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why we should not have heroes


 

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- 

NNDB.com

Henry Rollins photo by NNDB.com


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’s 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 questions in competition, it only brings forth doubt.

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 afterwards. 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!

5) Breathe- Breathe and look for the opportunity. 

6) Rock, Paper, Scissors- If you’ve got a sport with some down time, play a quick game! It reduces the 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– 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. How would someone better than me act?


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   

keys of confidence

Three Simple Keys of Confidence


Show me a successful athlete, or person and I’ll show you someone who is confident. It is without a doubt, the most important mental skill. You gotta believe in yourself! Here are three simple keys of confidence.

  • Confidence is a feeling:

When we are confident, we feel at ease, relaxed, and focused. It is something that we just know. However, confidence is NOT thoughts! We usually only recognize when we are not confident. When we are not confident, we just have more thoughts, doubt, and are not as comfortable. It does not mean the thoughts are even negative, it’s just that we are thinking more… We can act our way into right thinking easier than trying to think our way into right acting.

  • Confidence is knowing that you’re ready:

The keys of confidence is knowing, not hoping that you are ready.

A question to assess our own level of confidence is: how would you play if you couldn’t fail?

This mind-set is important, because I have yet to meet a successful athlete that plays awesome when they play timid or scared. Confidence = aggressive.

  • Confidence is patience:

Confident athletes never seem to panic or press when results aren’t going their way.

Look, we are ALL going to have bouts of struggle and adversity and we need to remain patient. We must trust our preparation, our coaches, our game plan, our emotional management, our routine, and process of execution. If we have confidence in the aspects we can control, then we will eventually have good outcomes. These are the keys of confidence!

 “They know, that I know, that they know that I know, I will win”


Watch this clip on Larry Bird & confidence!

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