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hinge quarterback

hinge quarterback

This hinge quarterback threw more career interceptions (220) than touchdowns (173).

He completed only 50.1% of his passes and his career QB rating was 65.5. This quarterback also lost more games in his career than he won—68-71-4. (Mark Sanchez would be the hands-down starter compared to these numbers).

However, this quarterback was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985 because it only takes one.


The Hinge…

 There were two leagues during the late 1960s, the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL). The winner of each conference played in the “Super Bowl.”

The NFL, however, was vastly superior to the AFL.

In 1969, quarterback Joe Namath and his AFL team, the New York Jets, were 19-point underdogs going into Super Bowl III against the NFL team, the Baltimore Colts; 19 points!

On Thursday night before the game, at the press conference, Joe Namath stated, “We’re gonna win the game, I guarantee it.”

He orchestrated the iconic victory, winning 16-7 and despite not even throwing a touchdown pass, was awarded the Super Bowl III MVP. The win by the Jets and the guarantee by Namath solidified his career and the NFL.

The next season, the two leagues merged.

Joe Namath’s  ONE hinge moment became one of the biggest in the history of the game because of the impact he made. I like Joe Namath and injuries led to much of his later demise as a QB, but his status was cemented because it only takes one! 

It only takes one… Our ability to believe, have confidence, and to trust is the most important mental skill we possess.

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.

became the hinge moment

 


How A Reader’s Digest Became The Hinge Moment


The Hinge connects who we are with who we become.

It is the one moment, event, or person that makes the difference in our lives…We just don’t know when or who that person or event will be. 

I’ve had many Hinge moments, some good and some tragedies. I’ve even shared a Hinge moment with An Olympic Champion. 

This is the earliest of My Hinge Moments, that would take almost ten years before it connected me with who I became. 

As a teenager, my grandmother used to give me the awesome gift of, wait for it, Reader’s Digest magazine…Thanks, Grandma! 

As a fifteen-year-old, Reader’s Digest really didn’t fit my needs.

However, it did become great bathroom material and I would read it while on the porcelain throne.

Well, within Reader’s Digest, I once read a story about the “runner’s high,” the physiological and psychological effect that runners would sometimes encounter during long runs.

It was like “being in the zone.” The study looked at how the personalities of those running long distances may transfer into other areas of their lives. I thought it was cool. This was long before my Marathon and Ironman days. 

Fast-forward nine years to the end of my undergraduate college; I had to choose a research project in my advanced Psychology class to graduate. We were to find a previous research study and replicate it. Well, immediately, the image that came to mind was the Runner’s High story in Reader’s Digest magazine. I tried to do the same study, did okay I guess, and presented it an undergraduate conference and thought no more about it. 

I knew early on that Sport Psychology would become my chosen path in life, so I applied to Temple University’s graduate school, although I never really applied myself in undergrad until my junior year, I was a hinge candidate at best.

The on-phone interview went surprisingly well and, in fact, the Temple University professor who was interviewing repeatedly probed at length my little research project on the Runner’s High.

I was accepted and even received a graduate assistantship that paid for my graduate school. 

The Hinge Moment….

As it turned out, my professor, Dr. Michael Sachs in 1984 was the one who basically coined the phrase, “Runners High” for his research. 

If it weren’t for my grandmother supplying me with Reader’s Digest subscriptions as a teenager, I would not have been accepted into Temple University’s graduate program, nor met my wife, nor continued on to Graduate work at The University of Tennessee, nor caddied on the PGA Tour, or work with so many gifted athletes. I wouldn’t have written a book titled: The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness either. 

We have no idea who or what may be The Hinge Moment. Our role is simply to be prepared. 

My story and this story would have been different. 

Who or what have been hinges in your life?  Share your Hinge moment here.


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 mental toughness 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.

NO Deals

Click here to receive a FREE FILM On Mental Toughness
At the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Billy Mills would make history with his iconic sprint to win the gold medal in the 10,000 meters. He was so unknown, that a Japanese reporter asked him after his win “who are you?” He is still the last American to win the Gold medal in the 10,000 meters.

However, he was going to quit.

Before the last lap, he knew he had third place locked up, so he was going to pull up and let the battle be decided by the other two runners, Ron Clarke and Mohammed Gammoudi. He knew it was “safe” to pull up, but as he looked into the stands, he saw his wife crying… He couldn’t give up. NO DEAL!

A runner/cyclist friend of mine was an athlete who admitted that he could just “show up.” He was skilled enough to compete in basically anything he did.

However, he told me that his game changed once he quit making deals with himself.

During a race or competition, he used to say to himself, “Keep up with [that guy] until this point and then let him go.” He admitted he wasn’t as sharp as he needed to be mentally. Now, during a race or practice, he’ll set goals, he’ll just say, “Catch that guy.”

How often do we make deals instead of goals? 

With our children, “Honey, if you pick up your toys, you can get a snack.” With God, “lord, if you get me through this, I will never…” With ourselves, “If you [do this] then you can [do this].”

Making deals is just like a coach who uses sprints as the only means of discipline. It works, but only for a short while, the athletes soon grow to tolerate it, and not learn from it. Making deals is effective, but only for the short-term. It gets the job done, but it is not sustainable and it causes really bad habits.

When we make deals, we are limiting how good we can become. Deals do not build mental toughness. Our motivation and focus has changed. We are doing something to gain an immediate result, not long-term success. Making deals also gives us an “out”, a reason not to push further when it gets really tough…

Setting goals means having a plan of action without a fallback. It’s stating, “I will do this”, instead of  “do this, so you can.” It means keeping the focus on the immediate task at hand instead of focusing on the outcome.

Athletes don’t train for the trophy; they train for the feeling of holding the trophy. The only way to do that is to make goals, not deals.

“Good athletes practice until they get it right, great one’s practice until they can’t get it wrong.”

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 Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness   

How many times have we heard in sport or life, “I was robbed of that play “or “that game was stolen?” If we have said it or have been a part of it, then we know the thoughts and feelings that go along with it.

Well, literally, I was robbed!

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During an early morning swim at the YMCA, the aquatics director was soon standing over me letting me know my car was broken into.

Dammit!!

Now, my Mac Book, iPad, and video camera were all taken as part of this smash & grab job. BUT my thoughts immediately went to MY BOOK! Having worked on the book for the past year, it was quite a bit of time, effort, and money.

The Victim

I was upset, felt helpless, and even wanted to blame somebody for what happened. I went to all of these mental places the hours after this took place. But what really surprised me is the “feeling” that stuck inside my gut. I just felt “off.”

Since I help athletes, coaches, and teams perform better, I always want to be a product of my product. “The Variable is YOU.”

The easier part for me about the break-in was getting over it. I could do that!

how does pay day advance work

But, I actually wanted to use this obstacle as an opportunity…I don’t like feeling or acting like a victim. Winners don’t do that.

The only way I could have used this obstacle to improve was to be THANKFUL IT HAPPENED. Could I convince myself that this robbery actually was a blessing? Could I really turn my thoughts into  “why NOT me?”  Did having my car broken into actually save me from getting in a car accident later on? Was it a HINGE moment? 

How many of us get stuck, unable to get over what happened to us?  Yes, it sucks, but don’t stay in the “I was robbed” mentality. Instead, let it go, but more importantly use the experience to mentally get better.

When I was able to make this acceptance a part of my growth as a person, everything changed that day!! Oh yea, we have to practice it on a daily basis. It is easy to be positive when things are going well, but the true test is not where we stand in times of comfort, but during times of struggle.

Turn your obstacles into opportunities.


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 Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness