Every one of us is getting ready for a hinge moment, event, or person that will make all the difference in our lives. However, we just don’t know when or who that will happen. In fact, we may not know the impact until weeks, months, or even years after.

We can’t connect the dots moving forward in life, we can only connect them looking backwards.- Steve Jobs 

The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness.

In order for our Hinge to connect, we need to keep giving ourselves opportunities. Hinge moments require that we stay confident in ourselves to keep connecting with others and striving to get better. However, when we isolate and lose confidence, the Hinge fails to connect.

As Gandhi said , “you may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result.” You must be ready because when your opportunity hits, it’s too late to prepare.

Since each of us will have opportunities, here are three (3) people who took advantage of their Hinge moment! 

1. John Brooks-  

hinge moment

His goal beat Ghana in the 1st round of the World Cup. He became the 1st ever substitute to ever score in a World Cup Match for the United States. He only entered the game at half-time because another player, Matt Besler, was injured. With only four minutes left in the game, it appeared the game was going to be a draw. John Brooks was even on the bubble for making the USA roster.

However, he told his teammates, “ I actually dreamt about making a header on a corner kick in the 80th minute to win the game.”

2.  Linda Perry-

hinge moment

She was the lead singer of 90’s band, 4 Non-Blondes, and they had their 15-minutes of fame with the hit, “What’s Going On.”

Often as it goes, the success did not last, and a few years later, Linda Perry was sunk….

She was completely broke for three weeks, when an unknown artist contacted her and told her how she admired Linda Perry’s earlier work. Linda Perry had just finished writing a song, titled “Get The Party Started.”

You guessed it, the unknown artist was Pink and it re-launched her career.  Linda Perry thereafter has written tons of top songs for artists like Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, & Adam Lambert.

3. Vin Scully-

hinge momentVin Scully was the hall-of-fame announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers who passed away in 2022. 

The greatest of all-time announced Dodger games for 65 straight years! He called his 19th no-hitter when Clayton Kershaw accomplished it.

His Hinge moment occurred when he returned from the Navy and was announcing games for Fordham University. He loved broadcasting, and it was his one true passion for his life. The decision he made was to be all-in instead of being in the way! There did not seem to be an easy path forward either, so he took the only action that he knew could work. He went took the path less traveled and wrote letters to the heads of stations who could be in search of play by play announcers. 

He sent 150 letters to radio stations all along the east coast and received only 1 reply from CBS Sports Radio.

He started working alongside the legend, broadcaster Red Barber, and he called his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950.. Red Barber would be his first mentor as well and he stressed preparation and execution.  

Will Your Hinge Moment Connect? 



dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 


I noticed this past winter that I had accumulated (hoarded) scores of magazines.  I mean I had hundreds of Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and Golf Magazines all stacked up in a corner. Perhaps, I had justified keeping these because “I may refer to an article,” but in reality, they were just taking up space.

Most of us keep things that we really don’t need, but we have yet to throw it away. Mentally, our minds work the same way; we hold onto baggage that serves no further purpose. This mental baggage is made up of poor decisions, bad play, resentments, self-pity, bad relationships, poor results, and hopelessness, etc. What really accompanies the mental baggage however is guilt and shame, which hinders any chance of being confident.

Mental baggage is any negative experience that we have not let go. However, instead of learning from the situation in which we were hurt or messed up, we hold on to it.

Even airlines charge bag fees, but we allow our own mental baggage to live rent free in our head.

On the other hand, successful experiences and accomplishments are thrown away. We discount our good performances because it met our expectations and we tell ourselves “that’s what we were supposed to do.” Yet, when difficult times return and we have feelings of doubt, we still have that mental baggage of negativity.

Get rid of your mental baggage. It is a difficult process to do because it means reflecting on painful experiences. Not an easy task! Who wants to remember how it felt when they we fired, missed a shot, or even lost a loved one? But, the importance of mental toughness is that it only takes one! Each one of us has a moment, person, or decision that is coming up and it will make all of the difference.  The Hinge can only connect when we can re-focus and completely “let it go.”

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

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

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.