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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 www.1PitchWarrior.com   Twitter @1PitchWarrior  coachd@1pitchwarrior.com

killing your mental toughness

Three Things Killing Your Mental Toughness

We can’t connect the dots in our lives moving forward, we can only connect them looking backward.

That means we don’t know how things are going to turn out.

In our lives, there will be these small moments that make all the difference. These Hinge moments will connect who we are now to who we become. We need to be ready and we need to be confident.

Confidence is the foundation of your mental toughness. When I lose confidence, I isolate, and only mushrooms and mold can grow in the dark.

Here are the three things killing your mental toughness


1) Expectations-   

Growing up, my expectations were simple, Be The Best.

Except, I added two words to that mantra, at everything. I wanted to be the fastest, smartest, funniest, best looking, etc. Heck, I wasn’t any of those things even in my own class.  I can’t even be the best Rob Bell, A pastor holds that title.

Tiger Woods used to say, “ I expect to win the tournament.” 

Expectations are not confidence, but we confuse the two. Expectations and confidence are just cousins.

We can have confidence in the things we can control, but we hold no control over how we want things to work out. Expectations are out of our control and they turn into tomorrow’s resentments. Continuing to have the highest of expectations means we will struggle when we have to adjust and troubleshoot. We basically only control, our effort, our attitude, our confidence, and how well we let of mistakes and re-focus. 

2) Doubts-

I just thought that the very best didn’t have doubts.

Whereas, I bumped my head continually on self-doubt.

It was only after I spoke with Olympic Gold Medalists that they confessed they too had doubts. Things go wrong and bad outcomes happen, but these champions believed in their preparation and more importantly they believed in themselves. Fear grows on our doubts. I hate listening to the doubt inside my head, so I have to recognize it.

When things are bad, remember it’s just temporary and your mental toughness will return.

Make adjustments, breathe, let it go and if that doesn’t work, do it again.

3) Drugs, Alcohol, Sex-

The better we get, the more important mental toughness is off the field than on the field.

James Banks was the best college football player I saw live (outside of Randy Moss).

This James Banks later stated after getting kicked off of Tennessee’s football team, “All because I wanted to have a good time.”  Examine the BEST in our area who didn’t make it, chances are, one of these three was the culprit.

All three of these things derailed my short baseball career in college. Off the field, issues will kill your mental toughness.


top mental toughness coachDr. 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- 

dominate that fear

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 are 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 backward 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.


 

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- 

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

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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

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

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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

 

build mental toughness.

“The Hangover,” distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Stay in touch with The PAIN to Build Mental Toughness

  • I once fell off an 80-foot cliff and lay at the bottom until the EMS unit craned me out. I had a broken wrist, my head was gashed open, and my lower back was in an extreme amount of pain. I had to take a daily regiment of Hydrocodone and still could only make it through half the day.
  • At another low point, I was in a car accident and struck the windshield so hard that it broke my jaw and my collarbone. They had to wire my jaw and 8 weeks later removed the wires from my mouth. It felt like razor blades slicing through my gums.
  • As a sophomore in high school, I was the starting second baseman and made an error to lose a game. I felt like such a loser that my head was in my hands the entire bus ride home. I ended up losing my starting position.
  • As a caddy, I even dropped a golf ball during a professional event and cost my player two shots during the tournament!

These four instances surfaced as either physical or mental pain. However, no physical pain is without mental pain. In all of these, I had messed up, and although the physical pain soon passed, what remained were the beliefs and feelings about myself. The residue of not feeling good enough weighed more heavily than any trophy and that does not build mental toughness. 

If you have broken a bone or failed, then you understand how bad it hurt at the moment.

However, the most interesting part about pain is that it fades… that pain becomes generalized. One cannot go back and recreate just how bad or painful it precisely was, we just remember that it hurt. That is why they say, “time heals…”

Now, time does not heal completely. Pain leaves scars. But, we have a choice in how we move forward; we can choose either the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

Hold onto that pain until it builds mental toughness.

Yes, we must move on, but try to never forget that pain completely. Addicts call this remembering their rock bottom! Mental Toughness means being able to stay in touch with the pain and still not be consumed by it.  Pain can help us with our gratitude, because we realize we are no longer in that state. It also assists with our focus and motivation. We are now driven toward another goal and way of being.

Click here to subscribe to my Friday Mental Toughness newsletter..


build mental toughness

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport psychology coach based in Indianapolis. He works with Indy Eleven Soccer and University of Notre Dame. He has five books on mental Toughness. Check out how to build mental toughness. 

 

1374619564_ray-lewis


Can We Hate Ourselves to Success?

Yes, It works! And it is powerful! Although I don’t have research to support this notion, HATE is probably the strongest motivator of all… Many successful people were driven and consumed by this over-arching motivation to prove others wrong!

The hatred manifests itself with a belief that “I’m not good enough,” or ”It’s never good enough.” All perfectionists have this mentality. Future Hall of Fame linebacker, Ray Lewis, was driven by bitterness because his father was never around. As a kid, he would do push-ups and sit-ups until he passed out, as a way to deal with the pain.

This mentality of “never being good enough” and hatred is driven by a rage and burning desire to be successful, no matter what. Work Harder! Strive Harder!

It works, but this driver can also easily turn upon itself and become directed inward. It ends up like a torpedo shot from a submarine, which starts looking for any target. Anger directed inward becomes depression.

Unfortunately, this hatred is toxic and it will never lead to happiness. The motivation behind the striving and achieving is skewed. The unquenchable desire for success is that we just don’t like ourselves and we are not good enough. Our belief is that the only way we can become good enough is through our achievement. Life teaches us that we are actually going to lose more than we are ever going to win, and when we win, it’s not for very long.

Even the best athletes at the pinnacle of their success, winning a super bowl, Masters, or US Open can feel lacking…Bernhard Langer after winning the 1985 Masters stated, “I had just won the Masters, I’m driving to Hilton Head with my beautiful young wife, and I felt empty.”

Now, not many will admit that they don’t like themselves. It requires too much rigorous honesty.

The alternative is more difficult and actually requires more work, because we have hated ourselves for not being good enough our entire life. It’s all we know!

The only way to stop hating ourselves is to not judge ourselves. We are often the hanging judge over ourselves and after mistakes and setbacks would pass sentence, “off with our head.” I mean we would never talk to our loved one’s the way we would actually talk to ourselves.

The solution is the realization that we are good enough, we are sanctified, and we are righteous. We then begin to operate from a different set of beliefs. It doesn’t mean the striving ends, but the motivation now stems from a different place and one where we can make a lasting impact and one of significance.

Which mentality are you?

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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   

Sport psychologist caddying on PGA Tour

caddying PGA Tour

I’ve been in the applied field of Sport Psychology for 10 years, 3+ years entirely as a full-time professional, leaving academia to pursue my passion and start my own business.

My major types of clients are professional golfers, and I have caddied on tour since 2006. Caddying was a natural fit because it was a way to morph into an “on the field” coach during actual competition; no better feeling in my opinion.

In 2012, I am caddying for my client during the last PGA Tour event of the year. He is playing well, 1st place after the first round, and although he moved back a bit during the other rounds, he still had a chance to post a top-10 finish.

Fifteen minutes before each round, we always had a coach-up session, where we devised our mental and course game plan. Every day we had the same simple mental game plan because simple is powerful and simple works. Thus, before the last round, he approached me and I laid it out for him (hence the big mistake).

In the past I have used the following game plan and mentality, and it has been successful, so I wasn’t freewheeling at all. However, there is a lot of intuition with coaching and sometimes coaxing. So, when he asked, “what’s our game plan,” I replied with, “It’s your day.”

He walked away immediately shaking his head in disapproval and mentioned how he didn’t really like it and asked if I had anything else? So, ten minutes before tee-time, I tried to justify, defend, and explain my mantra…. What else am I going to say at that point, “It’s NOT your day?” I said it, believing that good things were going to happen and staying with our process that had worked.

He teed off and proceeded to hit the ball in a hazard, took a drop, hit it in the middle of the green, and 3-putted for a double bogey. Walking on to the 2nd tee, he mentioned to me “yep, it’s my day all right.”

Only after a delay in the middle of the fourth fairway, did we have a chance to backtrack and re-focus. He played solid the rest of the day, but in a sport with large purses and where every shot counts, the damage had been done.

It’s Your Day!

The mistake was that I “got in the way” of my athlete. Perhaps, I inadvertently put the focus on factors outside of his control, believing that it was going to be a good day and that good things were going to happen. I also couldn’t account for the fact that he had heard this phrase a long time ago and played horribly.

Nonetheless, I made a mistake. Less is (almost) always more and I broke it. I tried to get creative and go off menu with my coaching style at the moment. It’s still a fault of mine; there are many tools in the shed and I want to use them all, when just one would do. It takes a genius to keep it simple.

Lastly, it was a costly mistake and if we are in a field of coaching and helping people, we are going to make mistakes. It is one true system of really discovering what methods work and what doesn’t in applied settings.

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