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why I quit drinking

Why I Quit Drinking


My son has me under his thumb. It was always my daughter before. Funny thing about boys is how much they emulate their daddy. I love coffee, so he loved coffee. I would have a pint in the evening and so would he (okay, he’d have a sip).

He was three. It was funny.

But I noticed something scary. He wanted another sip and another and another. Alcoholism runs rampant in my family and I could already tell he had the sickness.

My grandfather actually has the second longest living sobriety date of 54 years in the U.S. It was confirmed at the national convention.

When I was younger, I wasn’t an alcoholic. I mean I only fell off of a cliff and was involved in a drunk driving accident during college in the same year. Some people said I was lucky, some said I was very unlucky. Some said I was meant for much more in life.

The tough part was that it had cost me playing baseball in college. I could have hurt someone else, and I never wanted that, but I didn’t think about those things.

After those mistakes, I had to attend all the alcohol classes, AA meetings, perform 100 hours of community service, and meet regularly with a probation officer. The probation officer would give me a breathalyzer every time I would show up. I always wondered, “Who in the hell would show up drunk when they had to give a breathalyzer?” She said, “You’d be shocked.”  It still wasn’t why I quit drinking. 

I had a sheet of paper that needed to be signed to confirm my attendance at all of the AA meetings. I learned, “Hey this is anonymous”! I just had people at dorms sign the sheet instead of going to the meetings. I remembered in those meetings thinking that these people were messed up, I wasn’t that bad. I focused on the differences between us, rather than the similarities.

Even after all of that for many years, I still drank. I just managed to control my drinking, so I thought…I never liked liquor, I was a 2 or 3 pint man, well, most of the time. I simply loved having fun and drinking beer was just a part of it.  Games, concerts, parties, BBQ’s, at the beach, after golf, during golf, at dinner, with friends, at the movies, hanging out, writing, chess, after runs, were all great times to have a cold one.

After my kids were born, I actually started to look forward to a craft pint in the evenings to unwind. It occupied my mind about wanting a beer.

I actually always admired people who didn’t drink.

People that had issues with drinking and no longer drank. I always thought that those who never drank were the lucky one’s.  I actually wanted to be the person who didn’t need to have a drink. That is my beautiful wife, take or leave it, no problem.

BUT, I’m an all or nothing guy. That’s why I quit drinking!

If I have one, I’m gonna have two.  A saying that resonated with me “One is too many and 10 is never enough.” The problem wasn’t the fourth or fifth drink, it was THE FIRST. The only path for me was not having one. That’s why I quit drinking.

It’s tough because it still looks appealing, but it forces me to remember my why, my gratitude list, my role as a father, and the benefits. That’s mental toughness. For example, we went to a wedding last week and the ride home with my kids was incredible, we blasted the music and sang aloud.  Before quitting, I wouldn’t have driven home.

There is a saying that if you want “To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” 

I know my goals and I have never once written down drinking as part of the plan. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, It took me a long time to realize that sacrificing short-term gratification for long-term and big picture satisfaction is best for me. And this is just one part of my life.

I even became fearful writing this and thought, “what-if” I go out tonight and drink?

Wouldn’t I be a fraud and a failure? Just in case I mess up, maybe its best not to write this post. We are all going to mess up, but it’s not about the setback, it’s about the comeback. When we mess up, we just start over, but I’m going to try to not let fear win. Taking things one day, one moment, at a time is what it takes for success in anything.


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-

Sport psychologist caddying on PGA Tour

caddying PGA Tour

I’ve been in the applied field of Sport Psychology for 10 years, 3+ years entirely as a full-time professional, leaving academia to pursue my passion and start my own business.

My major types of clients are professional golfers, and I have caddied on tour since 2006. Caddying was a natural fit because it was a way to morph into an “on the field” coach during actual competition; no better feeling in my opinion.

In 2012, I am caddying for my client during the last PGA Tour event of the year. He is playing well, 1st place after the first round, and although he moved back a bit during the other rounds, he still had a chance to post a top-10 finish.

Fifteen minutes before each round, we always had a coach-up session, where we devised our mental and course game plan. Every day we had the same simple mental game plan because simple is powerful and simple works. Thus, before the last round, he approached me and I laid it out for him (hence the big mistake).

In the past I have used the following game plan and mentality, and it has been successful, so I wasn’t freewheeling at all. However, there is a lot of intuition with coaching and sometimes coaxing. So, when he asked, “what’s our game plan,” I replied with, “It’s your day.”

He walked away immediately shaking his head in disapproval and mentioned how he didn’t really like it and asked if I had anything else? So, ten minutes before tee-time, I tried to justify, defend, and explain my mantra…. What else am I going to say at that point, “It’s NOT your day?” I said it, believing that good things were going to happen and staying with our process that had worked.

He teed off and proceeded to hit the ball in a hazard, took a drop, hit it in the middle of the green, and 3-putted for a double bogey. Walking on to the 2nd tee, he mentioned to me “yep, it’s my day all right.”

Only after a delay in the middle of the fourth fairway, did we have a chance to backtrack and re-focus. He played solid the rest of the day, but in a sport with large purses and where every shot counts, the damage had been done.

It’s Your Day!

The mistake was that I “got in the way” of my athlete. Perhaps, I inadvertently put the focus on factors outside of his control, believing that it was going to be a good day and that good things were going to happen. I also couldn’t account for the fact that he had heard this phrase a long time ago and played horribly.

Nonetheless, I made a mistake. Less is (almost) always more and I broke it. I tried to get creative and go off menu with my coaching style at the moment. It’s still a fault of mine; there are many tools in the shed and I want to use them all, when just one would do. It takes a genius to keep it simple.

Lastly, it was a costly mistake and if we are in a field of coaching and helping people, we are going to make mistakes. It is one true system of really discovering what methods work and what doesn’t in applied settings.

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   

 

sport psychology internship

Sport Psychology Internship


DRB & Associates, based in Indianapolis, IN, offers a 4-5 week, unique applied sport psychology internship (End of May- End of June). This will be open for only one or two qualified interns.

Outline:

DRB & Associates (drrobbell.com) offer mental training to athletes, coaches, and teams in and around the greater Indianapolis region. Summer interns will have direct observation with a professional team and applied experience with elite level athletes. Objectives will address performance enhancement with athletes.

Objectives:

  • Main objective will address performance enhancement with athletes.
  • Facilitate Mental Toughness workshops to athletes.
  • Naturalistic observation and feedback of athletes, coaches, and
  • Assist with leading and enhancing mental toughness schedule.
  • Weekly sessions with team members on building a consulting business.
  • Provide support with DRB projects.
  • Supervised AASP Hours.

Requirements & Guidelines:

  • Approximate 20-30 hours per week
  • Must have valid driver’s
  • Non-paid internship.
  • Must relocate for one month.
  • (Preferred) Current graduate or undergraduate student.

Application Materials:

  • Current resume with 3 references.
  • 1 page cover letter expressing goals of future within field and why a good candidate.

     Please send electronic application and resume to Nicole – Nicole@answerthebell.net

 

A young kung fu student travels to meet a renowned sensei… The student tells the master that he wants to train under him to become a powerful samurai and asked “how long it would take”?

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The master tells him it will take 10 years of training. Unsatisfied, the student says that he will work harder than any student, to which the master replies, that it will take 20 years now. Again unsatisfied, the student says he will train harder day and night. This time the master replies, now it would take 30 years.

The confused student asks the master why it will take longer the harder he works. The sensei responds, “The answer is clear, when one eye is fixed upon your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the way.”Are you framing your work ONLY in terms of the end goal? When we do this, we lose part of that focus we need to accomplish our goals.

Understanding the process and experiencing the journey it takes to reach a goal, is what helps us stay committed to our work. Don’t allow the destination to become more important than the journey.

About the Author: Will Drumright is an Associate of DRB. He works with athletes of all ages, especially good one’s. He can be reached at  wcdrumright@gmail.com or twitter  @wcdrummy15