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 rotator cuff 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 and 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 in 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 it takes 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 a cold shower for 30 seconds to build mental toughness.
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. Remember, it’s just 30 seconds to build mental toughness.
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. You just got better!
Carry that motivation into your day.
Of course, you can refuse this 30 seconds to build mental toughness and 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 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.