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Mental Toughness is a Voicemail Away

One speaking event at my alma mater, Shepherd University, I made sure to invite my professor, Dr. Joe Merz. He made such an impact in my life. If not for him, then Sport Psychology and the passion I live out everyday would not have happened.

I received a voicemail from him after the event.

The voicemail was about a minute long and went in-depth about and what an amazing job I did and how proud and impressed he was. 

It felt good. I saved it. It built up my Mental Toughness. It’s still on my phone today.

That same week though, I probably left a dozen voicemail and text messages to various people. But, I could not begin to tell you what I said or wrote.

We can listen to all of our voicemail messages right now on our phone. But, we have no idea that messages we left during that same time.

Life is the same way.

We remember the most impactful people in our lives. But, we often have no idea the impact we made on someone else. We can’t know.

On a much simpler level, perhaps we remember the person who waved to us today or held the door. But, we don’t know the effect of our own kind gesture today.

We are literally and figuratively leaving voicemails all the time for people and it makes a difference, good or bad.

If we want to KEEP our mental toughness, we HAVE to give it away.

Every transaction we have with someone has the potential to be transformative. We can’t know who or what will be the hinge. People will remember how we made them feel even for an instant and it has the potential to connect them to someone else.

So are we intentional about our messages?

We give away what we possess ourselves. All of us has fired off an angry email or perhaps left a not-so-friendly voicemail. If we are filled with resentment, contempt, hatred, or lack of confidence, then that is the message of our transactions. It usually effects those closest to us as well. 

However, if we can be deliberate about leaving messages that are encouraging, positive, filled with confidence and hope, then a miracle occurs. We actually start to leave ourselves a message. If we act and behave in ways that are focused on others and building their own mental game, then we act our way into right thinking and our own mood and outlook changes.

That’s how Mental Toughness works. We have to give it away to keep it. 


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 

champions adjust


All Champions ADJUST Find A Way


In the fall of 2008, a 47-year-old businessman, divorced father of four, went to his crack dealer. He was on a fourteen-day binge and was so bad off that his dealer actually refused to sell him any more until he got some sleep. It was this man’s low point.

After one final party binge about a year later, Michael Lindell quit alcohol and drugs. A success story in itself, but more impressive is that he grew a business empire from a drawing he sketched on his kitchen table.

One early morning after a night of pitiful sleep, he drew a sketch of a pillow with all sizes of foam that could be adjusted however a person would desire. He told his daughter “I’m going to create the worlds best pillow.” That evening MyPillow was created.

The journey for Lindell was not smooth, as his business since 2011 oscillated from extreme growth and successful infomercials to hemorrhaging money. At one point, he owed $30,000 to a fabric manufacturer with only a few days to pay or MyPillow would be forced to shut down. It was only after a chance meeting with an individual that was he able to get a meeting with investors and get the $30,000 loan with no collateral. He paid the manufacturer with just hours to spare.

MyPillow has become one of the top five telebrand products and has sold more than 26 million pillows with a workforce over 1,500 people. Michael Lindell’s dream is to become a $1 billion dollar company.

It’s not about the setback; it’s about the comeback!

A boat is off course 99% of the time. The way that a sailboat finds its destination is by tacking. A series of zigzagging maneuvers by a sailboat adjusting the sail back and forth to use the wind. Adjusting is how sailboats reach their final destination.

That’s how champions adjust. They just keep moving, making minor changes and course corrections along the journey.

One of the amazing things is that once Michael Lindell, now a Christian, shed his demons, he remained devoted to his own style and vision. His own infomercials and personality became a huge part of MyPillow appeal.

In all areas of life, champions adjust find a way.

Mental Toughness isn’t needed when things are going great. It is needed most when bad outcomes are happening, we are stressed and things are going wrong. How do we respond and adjust?


Build Mental Toughness

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 all the books on Mental Toughness- 

An Attitude of Gratitude is a Myth

Viktor Frankl was a Holocaust survivor. 

His immediate family died in the concentration camps, but he survived. He talks at length in the amazing book- Man’s Search for Meaning -about how he survived while others did not.  

He concluded that we actually find meaning through our suffering.  

Frankl stated: “it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.”

It was through his suffering as a prisoner that he was obligated to find meaning, to focus on the smallest of gratitude, like a sunset, or a memory. 

It was NOT his Attitude of Gratitude. It was his ACTION of Gratitude.

  • He would have a virtual conversation every morning with his wife even though he didn’t know if she was still alive.
  • Prisoners who were starving would give their last pieces of bread to another to help them survive.
  • His freedom came as a result of his refusal to give up hope, even though survival was thin.

His attitude of gratitude is a myth. It was a result of his action.

We need to take certain action steps to exercise our attitude muscle.

Some of us have a greater sense of thankfulness than others, just as some of us are faster or better-looking but, what matters is are we willing to take certain steps?


Here are six ways to exercise an action of gratitude


  • Write out as gratitude list-  

Once we start listing our blessings, it gets tough to stop. It is too easy to focus on where we lack, or where we come up short. Basically, all advertising focuses on telling you that you need this product in order to be happy. It’s not enough to think about our gratitude, we need to write them out.

  • Keep a Gratitude Jar- 

On our dining room table, we have a jar that fills up with small pieces of paper from the week.

We express our gratitude for someone in the house when they do something we are thankful for. We can be in poor moods to begin, but at the end, our outlook has changed. That’s why an attitude of gratitude is a myth. 

  • Change the way you treat somebody- 

Want to change the way you feel about somebody, change the way you treat them. This is difficult if you have anger or resentment toward someone, so start small, send a message, email, or ask them a different question.

  • Forget the weather- 

We could have a cold, brutal winter and yet not after a month after warming up, people will start complaining about how it’s too hot.

Really?

A simple action step is to find the benefit in the weather, no matter the condition. I’ve trained my family that we are mudders. We LOVE the poor weather because we play better. 

  • Pray and if that doesn’t work, Pray again- 

There are three kinds of prayer,

1. God- Help Me! 2. God- Give Me! and 3. God- Use Me.

Prayer is an action. Pray as if God has already given you the gift that you want, give thanks for that, and ask God to help you help others. God, Thank you for the patience that you have given me so I can be a good father and husband. 

  • Find The GOOD-

Basically, here’s the way to approach all challenges and obstacles. Another reason why an attitude of gratitude is a myth. In every bad situation, some good will come out of it! 


 


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. 

6 Ways to Build Pre-Season Mental Toughness 

pre-season mental toughness


  1.  Set the Mental Tone. Everyone is optimistic, driven, and enthusiastic during pre-season. Determine how you and your teammates will approach the entire season with unshakeable belief. Adversity will hit so start preparing.

  2. Be #Blessed. Every day someone is #blessed on social media that they received a scholarship. #Blessed has become a cliché’. Don’t brag about the work you are putting in during the pre-season mental toughness sessions. Save that for the real season.
  3. Sprints- The best way to get in shape is to stay in shape. Sprints prepare the body and the mind to embrace the discomfort.
  4. Avoid Grabbing Your Shorts- Push yourself through these so you’ll be prepared when the season begins. Fatigue makes cowards of us all. You build up your pre-season mental toughness by putting your hands over your head and breathe instead. If you can’t, then take a knee and stretch.
  5. Just One More.  There is a secret to success—Just do one more. One more sprint, one more rep, read one more page, etc. Finish strong- just do one more.
  6. Talk With Coach. Re-connect with the coach and ask how you can best help the team!

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-

Everything we want in life is on the other side of our comfort zone. Building mental toughness means being comfortable getting uncomfortable.


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   

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ways to ask for help

 

ways to ask for help


5 Ways To Ask For Help


When I first heard the Beatles song, HELP in high school, I loved it, but actually thought it made little sense. Who needs help when they are young and know it all? 

When I was younger (So much younger than today)
I never needed anybody’s help in any way! 

But as with life, songs or albums that were just cool, Glory Days, & The Summer of 69′, actually began to change and deepen their meaning over time.

I always enjoyed listening to a coach’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech, as they thanked their spouse. 

It made sense, rightly so, but like the songs, I couldn’t really get it until later in life! No one gets there alone, and especially without a loving, supportive partner! A coach’s husband or wives are the ones who make the biggest sacrifice!! My wife is the best! I needed her help with life. 

My life used to be predicated on the erroneous belief, that if it needs to be done, “Rob, you better do it.” That’s the wrong song to play in my head. I needed ways to ask for help.  

The pandemic caused us all to struggle and the stronger the connections, the better we do. But it takes effort and action… We can’t read the directions of a cake and expect it to appear. 

 Running a marathon, publishing 7 books, starting a business, working with elite athletes, caddying on tour, was on my own strength, right? ha, wrong! It’s only after things go horribly bad, do we understand how much we need others! 

Mental Toughness is not doing it all by yourself, it’s actually being able to ask for help!  

The greatest irony is that people want to help, but no one wants to ask for help!

It became a huge message in our 30-day Mental Toughness Challenge! 

These action steps are simple- Here are five simple ways to ask for help! 

1. Ask- Can you watch this? 
2. I’d really like your opinion on something…
3. Ask- Have you ever struggled with…? 
4. How do you…? 
5. Tell them- I look forward to hanging out with you…

  1. Can you watch this?

    These are a coach’s favorite words to hear!

    A coach is someone who helps you get somewhere that you want to go. They want to help, so be prepared to be willing to receive the feedback they offer.


  2. I’d really like your opinion on something…

    I have found that most people don’t expect you to solve their issue for them, but to just listen!

    However, too often we feel the need to sweep in and try and fix it. If we do this, then they may not turn to us later, or worse, expect us to always fix “it.” Either option actually build’s a dependency, not capacity.


  3. Have you ever struggled with…?

    Just be honest!

    Lay it out there and you’ll see how many people will connect with you. A true friend or coach is someone who can tell you, “Hey, I get it, it’s okay.”


  4. How do you?

    My friend Matt Tully is a good golfer, but every time we play, he starts asking me questions about swings, mechanics, strategy, tour players, etc. Then he proceeds to shoot 74 and beat me. This isn’t a game by him, (he actually is the best guy ever) so I concluded that he really wants as much information as possible just so he can get better.


  5. I look forward to hanging out with you…

    The things that people miss most are just hanging out with one another.

    That’s why so many relationships are built on the golf course. Peyton Manning said it during his retirement, the thing he will miss most is the time in the locker room, just hanging out with one another. So, be sure to tell whomever you’re going to hang out with that you look forward to talking. 

     

These five ways to ask for help are just another way to connect. We need connection because the opposite of connection is isolation and that is when we start to lose confidence. 


 

 


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. 

change in mental toughness

starting practice


The Difference Between Arriving & Starting Practice For Success


Head coaches Jim Mora & Tom Coughlin had success at the collegiate and NFL ranks respectively. They are also well known for their policies on meetings.

Players arrived 15-minutes early for meetings, because the meetings actually start 10 minutes early.

Tom Coughlin even fined players for showing up just 2 minutes early…. These coaches stressed the importance of ARRIVING at practice…


Head coach, Mike Lingenfelter, of the country’s best volleyball program, Munciana, bases his philosophy around successful STARTING practice instead.

Think about the start, if it’s a bad one, then the next ten minutes are usually a coach getting upset, followed by another 10 minutes of having to re-start and re-focus.

That’s 30 minutes! That’s why this coach stresses the importance of successfully starting. 

A simple way to instill trust, discipline, and excitement is to address the difference between arriving and starting practice.

ARRIVING to practice should involve an emotional and team-oriented approach.

Dynamic stretching, warming-up, and bonding between the players and the coaches are all part of arriving both mentally and physically. The arrival period is also the best time for a coach to re-connect with players and get a sense of “what’s going on.”

Arriving early and establishing that expectation helps tremendously with the team atmosphere. 


Next, how do you emphasis the start?

This is the time that you expect your team to be focused and dialed in.

If the arrival has been taken care of, chances favor that the starting practice will be effective as well.

Once the start of practices becomes commonplace and energetic, the start of games, matches, and meets will also become more consistent. And who doesn’t want that? 


 


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. 

How To End Practice

                                      How to End Practice To Build A Better Team 


My wife questioned my strategy for leaving any social get togethers.

I never said goodbye at any party or wedding.

I always left exactly the same way. I would just duck out the door.  No goodbye. Like ripping off a band-aid.

I hated giving the formal goodbye, because people never let you leave without some sort of guilt play or long-drawn out “I meant to tell you” story. 

It’s probably how most people do it today in real life. No two-weeks notice, no official break-up, and especially not face to face.

Just a text.

So, in order to build a better teamHere’s how to end on a positive note.  


My daughter hated it at first that I’ve implemented the principle of how we end everything. But, she gets it now.

We Thank The Coach! 

Coaches and mentors are the most important person in our lives. Everyone needs a coach!

Coaches Mark James and Brain Satterfield know how to end practice.  They do it the same way, they shake each player’s hand. Nowadays, hopefully, we can still fist bump! 

It’s simple, yet powerful.

NO matter the type of practice or outcome of game, the ending is always the same. It was created as a way to put any type of closure to a good or poor day, a way to END it positive. 

Players even started looking forward to it.

The worst punishment a coach could probably ever deliver is telling one of their players, “I don’t want to see you after practice.” But, without being deliberate with how to end practice, we run the risk of doing just that, not seeing them. 

A positive ending is essential because we can’t know the last time we are ever going to see someone.

Travis Smith played golf at Ball State and I distinctly remember seeing him at practice before I left for Nashville. I don’t recall saying goodbye… He died in a car accident. There’s no amount of money his parents or coach wouldn’t have given to spend just a few more moments with him. 

Money isn’t the most precious resource, its time.

Make sure you know how to end practice on a positive note. One of the best ways is to end everything with a handshake and a thank you.


 


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. 

Top Mental Toughness Quotes

don’t question your mental toughness


Don’t Question Your Mental Toughness


There is “no question” about it. 

Did this cliche’ emerge in sports? I’m not sure, it’s just where I hear it most often.

What I’ll hear from competitors is an indication of their mental toughness

I listen for how often they question themselves. 


  • “how did I do that?”
  • “what are you doing?”
  • “why am I out here today?”
  • “What are YOU DOING!?” 

All Questions! 

Mental toughness doesn’t ask questions.

Do you question your Mental Toughness? 

Because I don’t hear an athlete that is playing well, ask themselves questions such as, “how are you playing so well?”  “How are you so awesome?!” 

Questions during competition emerge after mistakes and they make sense, but they are rhetorical, and they aren’t answered. 

All they do is lead to more questions or merely go unanswered.

If you want to become more mentally strong then do this instead!

Don’t question your mental toughness!

Questions don’t lead to many positive adjustments, just more questions. Things will go bad, and we aren’t going to always play our best, so we will need to make adjustments. 

So, we need to give ourselves instructions about what to do NEXT.

Try statements instead.

We are either listening to ourselves or telling ourselves.


  • “Okay, next play,”
  • “wow, that wasn’t the best,”
  • “stay aggressive,”
  • “find a way.” 

These statements can even be motivational, but I’ve found that the best make slight instructional adjustments.  

You don’t need to question your mental toughness! Or question your ability or skills. You just need to develop a habit of telling yourself what to do next!

Confidence is king, but Focus is queen!


 

 


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. 

James Altucher’s podcast and book stated the three types of business that SELL themselves. If you can help others out with one of these three issues, you’ll be rich.

We need mental toughness in order to achieve our goals, and my fun 4-minute talk was given on the mental skill needed to accomplish one of these…

Check out the awesome SPARKS Talks here…


 

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-