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confidence is just a feeling


Why Confidence is Just A Feeling


Folks on twitter have messaged me with their own arguments about confidence. Even some mental coaches totally disagree with this statement.

I have had a few head coaches as well, one’s that I really respect, disagree with this statement.

But, I’ll defend it…I’m stubborn. I’m am coachable however, so hopefully that counterbalances the stubbornness. 

Confidence is often cited as the most important part of mental toughness, because it’s the most difficult and it  affects all other skills.

Confidence is  just a feeling.

It’s the second tier on the Hierarchy of Mental Toughness because we do and attempt things that we’ll be successful at and believe that we can do. Belief & trust are also the same concept as confidence and can be used interchangeably. 

So, why is it just a feeling? 


Research has shown that there are four sources of confidence. Physiological states are one source.

How we feel!

  • When athletes or musicians perform at their best, I ask them; what were you thinking about? Their answer………” nothing.”  They were in the moment, in flow.

  • Have you ever finished a workout or a run, looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “Hey, I look good.” Honestly, you look absolutely no different from when you began, except you now feel different. (i.e., Confidence is just a feeling!)
  • Elite performers all stress that when they are playing their best, the event actually slows down. They feel in complete control.
  • The first thing that goes when an athlete starts performing poorly is the lack of FEEL. Their play or technique may look fine, but if they don’t feel confident, they will search to get that feeling back. 
  • Our prayers are not automatically answered, but we feel better after doing so, or even meditating. We feel at peace. 

Body language doesn’t talk, it screams.

Mental coaches, myself included, teach ways to become confident by changing our physiology, our body language, and how we feel.

If trust wasn’t a feeling, then why stress focused breathing, becoming centered, or good body language?

Another example why confidence is just a feeling is because what happens when we lose it?

When we lose confidence, that our feeling now turns into thoughts.

We just begin to think too much. We no longer trust our instincts, our gut. Instead, we get stuck inside of our own head and try to think our way into right acting.

The real key is still finding a way to win when we are NOT confident! 


 


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. 

 at least mentality

The Toxic At Least Mentality


I have bad days, I get down.

I lose belief and I’ll feel like I am not good enough.

I also have days where I do well, but for many reasons, I just didn’t perform up to my own standards.

I don’t like feeling like this way, so what occurs when I get like this is I develop the toxic at least mentality.

  • “OH WELL” At least, I ran today
  • “AT LEAST” I am not as slow as that person
  • “AT LEAST” I showed up
  • “OH WELL” at least, we played well

What I am really saying to myself is at least mentality that I am not a loser

But, I am also saying, I am not a winner…

The “at least” mental state is dangerous and systemic. Once it enters our vocabulary either within ourselves or our team, it can easily seep into our core beliefs.

The “at least” attitude means we chose to make an excuse. 

Settling was okay.  Mediocre wasn’t all that bad.


Going through the motions became an option. We chose to live inside the comfort zone. I basically valued my self worth as a “maybe” rather than a “yes.”

The toughest part of winning is the will to prepare.  

Committing to everything that is needed to win, means developing a winner’s mindset as opposed to an “at least” mind-set.  We must instill the belief that we deserve what we are going to achieve because of our preparation, because at no point did we settle.

However, what lacks is the belief…We develop an at least mentality because we wanted, we just weren’t willing… We weren’t really willing to sacrifice, willing to develop the needed focus, or willing to work on our weaknesses. We looked around us and said “I’m not all THAT bad.”

Preparation and motivation involves the belief in oneself and that our goal or vision can be reached!

Setbacks, adversity, and struggle are going to happen, but it is how we overcome these obstacles.

The bottom line is that losing happens way more than winning ever does.

There is always a runner-up finish, a 2nd place team, and second best in show.

The question must be asked,  is an at least mentality an acceptable option for 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. 

Athletes Need A Better Performance Routines…

Almost everything we do contains a routine… How we wake up in the morning, go to work, eat our food, and even shave.  We have become so routine that we are not even aware of it, hence routine. We implement these daily routines because they make us comfortable and allow us to tune-in our focus.

However, we do recognize when we get out of our performance routines because we begin to think more and may even become anxious or nervous.

These daily routines don’t really matter too much though unless we are OCD. Although, they make ALL the difference in our performance. Performances could go wrong and routines make us comfortable during these pressure situations. Presentations, Surgery, Try-outs, Auditions, Competitions, Sales, Golfing, Free-throws, Bowling, Darts, Race-car driving to rattle off a few.

Here’s 7 Awesome Ways to Crush Your Pre-Performance Routine

Unbelievably though, our performance routines have not become routine. We practice the skill way more than the execution of the routine. This is why under pressure, we don’t focus on the right things, become anxious, get nervous, or choke. Our performance routines have not become routine. There are a lot of variables in our performance, and since our routines are 100% under our control, the main variable is YOU! Routines need to be perfect in all areas of our performance.

Our research in Applied Sport Psychology showed that routines need to be individualized. The timing doesn’t matter much with an individual routine, what matters is the behaviors, the patterns, and how deliberate someone is. If people varied from their actions, performance would decline.

Here is a PERFECT Performance Routine by Jason Calliste of Oregon basketball. During two rounds of the NCAA tournament, he only shot 22/23 from the free-throw line…

performance routineshttp://pac-12.com/article/2014/02/01/video-oregon-mens-basketball-jason-calliste-free-throw-technique 

 

 

 


Dr. Rob BellDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  Check out the most recent books on Mental Toughness. 

life lessons from sports movie


Indiana has two seasons, basketball season and waiting for basketball season.

Although, This newsletter won’t make much sense if you haven’t seen the classic 1986 life lessons from sports movie, HOOSIERS.

Hoosiers is based on a true story, 1954 Milan High School with a tiny enrollment of only 161 students.  It was a true David vs. Goliath story that ended with them winning the state tournament beating much larger schools in a single class system. 

If you want a comprehensive list- check out the top 10 mental toughness documentaries that will make you better….


Here are 7 Life Lessons From Sports Movie Hoosiers


1) Be true to your convictions…

Norman Dale had a rule for playing team basketball that Hickory needed four passes before they shot. When Rade broke this rule by shooting, Coach Dale sat him, playing only four (4) players the rest of the game.

The coach was booed out of the gym.

It is tough to stay with our principles when they are contrary to the norm. However, we better have a plan in place and be true to our beliefs and mission, ready to sacrifice small wins for the larger purpose.

2) People will hate…

Coach Dale was an outsider, which people didn’t like. He even closed off practices, which was a no-no for that town. They even had a vote to try and remove him as coach. 

-If your job is to please everyone, then you’ll fail. Focus on your role and accomplishing your goals. It doesn’t mean to ignore the naysayers, but just stay focused on the real goal and not trying to make sure everyone agrees with you.

3) We must have those crucial conversations…

Hickory was missing their star player “Jimmy Chitwood.” Coach approached him while he was shooting one day and told him the truth, “I don’t care if you play or not.”

-It is a risk to speak the truth to those close to us because they can reject the message or even us. However, if we don’t learn to have these conversations, we will never know the impact and more than likely regret never discussing the topic. In the movie, if the coach hadn’t had the crucial conversation, Jimmy wouldn’t have gone to his defense.

4) We should have at least one gimmick…

When the assistant coach Shooter takes over late in the game, he runs the picket fence on them. His last message is epic, picket fence“just don’t get caught watching the paint dry. “

 I think all of us need to have something unique to ourselves or business that we keep, a trick up our sleeve. We can’t use this tactic often, because the Picket Fence was only used once. We need to save our gimmick, for when we will need it the most.

5) Don’t show up drunk…

Shooter shows up to a game drunk, gets ejected, and simply loses it after that. Some of these life lessons from sports movie are simple. Here’s my blog post on why I quit drinking…

-Um, case in point, don’t show up drunk.

6) Focus on the process…

The big speech in the movie is saved for the semi-final game.

To summarize, coach says, “focus on your fundaments, if you play to the best of your ability, I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book, we are going to be winners.”

-Too often, we focus on results and how the outcome will turn out, “will we win or lose?” There is fear in the outcome and it causes an ineffective type of focus. Coach reminds us to focus on the process of how we are going to perform and the steps that we need to do. This is one of the biggest life lessons from sports movie. 

7) Be confident…

The best scene of the movie, and with time for one more play, the coach calls a decoy play. Instead, Jimmy Chitwood tells him in the huddle, “I’ll make it.”

-We HAVE to be confident! It is the most important mental skill and it is also the most difficult. If we doubt our ability to recover from mistakes or to take risks, we will never be successful, period. We must believe in ourselves!!

It only takes one. The real Jimmy Chitwood, Bobby Plump, was asked during a CBS Final Four interview in 2010 in Indianapolis, “How important was that shot?” He replied, “I’m speaking to you right?”


 


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. 

On October 25, 1986, The Boston Red Sox were up 5-3 in the 10th inning. They were 3 outs away from their first World Series since 1918. The Mets, however, rallied for 3 straight singles. The next play was a slow roller by Mookie Wilson up the first base line. It went through Bill Buckner’s legs and became known as the most costly error in all of sports.

The Hinge…

On October 9, three weeks before the costly error, Bill Buckner was giving an interview, wherein he said, “The dreams are that you’re gonna have a great series and win. The nightmares are that you’re gonna let the winning run score on a ground ball through your legs. Those things happen, you know. I think a lot of it is just fate.100

American social psychologist Daniel Wegner conducted an important research study in 1987.

The researchers wanted to see how people suppressed their own thoughts. Study participants were asked to verbalize their thoughts continually for five straight minutes and to ring a bell if they thought or verbalized a “white bear.” The researcher, however, gave specific instructions before the five-minute session began: “ Try NOT to think of a white bear.”101

Wegner’s research showed that most individuals became preoccupied with trying not to think about a certain object. A meaningless object, such as a white bear, became lodged in the mind, and it would surface during moments of weakness. The real world application from this experiment is more pronounced, because we, as individuals, can become preoccupied with more significant thoughts other than a white bear. Worse is that the more we try to suppress it, it can create a rebound effect of pre-occupation.

Our minds are just like our coach. We will only remember the very last thing said by the coach. So, if the coach mistakenly walks off saying, “Don’t double fault, don’t walk him, or don’t strike out.” it is stuck in the head. Unless we can replace that thought of “don’t,” we will play trying NOT to mess up.

Our mental toughness is directly connected with our thoughts. We say what we don’t want to happen, instead of telling ourselves what we do want. We notice the danger and the bad things that can happen and become pre-occupied.

The key is to be able to replace the negative thoughts with an instructional cue or a focus on what we want to do. That’s mental toughness.

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 drrobbell@drrobbell.com

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

 

 

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 drrobbell@drrobbell.com

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

mental toughness Growing up, Mary Towe was the oldest of 8 children, and had to take care of her brother and sisters.  For instance, she couldn’t go on any dates as a 16 year old until her newborn brother was asleep. She had mental toughness.

The entire family delivered newspapers when they were old enough (10 & 11) and each child had to go door to door to collect the money!!! If a household didn’t pay, the money came out of their own check.

When Mary was 16, she wanted to a pair of contacts. In 1966, contact lenses were $150 for one pair.

To raise the money, she babysat three children after school for $14 a week for 6 months, which she had to take a bus back and forth. She then took a job at a bookstore working from 4-9, five days a week and all day on Saturdays.

It took her 2 years to raise the money because she also had to buy her own clothes, own food, and bus fare, while also saving for Washington School for Secretaries. There was no safety net if she fell.

That’s mental toughness!!!

When my mom and dad separated when I was 9, Mary proceeded to obtain her Associates, Nursing degree, Bachelor’s, followed by an MBA. (I know because I was a child sitting in some of those classes). She eventually became Vice-President of the hospital and was very successful.

She not only ran a 40-million dollar budget, but was an incredible baker, could train dogs, horseback ride, cross stitch, type 80 words a minute, and run half-marathons.

————————

Nowadays, the safety net is really close…

I often see parents waiting in their minivans with their children when it’s cold outside for the bus to arrive.

Currently, if a high school kid forgets his/her swimsuit, they call up mom or dad to bring it to them.

The present state of athletics is if a child is not getting enough playing time, parents just switch club teams or even high schools.

And we wonder why there is a sense of entitlement?

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 drrobbell@drrobbell.com

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

How to Tap into your focus like pete sampras


How to Tap Into Your Focus Like Pete Sampras


Pete Sampras was obviously one of the greatest. Personally, I started liking him after Winning the US Open at age 19. He won 14 total grand slams and SEVEN Wimbledon titles.

Sampras mentality was one of stoicism, rarely showing emotion, especially negative emotion

Thus, on January, 24, 1995, during the Quarterfinals of the Australian Open, two tennis heavyweights, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier faced off.

Courier won the first two sets and Sampras battled back to win the next two sets. During the fifth set, Sampras became very emotional, crying during a serve. Only later, we learned that Tim Gullikson, Pete Sampras’ coach and friend, had a brain tumor. 

Jim Courier saw what was going on and offered an olive branch that turned into a weapon. He asked Pete during his serve, “You okay, Pete, we can do this tomorrow, you know?” 

Pete Sampras took the remark as sarcasm by Courier and used it to his advantage. He said, “It kind of woke me up to be like, ‘OK, let’s focus’.” 

Pete Sampras ended up winning the match. Want To Know How To Tap Into Your Focus Like Pete Sampras? 

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Mental toughness is caught more than it is taught!

What is required for our own focus is to be able to use any outside agency for our own good and to use it. 

The best focus is only on the task at hand. This shot, this point, this day…

The more we can center only on one shot at a time, the better we will accomplish it.

But, it is also about being able to find the edge to our competitiveness that allows us to go even higher and further than we thought. The best have another gear! The best in any endeavor HAVE that skill! It’s how to tap into your focus! 

How to tap into your focus Can you achieve a relentless type of focus?

Sometimes we will be called into this type of focus with a hinge moment, so embrace 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. 

everyday mental toughness tests

10 Everyday Mental Toughness Tests

We may think of Mental Toughness as a huge culminating, you have it or you don’t event or thing.

However, these Mental Toughness tests are really about doing what others aren’t willing to do, pushing ourselves in all areas of our lives, and simply getting better.

Thus, since you’re reading this post, some of these tests will be easy, whereas others may be difficult. The key is to accomplish all ten in one day. Each of these tests challenges us to work on ourselves.

Want to check out the infographic of 10 ways to build mental toughness? 

1. Look everyone in the eye.

The eyes tell it all. Your eyes give you away!

The reason we won’t is that we aren’t confident in ourselves. Maybe it is because we are troubled or uninterested in the other person. Don’t just gaze and look away either but right up to the point of it being uncomfortable.

 2. Ask a question.

Ask for clarification or to elaborate in every conversation you’re in. Not only will it show your paying attention, but also you’ll learn more. Few people ask questions for fear of looking stupid, so it’s even better to ask a question in the presence of several people, such as a meeting.

3. Write out your goal for the day.

This is the easiest test, but don’t make it a to-do list.  Most of us just think about the goal instead of writing it down. If you write down what you want to accomplish, you’ll achieve it.

 4. Get your workout on.

WWW.WEBDS.COM/SITE_WWW/

Whether you’re a corporate athlete or someone on scholarship, everyone is an athlete. All athletes get physical. These everyday mental toughness tests must include physical activity. 

5. Wake up 30 minutes early.

This is a huge indicator of success and this everyday mental toughness test is a cornerstone for our 30-day challenge. The first hour of the day sets the rudder for the rest. Can you fight the innate urge to hit the snooze and just get up? What will you do with the extra 30 minutes?

6. Work through lunch.

In the movie, Wall Street, Gordon Gekko said it best “ Lunch is for wimps.” Pack your lunch; take a break and be present while you eat and recharge, then grind ahead. Everyday Mental Toughness tests take sacrifice and getting uncomfortable. 

7. Turn off your phone.

This is the tough one for everybody because how long do we go without our phone anyway, 5 minutes? Plan when you get home to shut your phone off during a certain amount of time. Be present!

 8. Take 30 seconds of a cold shower.

Pay attention to where your thoughts go. Its only 30 seconds, can you do it?

9. Listen to someone.

Too often, when someone speaks, we merely start talking about ourselves. Instead, just listen and put yourself in their situation. Ask a question and look them in the eye.

10. Forgive someone.

You can check this one off by forgiving someone who cut you off in traffic, or you can seriously work on this step and choose someone who really hurt you. These everyday mental toughness tests are simple, but NOT easy! Remember, resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Sometimes the most difficult person to forgive is ourselves.


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 mental toughness 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.

 

re-ignite your confidence

keys of confidence

Three Simple Keys of Confidence


Show me a successful athlete, or person and I’ll show you someone who is confident.

It is without a doubt, the most important mental skill. It impacts all of the other skills inside of being mentally tough! There are many ways to build it,  and several ways to crush it. So, these are just a few important keys to remember when you’ll see it. 

You gotta believe!

Here are three simple keys of confidence. 

  • Confidence is a feeling:

When we are confident, we feel at ease, relaxed, and focused.

It is something that we just know. However, we usually only recognize when we are not confident. When we are not confident, we just have more thoughts, doubt, and are not as comfortable. It does not mean the thoughts are even negative, it’s just that we are thinking more… 

It’s why Body Language is so important, because we can act our way into right thinking easier than trying to think our way into right acting.

  • Confidence is knowing that you’re ready:

The keys of being confident is knowing, not hoping that you are ready.

A question to assess our own level of confidence is: how would you perform if you couldn’t fail?

This mind-set is important, because I have yet to meet a successful athlete that plays awesome when they play timid, scared, and try NOT to mess up. 

Confidence = aggressive.

  • Confidence is patience:

Of all the keys of confidence, this one is the toughest.

I can’t wait to be patient! 

Confident athletes never seem to panic or press when results aren’t going their way.

Look, we are ALL going to have bouts of struggle and adversity and we need to remain patient.

We must trust our preparation, our coaches, our game plan, our emotional management, our routine, and process of execution. If we are confident in the aspects we can control, then we will eventually have good outcomes. These are the keys of confidence!

 “They know, that I know, that they know that I know, I will win”

 


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.