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mental toughness lessons

mental toughness lessonsmental toughness lessons 


I recently spoke to James Lawrence, The Iron Cowboy on my podcast. He completed 50 Ironmans, in 50 days, in 50 states.

I did one. 

.0007% of the world’s population complete an ironman every year. Walking down the street in the United States and you’ll meet 1 Ironman in every 1000 people. Guess it depends on your circle, because I’ll see four or five of them during every road workout. 

The entire race took longer than it was for us to drive from the Eastern Shore back to Indianapolis. 

Here’s the 5 Epic Mental Toughness Lessons I Learned from the Ironman. 


Have a Why

If not now, when? If not you, then who? I couldn’t answer those questions!

When Rob, When? 

I once wrote down one hundred things that I wanted to do before I died. A full Ironman was on there. But, that was not a deep enough present day why. 

My major “why” had to do with others. My family, Josh Fugate, Izzy, and Tyler Trent. A friend from church, Todd Dolbeer passed away from pancreatic cancer days before the race and I thought about him as well. 

Your why has to make you cry, if it doesn’t it’s not your why. 

There simply will never be a perfect time for anything challenging and epic in our lives. We are all too busy! So, quit getting ready to get ready and just do it. 


Face Your Fear and Do It Anyways

I started training on July 1st. I had 90 days to prepare for the race… My biggest fear was the bike. Not only did I have to borrow a bike again, but I needed to get serious training and miles!

So, I joined a Cycling team/group. The first group ride I joined was with about 12 other cyclists who all had the same jersey on and seemingly top of the line bikes. 

It was like try-outs for a team of one. It was the first day of summer camp when you knew no one, except everyone knew each other.  I had no jersey and didn’t know how to ride in groups. But, I faced the fear and did it anyway. I was an athlete, so it all came back to me. But, this cycle repeated itself several times with different cycling groups. I got a little better during every ride and closer to my goal and just like summer camp or a new team, eventually made friends. 

Face The Fear and Do It Anyways!

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I was taught some mental toughness lessons along the way. I got dropped from a ride twice and had a bad crash during one of my 100 mile rides, but always kept the goal in mind of the Ironman. 

By the time of the Ironman race, I had logged over 1400 miles. 

Check out the article by NYC Running Mama  about lessons learned from her ironman Journey(i.e., there is no need to fear the unknown). 


Enjoy The Journey

Everyday was a training day and I took the attitude that there was NO tomorrow.  So, my goal was not only the miles and the workout and the challenge, but it was also a mental toughness lesson about focus. 

I made it a point in training to focus on the moment and to focus only on this workout. This was my strategy to enjoy the journey. I got to ride all over Indiana and run crazy miles on the trail and see different places that I wouldn’t have without this race. 

More importantly, I got to meet and train with different people and became friends with these individuals! They helped so much with various parts of preparation. People and relationships are all part of the journey and has nothing at all to do with the destination. 

This skill of focusing on the moment translated directly into the Ironman race itself! I could only focus on just this mile!  I didn’t become all-consumed with trying to finish. I was just focused on making it to the next aid station. 

Check out this article by Will Turner on his lessons learned from his ironman.(i.e. Big goals are usually more daunting than you expect. )


Stop and Help Others

We live in an overly-sensitive, easily-offended, anonymous hating, and self-congratulating, world.

Sometimes! 

We can also live in a world where we are trying to create a better us and a better you! 

It depends upon on attitude, outlook, and actions, which reality we create. 

I wrote the book NO ONE Gets There ALONE because a stranger stopped his own race during a 1/2 Ironman to help me, an idiot! And that Hinge moment made all of the difference in my life. 

I went into this ironman race with a lesson already qued up. It was “who are you going to help?” I had no idea who is was going to be of course, but it presented itself during the bike when a guy had a flat tire and I didn’t hesitate for a second.

I stopped! 

I also was able to pray with a guy before the race even began while we were waiting to go to the swim corral. He had some serious anxiety and was a believer, so I shared with him my only go to! Pray and if that doesn’t work, pray again!


There’s Always A Second Wind

During the Ironman, the race really starts when it comes to the run. My first several miles were actually okay. But, like in life, things go bad and I started to have stomach cramps around mile 10. By mile 13, I wasn’t feeling good at all and started to get the chills and feel cold.

I saw this movie before at my previous races.

So, when I threw up on the course at mile 16, it was actually a relief. I felt better and was able to get moving. Except, I hadn’t eaten in a few hours and I didn’t want to eat, thus I had little energy.

Our second wind in life is always right around the next corner!  

I got my second wind at mile 21-22. I was able to get a steady clip going and ran with another mate, named Greg Sinche, who suffered from a stroke at age 4. We ran the last few miles together and I finished the race like I was running a 5k. 

I believe when we are at our best and others are doing the same, then it’s the easiest time to love on each other more. 


My times?

swim time= 1:21

Bike Time = 6:33

Run time = 5:45

Total 13:58

Even after all the vomiting, I was able to get sub 14 hours, which was one of my goals. 


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 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.

Two Simple Ways To Get Off Of The Struggle Bus

We ALL struggle! But, we all don’t have to ride the struggle bus.

No one wants to be on the that bus, where we repeatedly keep messing up, quitting, not following through, or letting others down.

The struggle bus’s only destination is to the pity party, where no one shows up, but YOU!

Here’s Three Simple Ways to Get Off Of The Struggle Bus

1) I immensely respect David Goggins. He’s an ultra-freak endurance athlete and the epitome of mental toughness. No matter what, he just keeps moving forward. He’ll walk right past the struggle bus!

David Goggins was asked at a conference “how do you keep going through your extreme races?”

He answered “what-if.” He starts to ask “what-if I can pull this off?” “what-if I can keep going and overcome?”

What-if

I’ve always said “what-if” never happened. Too often we ask ourselves “what-if” and there isn’t an answer because we are focused on the past and NOT the future.

Most of the time when we ask “what-if”, we are trying to re-create our own past. And it’s fantasy.

Google “what-if never happened” and see what pops up. Hundreds of scenarios that simply didn’t happen and the possible outcomes from these hypothetical events. (i.e. what-if 9/11 didn’t happen? OR what-if we caught that touchdown?)

But Goggin’s strategy of “what-if” is focused on the future!!

James Altucher asks us to wake up asking the questions of “what-if.” He states- When you start with “What if?” you start with questions instead of answers.

2) Jesse Itzler, who actually had Goggins move in with him for a month (Read: Living With A Seal) has a similar strategy.

He tells himself “remember tomorrow!”

Remember tomorrow how you’ll feel if you give up and stop? Remember tomorrow if you don’t finish and push-through!

Remember Tomorrow!

Both of these mantras are focused on the future and who we want to become!

3) One of my favorite lines from the Rocky Movies (and there are a ton) is from Rocky III. Apollo Creed is training Rocky in this movie and while Rocky is dealing with the typical battle against himself, Apollo drops some wicked knowledge on him.

There Is NO Tomorrow

So true, because if we approach everyday like it is our last, then we leave nothing to chance and seize this day and this moment for all it is worth…

Repeat any of these mantras to yourself when struggling and need to get off of that bus!

Drrobbell.com

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.  Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and  coaches about Mental Toughness and their Hinge Moment.

Why I Am Doing an Ironman

Why I Am Doing An Ironman

“Your why has to make you cry, if it doesn’t, it’s not your why.” 


I was an utter screw-up in high-school. 

I got arrested and kicked-off the soccer team the night before my senior season began.

I was suspended from school for five days the day my senior baseball season began. I was called to the principals office and was actually in my uniform heading up to the field and informed of the punishment. 

Going into college, it got worse.

I fell off an 80-foot cliff during the first few weeks of starting college.

Nearing the end of my freshman year of college, I was involved in a head-on drunk driving accident. Thank goodness I was the only one that was injured!

Yeah. I know. 

All of the opportunities that I had worked for years prior, vanished. 

Could you imagine being my parents during all of that? 

Pain, regret, shame, anger, disappointment were emotions that became a consistent cloud over my soul wherever I went. 

Then, I was accepted into graduate school at Temple University and received an internship. I thought that they must have had the wrong guy.

The book I read before grad school began was- It’s Not About The Bike, by Lance Armstrong. I get the hate he brought on himself, but I digress.

There was a powerful quote in that book that read “If you ever get a second chance at life, you have to go all the way!” 

It became a mantra and I knew that although I wasted my talent in the past, I was still blessed with an opportunity.  I knew what I wanted to do and become, I wasn’t going to blow it. 

All the lessons that I learned in sports still applied-dedication, focus, commitment, and keep moving forward. 

My mess would become my message! 

I read everything! I ran marathons! I immersed myself into my field of sport psychology and mental toughness. 

I was still haunted though.

Yes, I was thankful and re-dedicated, but I was driven by my failures and fear of making sure I didn’t mess up again!

That motivation was driven by a hate for self that gets channeled in positive outlets, but a residue of anger and a belief of not being good enough remained.

Making your test your testimony is painful. It means being able to see how your own experience can benefit others. It means first being vulnerable, and who likes that?

So, the only way I’ve been able to navigate life without that cloud is to try and be of use to others. That’s why I’m doing an Ironman. 

I ran an Ultra in May and dedicated it to Izzy. #runforizzy. 
https://www.facebook.com/FightingForIzzy/

My next adventure is a full Ironman Triathlon.

Ironman Maryland. September 29th…

2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 run…

Here’s my why…

Josh Fugate. 

https://www.gofundme.com/the-fight-for-josh-fugate-amp-family

Josh just graduated high-school in May and in June he merely went down a slide head first. He fractured his c-5 vertebrae and was paralyzed from the chest down….
josh fugate


Boom, Hinge moment.

He’s a great kid! That should have been me.

So, what can I do? how can I help?

That’s why I am doing the Ironman Maryland.

If you feel moved to support Josh’s recovery, then by all means. If there is someone else you can help in life, then do that instead.

https://www.gofundme.com/the-fight-for-josh-fugate-amp-family

Be The Hinge for others…

#JoshsJourney #YouveGotThis
mental toughness Sauces

Marinate Your Mind With These Mental Toughness Sauces


I simply couldn’t take it. I got too worked up.

I could no longer listen to sports commentary. It seems silly, but I’d arrive at my destination stuck inside of my own head, agitated. That didn’t build my mental toughness. I needed to instead maximize my transitions! 

Sports media just pick individual athletes to highlight and now only point out the errors they make. They perpetuate the absurd notion of perfectionism. And I certainly can’t entertain a few grown men debating about all of the drama in sports. Like I seriously care what a grown athlete tweeted about another player. But, I listened…I was soaking my mind with a worthless mental toughness sauce. (I still listen to Jim Rome though).

We need to marinate our mind with people, places, and things that help us BE the BEST At Getting BETTER.

Here are the mental toughness sauces that we need to soak our mind in! 


Success Sauce

In times of suffering, we forget how tough we really are. 

Jon Morrow is a quadriplegic, and one of the most successful bloggers on the planet. He had to overcome challenges like we all do, but when starting out, he listened to podcasts and audiobooks for 6-8 hours every single day. After doing this over and over again, and marinating his mind with successes, he literal felt and believed that anything was possible!

The success sauce makes everything taste great! Rub it in!

We must watch and listen and surround ourselves with success. Marinate your mind with mental toughness sauces of motivating podcasts, uplifting videos, and successful people.


Suffering Sauce

Man and woman can only enjoy that which acquired from hard work and toil. The harder you work for something, the more you enjoy it. If something is easy, then how much reward is there?

You must do something that sucks, every single day! 

David Goggins calls it “Embrace the Suck!”

The mental toughness sauces of suffering simply means doing what you don’t want to do.

If you don’t want to write, then write, if you don’t want to workout, then workout. If you don’t want to mow the lawn, then mow the lawn.

When you train your mind and create situations that make you suffer, then when tough times in life approach, we’ve developed a resolve through suffering.


Gratitude Sauce

More, More, More. It’s an addict’s mantra!

We don’t have enough, are not where we want to be, and aren’t enough. Anxiety and stress comes from looking at where we are and what we don’t have.

Gratitude is actually the secret sauce of mental toughness. It brings relief the suffering sauce if we’ve put too much on.

Peace comes from simply being thankful for all that we do have. It’s not an attitude of gratitude, it’s more of an action of gratitude. We need to take certain steps and take action toward a grateful mindset.

Write out a gratitude list:

  • Be able to walk, run, skip, and play with my kids.
  • Loving wife.
  • A happy son and daughter.
  • My job of coaching.
  • Having a New PGA Tour winner!
  • The huge cup of water.
  • New deck furniture.
  • Planted three flowers with daughter.
  • Shared a sprite with her.
  • Amazing sunset the other night.
  • Camping with friend and ran 20 miles.
  • My podcast episodes.
  • many, many, many more blessings.

Now, take action and write out your own gratitude list. Marinate your mind with the mental toughness sauce of gratitude. Once we start to count our blessings, it’s easy to share them with others.


Passion Sauce

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

There’s an obscure scene in Rocky II. He’s drifted away from being a contender, has spent his money, and he asks Mickey for a job cleaning the gym and carrying spit buckets. When Mickey asks him “why,” he humbly replies, “I just have to be around it.”

Our why has to make us cry, if it doesn’t, then it’s not our why. The mental toughness sauce of passion brings us to tears. When we win, we cry because we know how much we’ve sacrificed.

When we lose, we cry, because it hurts.

Our passion has to be the driver in our life. Life is HARD!

There are going to be setbacks and obstacles and horrible days and weeks. Other people will have success while you’re stuck. Too often we settle or go down a path because of the money, power, title, or prestige only later to find out that we do not like it. But then we’re stuck, because we’ve invested a ton of our time, and we’re even probably good at it.

If you do not have a passion for what you’re doing, then you’ll come up with an excuse for doing it.

If you don’t wake up excited about what you have to get to do, then look at your “why” and you’ll see it’s not specific. Passion is the prerequisite for anything we want to do, period.


Confidence Sauce

You owe it to yourself to be confident. Confidence is contagious! It’s a killer sauce of mental toughness. We need to rub it on everything! 

However, all of the hard work and sacrifice toward your goal becomes absolutely meaningless if you don’t believe in yourself.

If you second guess yourself, compare yourself to others, or only focus on the results, then you undercut everything you’ve done. It becomes cheap currency.

A funny thing about confidence it that there is a nosy neighbor called doubt. Doubt wants to move-in with confidence. Doubt always wants to hang out with confidence, but they simply don’t get along well. However, that doesn’t keep doubt from following confidence around wherever confidence goes.

Wherever doubt lives, it does so, rent-free. Doubt is a squatter!

We can live successfully with doubt as a neighbor, but we can’t let doubt move in with us as a roommate and crush our mental toughness. 


Dr. Rob Bell Mental Toughness

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   Check out our podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness 


[Infographic] 7 Helpful Ways to “Act As if” Toward Mental Toughness


I absolutely can’t stand the saying ” fake it until you make it.” Why do you want to fake anything in life on purpose, especially to yourself?

We already fake enough. We have social media profiles of our happy faces. We posture and become in the business not of being real, but of image management. So, don’t fake it. 

Instead, simply ACT AS IF.

The difference is that we can act our way into right thinking easier than trying to think our way into right acting. Here is a fun infographic for you to follow to build your mental toughness by “acting as if.” 

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 

 

5 Ways To CRUSH Someone’s Confidence (Do This INSTEAD)


This infographic was designed specifically for parents, because I hate it when I accidentally crush my own kids confidence.  But below is good advice if you’re a coach as well. Unfortunately, if you are a Lex Luther type of person who just wants to crush someone’s confidence, then do some work on yourself. 

I totally remember my senior year of baseball when I made an error at short-stop. It was a hard hit ground ball that simply jumped and hit me in the chest and I didn’t make the play. I wasn’t that upset about it because it was a bad hop. But, when I got back to the dugout and coach called everyone together, he verbally challenged me if I could even play that position.

“Um, yes sir.” 

Now, I was never a great hitter, but I worked tons on fielding and felt I was a great short-stop. But that feedback from coach, in front of everyone, made me question everything and wonder if I really could play that position. yeah, call out someone in front of their peers, that’ll crush someone’s confidence.

That experience and feedback stayed with me and frankly, I played like crap the entire year at shortstop. 

I don’t blame coach, I just didn’t have the tools. I didn’t have mental toughness. I didn’t know how to let go of mistakes.

It sucked and I wish I could go back and give that high-school kid some advice. 

It is easier to crush someone’s confidence than it is to build it up. Confidence is contagious…

Perhaps this infographic can help. 


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 

In 2018, Do This Technique Instead Of Goals…


If you’ve followed me for an extended period of time, (and chances are you’ve haven’t), then you’ll have come across my disdain for goals. I’m not against setting goals of course, they are effective! It’s just that goals get perverted into only outcome based objectives, so instead of goals, we need to do this growth technique. 


In fact, here are some of my previous posts on goals. 

Three reasons why SMART goals are stupid

Use this Top Gun Technique for Goals

Make Goals NOT Deals

The one way to FAIL at your goals

Three ways professional athletes crush their goals.


One of the major benefits that we need in life isn’t by looking forward as much as it is looking at our past or even current state.

When we examine how we are doing right now, our mood dictates our answer. If we are basking in the glory of a win or great performance, then we are happy and pleased. 

However, if we have recently not done as well as we liked, then we are sad and angry or depressed. 

It fluctuates because we are conditioned by a mindset of scarcity. (Even if we are good, it’s not for very long)

We focus on the negative and where we lack in life. You don’t have as much money as you want, not as much success, not as many friends or toys, or not as happy as you want. We all look at life and are not content, even though we have all we need, we are left wanting more…

I’m all about improvement and being the BEST at Getting BETTER. It’s just about approaching improvement and progress from a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity. 


Instead of goals this year, focus on gratitude instead. 


The benefits of thanks and gratitude are numerous and in fact, it’s where we need to start the process of getting better and improvement.  I’m not a believer in an attitude of gratitude. It’s a myth. I believe in an action of gratitude. 

We need to take certain steps toward having an abundance mindset. 

That’s why instead of goals, try keeping a thanks journal. 

Write out and reflect on what is positive right now in your life, even if awful stuff is happening. You can begin by focusing on people in your life and what you admire or are thankful about them. This is a choice, you can bask in the negativity of a loved one or an annoying quirk they have, or you can be thankful for their good qualities or how they positively impact you. Remember, everyone is a coach. 

Your gratitude muscle and abundence mindset will improve if you just keep a thanks journal a few times a week. 

Pray and if that doesn’t work, pray again. Take a few minutes just to be thankful. We don’t need to be in wonder of the splendor, but to focus on the obvious and the mundane and to be grateful. 

I can wake up in the morning and be in a state of anxiousness right away by what someone else has or hasn’t done. Or I can take a few moments and address the blessings that are in my life that I take for granted. I take for granted my ability to walk, or work out, or access to fresh water, or my health or my kids loving smiles, or that I’m even alive! 

It’s a choice to be hateful or grateful. But we have to exercise this choice, it doesn’t come naturally for me. Or maybe it does for you! Let me know how you do it. 

We can’t be hateful or grateful at the same time however. Instead of goals this year, focus on keeping a thanks journal, making gratitude close to your heart, and enjoying the little things that we take for granted. 

Remember, Make it a GREAT year, unless of course you have other plans.


 

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 


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 


Your Three Selves of Mental Toughness

People have talked about near death experiences and how their life flashed before them, and I’ve had two near death experiences, which were falling off of a cliff and a car accident, but my life never flashed before me.

Before I signed up to compete in a ½ ironman in less than 2 weeks, my life was shown before me.

We all have our own experiences, setbacks, shortcomings, hang-ups, and doubts.  But, we also all have our own mental toughness, successes, motivation, level of fitness, and accomplishments.

Too often, we only focus on the excuses and limitations why we can’t do something. These limitations are usually focused on our deficiencies and proof of how we aren’t good enough. They are always rooted in the past as well.

Before embarking to crush any goal or big decisions, you’ll look at your past, your present, and your future. Where have you been? Where are you now? And where are you going?

Our Past Self

A funny thing about confidence it that there is a nosy neighbor with confidence named doubt. Wherever doubt lives, it does so, rent-free. Doubt is a squatter!  

 

Doubt always wants to hang out with confidence, but they simply don’t get along well. However, that doesn’t keep doubt from following confidence around wherever confidence goes.

It’s best to keep doubt as a neighbor rather than a roommate.

Everyone has doubts, even the best. This is normal, so just know that it is okay. What’s more important than the doubt entering your mind is that you determine how long you want to hang around with doubt. Do not allow the negative thoughts to stay around long right beside your confidence— rent-free.

The number one source of confidence is past performance. If we have done something before, then we can do it again. However, again, next to confidence is that awful roommate, past performance can also cause doubt.

Chances are that we have failed before. The failure provided feedback and an emotional connection to the pain. Perhaps that one failure or setback was so painful that it kept us from trying other challenges?

Or when we look back at our past self, maybe we see someone who has started things and journeys, but never really followed through or completed them.

Yes, you’ve had setbacks in your past, so what? Do you still let that event define you, or refine you? Does our past define who we are currently?

The answer is: only if we let it.

There’s one major question that we need to look at that will help determine our chances for success.

The question for your mental toughness is: Did you push yourself?

I believe that if you actually enjoyed working hard and pushing yourself (even if only a little bit) then you have what it takes to crush your goal.

I believe that everyone has the will to succeed; they just sometimes need the way.

If the past doesn’t provide the confidence and proof that you can crush your goal in two weeks, then merely don’t let it try and convince you that you can’t do something.


I’ve never competed in a ½ Ironman, so did my past provide the confidence I needed to finish the ½ Ironman with no training?

One of my strengths in my past has been the ability and drive to set a goal and reach it. I’ve run in a number of races before and have trained extensively for these. Some of my meager, yet personal accomplishments included a sub 20 minute 5k, a 3:23 marathon, a tough mudder, and a handful of ½ marathons and 10k’s. For a few years I also trained in the pool and managed to break 1:00 barrier in the 100 Freestyle. Since having kids, running my own business, and working with athletes, my priorities changed.  Oddly, these races often felt like another lifetime ago.

Again, our past may not always provide the confidence we like. However, one major setback and lack of confidence for me that I could not let define me was the bike. The reason I hadn’t signed up for these types of races previously is because of the bike. I biked as a kid all the time, but not as an adult. Heck, I didn’t even own a bike and haven’t ridden one in ten years. My past contained also a level of doubt.


Our Present Day Self

Next, we will have to check-in with and assess our present day self.

 Motivation lives here. The grind lives here- in the present. 

Your present day self is fraught with obstacles and distractions. Most of these keep us comfortable. The difficulty will be to answer and take action on the following questions:

Do we possess the will to go for it? Are we willing to put forth the effort and sacrifice to get it?

These are the questions that only you can answer.


Could I finish the ½ Ironman? Would I injure myself? And more importantly, did I want to do it?

Assessing my present day self raised more questions than answers about the race.

More current self revealed I was not in any type of racing shape. My runs were maybe three times a week averaging 3/4 miles a run, and my swimming has been limited to maybe 1x a week. I still worked out five days a week and either ran, swam, or strength trained, but with no immediate goals. Working out was for fitness, sanity, and fun.


Our Future Self

  We become whatever we are becoming!

Our goals are to improve 1% everyday.  If we focus on being just 1% better everyday, then we improve dramatically over a span of time.

One of the toughest things is being able to come up with a vision of who we want to become. Not what, but who? I want to become someone with no regrets and in the game. I don’t want to sit on the sideline of life and not go for it.


I once wrote down a list of 100 things I wanted to do before I die. Complete a full-Ironman was on this list. However, a ½ Ironman wasn’t on there. It was a mistake on my part because when writing down goals, most want to be President, but who wants to be Vice-President?  I also have an extreme love for my kids. I want to constantly model for them the importance of having a vision and the mental toughness to execute it.

Oddly enough, my future self may have been the biggest driving force for me signing up. It helped me answer the questions of: Could I do it? Yes, (I think so). Would I injure myself? (I don’t know). Did I want to do it? Yes, (I think so).


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

 


A team locker room is a sacred place.

Basically, what is said there, when you leave there, leave it there.

Sorry, but here’s the wrong way to win the locker room.

New Buffalo Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott felt that setting the tone of the locker room was important.

Agreed

Coach Sean McDermott is all about “culture” and leading by example. He’s a 3:30AM fitness guy. 

Agreed

He is a driven, hard-nosed, accountability coach whose locker room culture begins with him.

Agreed

Coach stated that “this is a business”, so he removed the pool table and video games from the locker room.

Disagree    



Players don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Hall of Fame coach, Bill Walsh, set up a fishing tournament amongst his players during pre-season. He stated, a “team that can laugh together, can get serious together.”

Hard nosed, two time Super-Bowl winning coach, Tom Coughlin, spent the very first day of a training camp by having a bowling tournament. He changed his tyrant approach because  he “wanted his players to see him as his grandchildren did.” 

Super Bowl Winning coach, Dick Vermeil was known for his “boot camp” practices and discipline, but only after he started to develop a relationship with his players did he finally reach the pinnacle.

Look, there is nothing sexier than discipline, accountability, hard-work, grit, perseverance, and a culture of excellence.

However, in order to win, coaches have to win their hearts as well. In order to do that, they need to win the locker room.

Here’s 5 ways to win the locker room



Develop a TEAM culture-  

Every coach would agree that when you have players willing to fight for one another, there is nothing more powerful. Practices should be difficult and demanding, but developing team chemistry also takes place in between practices and games. You hang out so much together, that either bonds or cliques get formed in various ways. 

Developing a locker room where players can unwind, relax, be themselves, and hang-out is crucial. Who wants a locker room where players simply dash out after showering and changing?

A pool table or ping-pong table encourages players an outlet to bond over a competitive activity that is not directly related to their own sport. The Cornell basketball team that made the sweet sixteen and finished 29-5 all lived together and touted their Super Mario bros. and table-tennis competitions. 

Allow the players to take ownership-

Jeff Van Gundy allowed all minor decisions like where to eat, which music and movie to play on the bus up to the players. He granted them a voice in their own culture. 

Have a leadership council-

 

In all pick-up games, kids self-govern themselves. You can’t break the written and unwritten rules of the court and expect to be welcomed back. A leadership council of players should make decisions on certain disciplines that coach doesn’t have to. That creates more ownership among players and takes more off of the coach. 

Orchestrate the cohesion-

Teams become cohesive over the task at hand (winning), or socially (togetherness). Ultimately, task-cohesion is king. However, these task-cohesive teams are only fostered through extremely strong peer-leadership.

Social cohesion is queen. Teams full of mutual respect for one another have more trust and uphold standards within the team. Usually, the best teams have BOTH task and social cohesion. These bonds can be enhanced through scheduled sessions intended to do so. 

Foster organic cohesion-  

Yes, it is a business. Winning is a habit. But, allow play to be a part of the culture. Allowing athletes to express themselves through free-play is as old as the cave-man days. We thrive on working hard toward a goal and also having fun along the journey. 


I’ve been in the team locker room at the end of a season with such tears of joy from winning, because they all knew of the effort and sacrifice and bond. I’ve been in the other locker room as well, that tears flowed because the loss was so heartbreaking because of the sacrifice and bond.

If you’re in the game long enough, these moments will happen. That’s life.

The way to a winning team locker room begins way before these moments of joy or heartbreak. It begins with the culture of the team and finding ways to win the locker room. 

 

This is Just ONE way to Build Mental Toughness. If you are interested in learning more Mental Toughness Techniques. Check out RING THE BELL FOR Mental Toughness. 

Build Mental Toughness