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Here are 17 Famous Examples of Mental Toughness 


Mental Toughness depends on our ability to re-focus, let go of mistakes, and use setbacks as comebacks! It’s not about the setback, it’s about the comeback! 

Here are 17 Examples of Mental Toughness

• In game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Don Larson pitched the only perfect game in history. However, in game 2 of the same series, he pitched only 1.2 innings and lost the game 13-8.

• Hall of Famer Raymond Berry, who retired as the NFL’s all-time reception leader, only caught 13 passes his rookie year in the league for the Colts.

Roger Federer, greatest tennis player in history, has won seven Wimbledon titles. Yet, he lost in the first round of Wimbledon his first three years of playing.

Taylor Swift was passed over by RCA for a record contract at age 15.

Andre Agassi lost his first three Grand Slam Finals.

Jeff Immelt was hired on Thursday, September 7, 2001 as CEO of General Electric (GE), the multi-national conglomerate, following Jack Welsh, the famous icon. The following Tuesday, Septemer 11, 2001, the rookie CEO watched on NBC, which GE owned, as two GE-financed planes crashed into the Twin Towers that GE insured.

Jim Marshall of the Minnesota Vikings recovered a fumble and ran it the wrong way to the end zone, and threw it out-of-bounds for a safety. The next drive, he sacked the Quarterback and forced a fumble which his teammate picked up and ran for a game-winning TD.

Matt Biondi was a favorite to win 7 Gold medals at the 1988 Olympic games. He lost his first two finals, going 0-2. He ended up winning 5 Gold medals at the Games. There’s the proof it’s all about the comeback! 

Mike Krzyzewski, during his first three seasons at Duke University, had an equivocal record of 38-37, with an ACC in-conference record of just 13-29. 

William Jennings Bryan was nominated by his party to run for U.S. President three times and lost every time. In 1925, at age 65, his brilliant defense decided the Scopes Monkey Trial.

• Country singer Trace Adkins was shot by his ex-wife and survived. The bullet even went through his heart and both lungs.

Danielle Ballengee slipped and fell down a 60-foot cliff while on a training run and spent two days stranded outdoors in Utah suffering with a shattered pelvis and internal bleeding. Just 150 days after her accident, 90 of which were in a wheelchair, she finished fifth in a 60-mile adventure race that included mountain biking, running, orienteering, kayaking, and a ropes course. You talk about examples of mental toughness!

Jim Abbott, who had only one hand and pitched for 10 years in the Majors, culminated with throwing a no-hitter in 1993. He threw his no-hitter against the Indians, whom he faced the outing before lasting only 4 innings and giving up 7 runs.

Lady GaGa was originally signed to Def Jam Recordings at age 19, but the company let her go after just three months.

George Washington lost his first battle. He had plenty of examples of mental toughness in his life. 

Johnny Unitas’ first pass was intercepted for a touchdown.

Napoleon Hill, author of a best seller, could not think of a name for his book. Unless he came up with one, the publisher would use the title, Use Your Noodle to Get the Boodle. Hill awoke at 2 a.m. on the deadline date, when the title came to him, Think and Grow Rich.

Roger Bannister finished fourth in the 1952 Olympics. It was this disappointing finish that drove him to break the four-minute mile. Wow! 


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 books on Mental Toughness-  

Al Bundy stuffhappens.us

I was in Tennessee with a golfer at the PGA tour event. On wednesday afternoon, We were all standing around the chipping green while I was talking with my players’ caddy.

From literally nowhere, this guy, drove a gator tractor over my foot with the front tire and then just stopped with the back tires now on my foot!!

I yelled at the guy to “KEEP GOING” because he just had a blank stare on his face. He looked like he couldn’t believe he just did that. I couldn’t believe it was happening.

Time does stand still for the precious seconds that a gator tractor is on top of your foot while you try to lift it up.

The entire process took less than 10 seconds, although it felt like minutes.

He pulled forward and I didn’t have shooting pain down my foot, so I knew it wasn’t broken.

Even though I didn’t do anything wrong, I was still a bit embarrassed. 

I said “Man, I hope you don’t drive like this is real life.”

After the commotion was over and people asking if I was okay and such, The guy walked back over to me and apologized.

I apologized as well!

I know he didn’t do it on purpose!

I said “I hope I didn’t say anything derogatory to you, I was just upset.”  I also said, “If this is the worst thing we ever have, we will be okay.” He laughed.

He made a mistake and was embarrassed as well. I could have blown him off or yelled at him some more, but what would that have accomplished? It would have made the issue way worse!

I wanted to use this situation as a quick lesson on how I want to conduct myself and stay calm. If I lost my cool, maybe I would have been viewed as an idiot.

How can we make our mess, our message?  Mental Toughness is doing the next right thing and apologizing is a big part.


 

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   

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 3.11.31 PMWe are having our annual SuperBowl party and sure enough I get a few online responses of Maybe. So, maybe eight (8) more people are coming to the party OR maybe not!

Am I rejected for a better party, or what? Either scenario I play out sounds downright negative. Maybe sounds more like NO, but it isn’t.  Maybe is cousins to I’ll think it over and let me get back to you. 

The answer is worst than NO. 

No is like a tearing off a bandaid, it stings, but we get over to it.

At an 8th grade dance, I finally got up enough nerve to ask this girl to dance. It was one of those, “I have the biggest crush on this girl” type of thing, so I devised the great plan to ask the girl at the dance! No pressure, no diamond.

I had heard up to that point in my life the cliché’ of “what’s the worst she could say?” “NO.” Now, NO would be painful and the fear of hearing that rejection is what caused all of the anxiety and stress. But I hadn’t even contemplated her response of  “Oh wow, Let me get back to you.” 

Maybe freezes us and places us in purgatory. I limped back to my side of the gym completely stuck. I wasn’t prepared for a maybe. At first I was actually excited, she didn’t reply “no,”  but, the excitement soon turned into detest.

Did she really mean maybe, or did she actually mean no? My only recourse was to ask someone else, but how could I, because she said, MAYBE.  She rejected me with a maybe and I learned early on that No isn’t the worst answer and I wouldn’t accept maybe’s or think it over’s any longer, until Evites over our Super Bowl party.

Don’t be the person who gives the answer of Maybe and certainly don’t accept the answer of Maybe.

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   

most difficult mental skill

The 2nd most difficult mental skill is also the 2nd most important.

Can you do it on your own, or is it best with the help of coaches? It’s the biggest issue I’ve seen with competitors today. 

 


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   

dr. rob bell Notre DameThe weekend was planned, Friday night, my family and I went to the Notre Dame football pep rally, visited the locker-room (touched the famous sign) and went on the field. Friday was incredible!

Saturday, we were going to the Notre Dame game versus North Carolina. All set! Now, my children are 6 & 4 years old, not exactly pre-game connoisseurs and we were staying on a lake about 30 minutes outside of South Bend. So we planned to arrive at 1:00 (game is at 3:30), watch the player walk, listen to the band & the trumpets play in the main hall, visit the grotto, etc.  All awesome traditions.

We parked, walked about 15 minutes and arrived in time to settle in & watch the player walk! I spy a guy selling tickets and then it hits me! I FORGOT THE TICKETS!

One rule I think in life, is that you don’t forget the tickets!!!! It’s basically the only thing you need to remember going to a game.

MY REACTION(S):

ANGER was my initial reaction, it always is when I mess up. I hate it. I frankly despise that part of me. But, it was my reaction, not my response!  My reaction is usually incorrect, because it is filled with emotion. Our response on the other hand is often correct.

BLAME was my 2nd knee-jerk reaction. I turned to my wife looking for someone to blame. I stopped this pretty quickly, because I knew it wasn’t her fault. Although I did mention earlier that she should be in charge of the tickets.

DECISION-MAKING time followed and quick. There was honestly no time to waste! Do we all walk 15 minutes back and then drive to get the tickets, or do the wife & kids stay? Very quickly, we decided. Let’s all go, stay together, we are a team.

STAY COMPOSED I thought.  Now, when one has kids, everything is magnified. Travel, messes, and especially stress levels. As a parent of two, the stress levels automatically increase a notch in general because there are just more things to take care of. At this moment, I was extremely aware of my kids! I must maintain composure because I do not want to model the behavior of losing it in front of them. I threw my son on my shoulders and tried to enjoy the walk back, while FUMING inside!

ANGER returned soon thereafter and this time it was directed inward. This emotion lasted much longer and manifested itself with my own verbal self-talk OUT LOUD! I (for some reason) needed to have this verbal boxing match out in the open and not just inside my own head. We are driving back and I am berating myself out loud (the kids have their headphones on watching a movie).

Here is a sample of some of the kind words I spoke: “You piece of shit”, “what is wrong with you”, “how could you be so stupid” “You call yourself a human being”? All top-notch affirmations!

After 10 minutes, I asked my wife, “Do you have anything to offer to this conversation I am having with myself?” She said, “what would you tell your athletes or coaches?”

I said  “Do the next right thing”, “Let it go”,”Re-focus”  and “rely on the fact that this happened for a reason”!  After that I was good, almost completley back emotionally. We arrived back to the stadium just in time to walk in and watch our 1st Notre Dame game. Now, I don’t know the reason why I forgot the tickets, maybe it prevented an accident? We will never know because “what-if” never happened. IMG_4360

What did I learn? 

It reinforced that we are human, we are going to make mistakes. It’s all how we respond to the situation and not how we react. People often fear the blame more than the actual mistakes as well! The situation and reaction all taught me more about myself and how I can grow as a person and as a coach. “That which hurts, instructs.” – Ben Franklin

Lastly & most importantly- What if it had been my wife who forgot the tickets? Would I have been able to extend grace and compassion onto her, or would my anger have been directed outwardly? Coaching and loving on others requires grace, sometimes extra grace is required for ourselves.

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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   

confidence


 

Confidence does NOT do this…

How many of us have been driving in an unfamiliar place,  following our GPS, and we suddenly sensed that we were not quite in the right spot? So, we turned at corner or drove straight ahead disregarding the map. (I sometimes believe that the GPS takes me past businesses so I’ll have to stop.) 

We all have a built-in GPS system. It’s called confidence! The belief that our needs will be met, and the ability to trust in our decisions, and those closest to us.

Trust is our gut, our intuition. It’s another reason why confidence is just a feeling. 

The GPS just points us in the direction we are supposed to go. It’s our decision whether or not to trust our gut. Even though, if we don’t trust it, we will often be incorrect.

To date, I’ve never had the GPS ask me “How did you get here?”  “Why are you in this part of town?” “Are you going to be late?” 

Confidence doesn’t judge!

It never asks questions like “how did you get in this situation”? This should be over, “why are you even here”? “Are you really good enough”?

Confidence is the ability to re-focus, to let go of mistakes, and to listen to our gut, our inborn GPS.

Confident people can do THIS skill. 


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 books on Mental Toughness-