be something else as well, can’t have it both ways.

My great uncle plays cards all the time, he says it in jest, “when I win, it’s a game of skill, if I lose, it’s a game of luck.”

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   

everyone gets a mental toughness trophyAs a parent of an athlete, there is really only one responsibility, support your son or daughter. Problem is many parents get the tonic of support mixed up with liquor of critiquing the game or practice. Tonic is fine, Liquor, never sicker…I wonder do kids lose the passion for sports or do their parents kill that passion with all the expectations, criticisms, and post-game rants?

I watch it after every game. Parents come over and immediately start talking about how they could have done this better, should have made this play, or performed a certain skill. I have made a conscious effort after each performance to do two things with my own kids.

1. Compliment their effort and tell them I love watching them play.

Believe me it is not always easy, but after having a conversation with my daughter, I will continue to stick to two things post-game. After listening and I watched a couple families do their thing after the game was over and tell their kid about not fouling, how to pass, when to dribble, proper shooting technique, moving their feet faster on defense, etc. I thought, holy crap, this is their first real game of basketball EVER! One parent went so far as to take his daughter out on the court and give her a lesson in boxing out the opponent to get the rebound.

2. ASK your child on how they want to be coached: 

I asked my daughter if she liked it when I have critiqued her play in the past. Again, she said, “No.” It felt like a fist to my face!

So, I changed… I merely referred to a couple of loose balls she dove for on the ground and how she hustled up and down the court each time on defense.  I never once talked about something she could have done better. I will leave that up to the coaches. I did tell her if she ever wants my opinion about anything I will give it to her, but she has to ask. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

dr rob bell mental toughness article. Coach Justin Dehmer holds Back-to-Back-to-Back State Championships and 3x Coach of the Year 2010, 2011, 2012. National Record 87 Game Winning Streak in 2011 ended in 2012 at 88. Contact   Twitter @1PitchWarrior

forget about the outcome

Henry Rollins photo by

10 ways to forget about the outcome

It is what is. It’s only uttered by people who experienced a setback or are just miserable. I’ve never heard it by someone holding up a trophy. Although, my goal is to have an athlete hold up a trophy and is so consumed by the process that they say, “hey, it is what it is.”  

A focus on winning doesn’t lead to winning, a focus on the process does.

However, our thoughts are often directed on the result and the outcome. When we do this, we welcome the ugly guest of FEAR into our game. 

Here are 10 ways to forget about the outcome.

1) Talk to a teammate or competitor- Get outside of our own head, we are behind enemy lines. Andrew Luck actually congratulates guys who sack him! 

2) TELL yourself what you’re going to do next!- Don’t ask yourself questions in competition, it only brings forth doubt. Instead, TELL yourself what you are going to do. We call this the “thinking out loud technique. It helps you to forget about the outcome by focusing so much on the process! 

3) Make the picture big- When I focus on going on vacation or that dinner date next week, I get happy.  One of my players loved eating so much, he would talk about where we were going afterward. Make the picture even bigger, we must know that it all works out because it has so far.

4) Make the picture small again- Focus just on making one play, the next one! Just THIS PLAY! 

5) Breathe- Take one deep breath and look for the opportunity. 

6) Rock, Paper, Scissors- If you’ve got a sport with some downtime, play a quick game! It reduces tension. check it out here…

7) Repeat your mantra- Hopefully, you have one… what refocuses you?

8) Think about your family- I get happy when I think about mine, but it also kicks in the drive.

9) Think about your behind– Not your butt, you know, your past successes. If all we had were good memories, how would you play? 

10) Act as if- Before I take the stage or work with a team, I act as if I am Henry Rollins or Bobby Jones. If we focus on how someone better than me would act it helps us forget about the outcome. 

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-

coaching left blank

Every so often, when I receive an important document, there is always This Page Intentionally Left Blank.  This is because if a document had a printing issue, there might be serious consequences. More importantly, imagine all of the inquiries and anxiety from readers if they came across a blank page without it being intentional. 

Coaching is basically the same way. Our team wants to know what pages are left intentionally blank. They want to know the expectations and our style! For instance, I’ve had successful athletes perform better when I’ve challenged them, “They can’t do a task.” They declare “I’ll show you, and do it.” However, I don’t always like coaching that way and I have to communicate that.

One of the biggest frustrations of numerous coaches in business and athletics is that people struggle with troubleshooting, problem-solving, making adjustments, and thinking on their own. They are usually wonderful at doing what is expected, but not finding a way on their own…

So, we call timeout. We call timeout so often that people expect the timeout. They need the coaching session, the feedback, and told what to do. Can you imagine a coach NOT calling a timeout during crucial moments now?

One of the coolest things during the 1987 national championship game between Indiana and Syracuse was that the last: 20 seconds of the game (before Keith Smart made the iconic last shot), was NO TIMEOUT was called by coach Knight. He prepared for it.

Coaching is coaxing, but the best is knowing when NOT to coach. What pages need to be intentionally left blank? We leave pages intentionally blank by simply communicating how we coach and knowing how they want to be coached?


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 the most recent books on Mental Toughness- 

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 3.11.31 PMWe are having our annual SuperBowl party and sure enough I get a few online responses of Maybe. So, maybe eight (8) more people are coming to the party OR maybe not!

Am I rejected for a better party, or what? Either scenario I play out sounds downright negative. Maybe sounds more like NO, but it isn’t.  Maybe is cousins to I’ll think it over and let me get back to you. 

The answer is worst than NO. 

No is like a tearing off a bandaid, it stings, but we get over to it.

At an 8th grade dance, I finally got up enough nerve to ask this girl to dance. It was one of those, “I have the biggest crush on this girl” type of thing, so I devised the great plan to ask the girl at the dance! No pressure, no diamond.

I had heard up to that point in my life the cliché’ of “what’s the worst she could say?” “NO.” Now, NO would be painful and the fear of hearing that rejection is what caused all of the anxiety and stress. But I hadn’t even contemplated her response of  “Oh wow, Let me get back to you.” 

Maybe freezes us and places us in purgatory. I limped back to my side of the gym completely stuck. I wasn’t prepared for a maybe. At first I was actually excited, she didn’t reply “no,”  but, the excitement soon turned into detest.

Did she really mean maybe, or did she actually mean no? My only recourse was to ask someone else, but how could I, because she said, MAYBE.  She rejected me with a maybe and I learned early on that No isn’t the worst answer and I wouldn’t accept maybe’s or think it over’s any longer, until Evites over our Super Bowl party.

Don’t be the person who gives the answer of Maybe and certainly don’t accept the answer of Maybe.

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   

3rd rule

The 3rd law? Newton’s 3rd Law of motion!  “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” I realized how Newton’s 3rd law applies to the goal setting process recently while setting my BHAG for the year, to read 50 books. If we want to add a new behavior and make change in our life, there must also be a subtraction of the behavior(s) standing in our way. One cannot happen without the other.

“Newton’s Third Law” is important because this unawareness of ‘equal and opposite reactions’ causes goals to fail. We get so excited about our big goal for the year that we don’t recognize the full impact that the process of achieving this goal will have on our life. Typically when we do recognize the impact, it becomes an uncomfortable decision in the moment between the old habit(s) and the new one we are pursuing. We have to plan for that decision upfront, so are ready for that moment of ‘opposite reaction’.

The Third Law! We want to lose weight; we quit eating fast food and start cooking our meals. We want to run a marathon; we cut back on our time playing basketball or weight training and begin a running regime. We want to read 50 books; so I no longer have cable, deleted fun time-wasting apps on my phone, and I have a book with me wherever I go. When I am in the car, I’ve even swapped the radio out for audiobooks (this counts as reading too!). For me and all of us, it boils down to how bad do you want to achieve your goal?

There will be some kick-back and setbacks along the way toward any goal, this is also part of the 3rd law. Equal and opposite reaction.  Realizing the 3rd law will help you find other ways in which your goal may have a larger than anticipated positive impact on your life.

WhonPhoto_DRB-Intern02Will Drumright, M.S. is an associate of DRB & associates. He works with athletes, coaches, and teams helping build and enhance their mental toughness. He can be reached at or follow on @wcdrummy15 


I was told early on in life to use “I” statements. I was also instructed to use feeling words like frustrated, upset, and agitated. Yep, those seem accurate descriptors when I am pissed. The key is to train and remember this linguistic skill during stressful times especially when having arguments (growth moments) with my wife.

However, I was never properly instructed on how I should talk to myself.

We rarely talk negative to ourselves when we are thriving and doing well; frankly that’s not mental toughness! When we are on track, we can basically say anything to ourselves that will help us focus.

Mental Toughness however occurs when we are struggling, when things are not going well. The inner chatter, inner voice, and dialogue that we have can take a dramatically different tone.

We are also poor at diagnosing our own self-talk. So, check this out and let me know if you agree.

YOU idiot, YOU suck today, YOU should know better…You, You, You…

These dominate the negative thoughts. I think the YOU statements occupy about 80% of the negativity.

The YOU voice can also ask rhetorical, outcome-based questions. “Are you sure you should be here?” ” You think that is correct?” “Suppose you fail?”

It doesn’t mean we don’t use negative I statements, but if we had a negative parent, or a negative coach, chances are, the YOU negativity, are the statements we will hear. I’ve even heard pro’s at the end of a season just berate themselves, and say things like “you’ve never had it.” Who told him that?

When we hear that inner voice utter YOU, it’s a red flag. The YOU voice is accusatory, its judgmental, and it saps our confidence and focus. It is the same reason why we don’t use it in discussions with our spouse.

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   

If you ever listen to a creaky door or gate, it’s not the door or gate at all. It’s the Hinge! So ,what happens when the Hinge becomes Rusty? Chances are that we got away from what got us here, our focus and confidence changed. The Hinge connected, but we let it get rusty…

Here is a 3-minute video on how to prevent the Hinge from getting Rusty! 

The Rusty Hinge

Click here to subscribe to my Friday Mental Toughness newsletter…

The Hinge-The Importance of Mental Toughness Dr. Rob BellDr. 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 

NO Fear:

When I left the university as a professor and I began my Sport Psychology company, I used to give tons of free talks. I have thankfully been able to stop this practice (although, I still get asked to provide free talks). I literally could speak to groups and teams every day of the week if it was free….

One talk I would give was titled: NO FEAR and I told my wife and business partner that I was retiring the talk. “I want people to understand and capture their HINGE moment!” No sooner had I spoken those words, that a dear friend wanted me to speak to his men’s group. Okay, LAST TIME!

Maybe it was the emotion of the men or the atmosphere of the room, but several, okay three, said that they loved it and I should write a book and make a video about the talk….my reply   Yeah, no thanks. Here is my 2nd book called The Hinge, check this out.” However, one of the guys stayed on it and hence, the next project…


-Shooting NO Fear

This project will consist of an 18-minute film based on the skills needed for mental toughness. NO FEAR- is an acronym and each letter represents a specific mental skill. Simple, but not easy. More importantly, these are the skills needed to capture our Hinge moment!! Accompanying the film will be an e-book designed for you or your team to not only work on your game, but also yourself!

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