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Herschel Walker Mental Toughness

Herschel Walker was made fun at school and never went out to recess because he was afraid of getting beat up. His teacher used to put him in the corner of the room because he had a speech impediment, and called him “special.” His father used to give him a quarter to buy a snack at school. Herschel would give it to another kid, so they could buy a snack as long as they would talk to him. After the kid had finished his snack, he would go back to making fun of him.

The last day of school in 8th grade, he went out to recess and got beat up, bad. He said to himself “never again….When your name is called, you have to stand up.”

Mental Toughness is often caught rather than taught. From that Hinge moment in school, he didn’t train to become a great athlete, he trained to become a super hero. How did he do it?

He did 5,000 sit-ups & 5,000 push-ups every day! Herschel also ran on a dirt track every day, with a rope tied to his waist dragging a tire.

He transformed himself from one of the slowest guys in the school, to one of the fastest in the state of Georgia by the 9th grade.

During an interview with Jim Rome, Herschel was asked when was the last day he missed a workout? He replied “NEVER.”

Sometimes, our mess becomes our message. Mental Toughness means doing what others aren’t willing to do.
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 drrobbell@drrobbell.com

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

to build Mental Toughness

30 Seconds to Build Mental Toughness


Playing baseball in high school, all I wanted for Christmas was to go to a baseball camp in Sarasota Florida. As a pitcher, we learned these strengthening exercises that are now the norm. The Major League instructor told us all that when we returned home, we wouldn’t do these exercises.

I balked at the notion, bought the 5 lb weights and performed these rotational movements. He was correct however, this lasted just a few weeks…

Mental Toughness is often difficult to evaluate because it involves our response to difficult and/or stressful situations. It means doing those things that we simply don’t want to do, getting out of our comfort zone, and taking care of the little things that it takes to be a champion.

Most of you will dismiss this mental strength exercise, won’t see any value, and scoff at the notion that 30 seconds to build mental toughness. Here it is:

At the end of your shower, turn the water on cold for 30 seconds….

It’s like doing the ice-bucket challenge, but in your shower and for longer, and no-one will film it.

We must not fear 30-seconds of a cold shower to build mental toughness.

If you do a tough mudder, it’ll be much worse. The 30-seconds is no different than pushing yourself in a race or workout or having a pressure situation in a game. You have to push through it and focus. More importantly, you must recognize the type of thoughts that arise and how to control these thoughts.

What’s amazing though is the fear and apprehension to the build up. Trust me, you will not die! Yes, it will be uncomfortable, most likely take your breath away, and involve some physical reactions to the cold water.

The cold water causes you to narrow your focus and it’ll be near impossible to distract yourself from the sensation. You’ll notice immediately what your thoughts attend to and you’ll instantly develop a strategy to build mental toughness. 

You can count to thirty, sing yourself, spin around, or tell yourself motivating statements.

Either way, you’ll find very quickly what type of thoughts enter your mind and what you do with them. At the end, bask in the thought that you just did what most aren’t willing to do.

Carry that motivation into your day.

Of course, you can refuse this 30-second test, no-one will know… except for you.

“Do something everyday for no other reason than you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test.”-William James

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 

dominate that fear

5 Ways to Dominate that FEAR


Fear takes us further than we want to go and keeps us longer than we want to stay.

Fear underlies almost all emotions, disappointment, sadness, motivation, anger, even fear of getting angry. Because fear dominates our lives, this list is 5 ways to dominate that FEAR.

It was the impetus to produce my latest film & eBook NO FEAR: A Simple Guide to Mental Toughness.


1) KNOW THE SOURCE- 

If we can’t identify where the fear is coming from or what it is about, how can we possibly begin to challenge it? One way or another, fear stems from the belief that “it” won’t work out how I want it to.

Romans 8:1 states, there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. If you believe in that verse, then any thoughts of fear, self-ridicule, or not being good enough is certainly not from God, the source is coming from someplace else. Hint: it’s not ourselves

2) IT FOCUSES ON THE FUTURE OR THE PAST- 

Think of fear as a person, not an emotion. He will try to show us why we should be afraid! That individual will direct our attention to the outcome, the result, and something out of our control. Fear wants us to become obsessed with some event or person in the future, a year, a month, even a day. It also wants us to look backwards not at our successes, but our short-comings and our failures.  Fear losses it’s grip when we stay in the now. It’s one way that we dominate that fear!

3) THERE IS ALWAYS SOME TRUTH TO IT- 

Fear is not all or nothing. Yes, your son or daughter may get injured, not play DI in college, or get in an accident. Yes, we may fail. 

If we take a game winning shot and miss, it will hurt. If we attempt a change in our business, we may get stuck! All truths. But fear does not stop there. It keeps going and going; fear catastrophizes.

It takes us down a road of imagining the worst-case scenario. Imagining that if we try and fail, well not ONLY will it suck, but also my friends will think I am a failure and I will lose my job. We can dominate that fear by ranking it from 1-10, if it’s higher than a 6, go to the next step. 

4) SHARE THE FEAR- 

We keep our biggest fears to ourselves and when we do that, fear can grow legs.

Most people share with their friends, hairdressers, or bartenders so why not share fears with them? They aren’t experts and won’t be able to provide quality solutions, but a problem shared becomes half a problem. Once we verbalize aloud and can hear our own voice, the fear actually diminishes instantly. Try it!

5) PRAY, AND IF THAT DOESN’T WORK, PRAY AGAIN –

Mental toughness is not about doing it alone, it is about surrendering to the things out of our control. Having worked with many successful high achievers, I am convinced the biggest fear is simply not being good enough.

The expectations and pressure  to succeed often become overwhelming and even if it is good enough, it doesn’t last for very long. The fear returns, knocking on our door, saying, “remember me?” When we let go of the fear, it let’s go of us…

For more in-depth strategies on dominating that fear, check out my film & eBook. NO FEAR: A Simple Guide to 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   

 

There’s a Huge MYTH about Trust

The best part about sports is that it is NOT like life. In athletics, A team or player won or lost, period.  Wash and wear. There is little ambiguity, because the Ball Don’t Lie.

Life on the other hand has tons of ambiguity to it. It is not as clear cut, nor clean. In fact, it’s messy.  In Life, there is a lot of gray.

Trust is the most important mental skill. (e.g., confidence) for success because it impacts all the other mental skills, but we automatically think in all or nothing terms…We have trust or we don’t. There’s the huge myth about trust. 

Trust is a continuum, It’s not ALL or NOTHING! Addicts think that way, ALL or NOTHING. I am either the best ever, or I am a horrible loser and no one is there for me.

I trust my pastor, but not for him to cut my hair. I trust myself with helping high-performers and athletes, but not for me to fix my own deck or garage door.

It’s not a question of IF I trust, it’s a question of HOW MUCH do I trust?

Trust is a process… HOW MUCH do we trust our coaches and loved one’s?  Trust affects everything because the more we trust and have confidence, the better focused, relaxed, and honest we become. Think about it, if we give a task to someone and know that it will be done, it frees us up to focus on something else.

How much do we trust our gut, and our own instincts?

Life teaches us that we are going to struggle and also be under pressure moments. When we mess up, how much of our trust and confidence is left, and how do we continue to build and work on it.

Proverbs 3:5-Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

Click here to subscribe to my Friday Mental Toughness newsletter…

 

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   

Glenn South 40I really had little clue of the importance of details.  I’ve heard it and lived it many times, but it finally hit home. While shooting the mental toughness film titled No Fear- A Simple Guide to Mental Toughness. Did you know that if one can accurately roll the A/V cables, then you’ll have a job in the movie/video/MTV business. That’s it, and always show up 15-minutes early.

Media production classes even have rolling up AV cable as part of the final. It’s that important. The cables are 2k a piece (on the low end) and in the midst of tons of expensive equipment, the cables can’t ever be compromised. Any kink in the cable can cause the slightest volume fluctuation or disruption. It all starts and ends with how they are rolled up. In large moving sets, the cables must be thrown out so that they will roll successfully and fast.

Now, I take great pride in everything I do, but I admit, I neglected the rolling up piece. I know how my christmas lights are stored away and even my ear buds in my gym bag. I run into kinks all the time!

How we finish is important, like stretching, writing out to-do lists, cooling down, and checking over our work for errors. But when you’re finished, it doesn’t matter until you start again…Maybe that’s the key, finishing strong and going over the details helps us when we start again, because there is no finish line.  If it made a significant difference, would we actually pay attention to it or just hope for a job in the movie industry?

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 drrobbell@drrobbell.com

focus like pete samprasOn Januray, 24, 1995, during the Quarterfinals of the Australian Open, two heavyweights, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier faced off.

Courier won the first two sets and Pete battled back to win the next two sets. During the fifth set, Sampras became obviously emotional, crying during a serve. Later, we learned that Tim Gullikson, Pete Sampras’ coach and friend, had a brain tumor.

Jim Courier saw what was going on and offered an olive branch that turned into a weapon. He asked Pete during his serve, “You okay, Pete, we can do this tomorrow, you know?” 47

Pete Sampras took the remark as sarcasm by Courier and used it to his advantage. He said, “It kind of woke me up to be like, ‘OK, let’s focus’.”  Pete Sampras ended up winning the match.

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Mental toughness is a focus only on the task at hand. This shot, this point, this day…The more we can center only on one shot at a time, the better we will accomplish it. Can you achieve a relentless type of focus? Sometimes we will be called into this type of focus with a light switch moment, embrace it.    Excerpt from The Hinge: Audio-book is now available…

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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 drrobbell@drrobbell.com

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

An A.D. that I met with recently discussed how one of their best basketball players always played safe. On one hand, the point guard made few mistakes and played consistent. However, the point guard also held back and never “took over a game.” They lacked mental toughness… 

At a swim meet yesterday, I spoke with a swimming coach who remarked how one of his swimmers never “went for it” and reached her potential.

The “Safe” athlete is the new normal.

From helmets used in soccer, face-masks for “fielding,” and mouth guards galore, we are overly concerned for our athletes “safety.” In some cases, this is justified. However, when it comes to playing our best, “safe” doesn’t cut it.

A “safe” athlete is afraid of messing up. They know that they can play it “safe” and not get judged too harshly, or risk defeat through their play. The motivation to put oneself “out there” simply does not outweigh the risk of defeat.

At some point, these athletes were judged too harshly on their mistakes and they were not allowed to fail! In turn, the athlete quickly discerned to just “not mess up.” The reality is that sport and life is all about failure, we are going to have setbacks more than we are going to win, and this is the process.

A huge part of the game is the unknown, the feeling of putting yourself against another of equal or more ability and seeing what happens. This feeling is nervousness, excitement, and anticipation. It is uncomfortable, but the only way to achieve success is to be comfortable, being uncomfortable.

Unless that athlete is allowed to fail and know they are “safe” OUTSIDE  of the sport, they won’t risk it, and put it on the line IN their sport.

The A.D. had a heart to heart with the athlete, and told the point guard she wasn’t reaching her potential and that she would later regret it. That one talk changed everything and now the point guard plays with a passion unafraid to fail.

“Show me an athlete who is afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you an athlete you can beat every time.” Unknown

 

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   

You may know the feeling… Cold water and lack of oxygen jolts you: you realize that you jumped in way over your head.  Limbs are flailing, lungs are gasping, and your mind can’t focus on anything but the struggle between fighting to breathe, and giving up completely…Maybe it’s just your morning shower or perhaps as I thought and did, “Hey, triathlons would be a good idea!”

This was my situation as I attempted the longest open water swim course I had ever swum.

The “swim-for-dear-life” technique is not very effective. When you are under the influence of Fear, most of your energy is wasted. I wasn’t swimming hard enough that day to really raise my heart rate.  But the most powerful tool fear uses is the endless cycle of “what-ifs” and “negative thinking”.

I was not just exerting myself physically.  I was also mentally spiraling back and forth between belief in myself and doubt. There was a distinct moment halfway through when I recognized that my doubts and fear had a cold grip on me.

Fear is between you and your goals and there are two things you must do.

1. Get in touch with your motivation.  What is your “why” for racing? I was in this water because I had an even bigger race goal, the following month.  I knew that I had freely chosen this event, had trained properly for it, and needed it in order to accomplish the bigger goal.  Aligning with your original motivation for the task at hand will give you the needed courage.

2. Focus. Have a “mantra” – something to repeat to yourself that would be encouraging in times of stress.  I have a favorite prayer that is short and sweet, and repeating it to myself put my strokes to a rhythm and cleared my mind.

“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” – Dorothy Bernard

 About the Author: Elyssa Smith is a triathlete and distance runner. She and her husband own Runnertainment, a sportainment company that provides encouragement for runners and multisport athletes. Elyssa is now pursuing her master’s degree in counseling and sports psychology.   Elyssa@runnertainment.com

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say to a referee

The One Word to Say to a Referee?


When I worked with HOF baseball coach, Tommy Pharr. He would use this one word all of the time….It later dawned on me, It really worked! This is the thing to say to a referee.

Surprisingly, it is the same word to say to a police officer if you get pulled over….

Both police officers and referees bring out the worst emotions in us… There is usually a call we disagree with, and in the moment, we are charged up with the situation of the game.

Disagreeing with referees are emotion filled because it means a poor call was made and it may be pivotal. These moments require precision with our words…Getting too aggressive, defensive, or making a referee feel like they made a bad call rarely works to our advantage. What often happens is the coach or athlete reacts, by shouting, getting upset, or saying it was a horrible call. Since they are not going to switch the call anyways,we can only make the situation worse.  We must not react with emotion rather, respond with poise. 

The goal should be to respond to the call, and help that the next questionable call will go our way. Not to mention being a good role model and keeping our cool. Referees are human as well; so feel free to use this one word to say to a referee to help with the next call…

WOW!!!

This word is not aggressive, it assesses no blame, and it gets the point across!!!

This one word to say to a referee  puts the emotion and thoughts back onto the referee where it should be. The referee hears the word, or sees the emotion and body language of “wow”, and starts to mentally process their call and the situation. “Hmmm”“Did I make the right call”,  “He is kind of dumbfounded, was that correct?” 

When we respond with poise, we can also ask “why” a call was made, and the referee will be more likely to take the time to answer, which will, in turn, help us coach and understand “why.”

However, If we react with emotion, ref’s become closed off and less likely to respond to us OR respond with their OWN emotion.

Now, each questionable call can’t be responded with “wow”, because it may lose it luster.

Besides, there are other words that help convey the same meaning…“Unbelievable”  is akin to “wow”  and can be used interchangeably, but lets not overthink ourselves here… Feel free to begin applying this mental game technique and you’ll see the results…


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