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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 how often they question themselves. “how did I do that?” “what are you doing?” “why am I out here today?” ” What are YOU DOING!?” 

Mental toughness doesn’t ask questions. I don’t hear an athlete playing well, ask themselves “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 own mental toughness!

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

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.   We don’t need questions about ourselves or our play, we just need to develop a habit of telling  ourselves what to do next.


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



Three Things Killing Your Mental Toughness

Believe me, you’re tougher than you think. The proof is simple, you’re not dead. I should have died at least twice in my life.

We can’t connect the dots in our lives moving forward, we can only connect them looking backwards.

That means we don’t know how things are going to turn out.

In our lives there will be these small moments that make all the difference. These Hinge moments will connect who we are now to who we become. We need to be ready and we need to be confident.

Confidence is the foundation of your mental toughness. When I lose confidence, I isolate, and only mushrooms and mold can grow in the dark.

Here are the three things killing your mental toughness.


1) Expectations-   

Growing up, my expectations were simple, Be The Best.

Except, I added two words to that mantra, at everything. I wanted to be the fastest, smartest, funniest, best looking, etc. Heck, I wasn’t any of those things even in my own class.  I can’t even be the best Rob Bell, A pastor holds that title.

Tiger Woods used to say, “ I expect to win the tournament.” 

Expectations are not confidence, but we confuse the two. Expectations and confidence are just cousins.

We can have confidence in the things we can control, but we hold no control over how we want things to work out. Expectations are out of our control and they turn into tomorrow’s resentments. Continuing to have the highest of expectations means we will struggle when we have to adjust and trouble-shoot. We basically only control, our effort, our attitude, our confidence, and how well we let of mistakes and re-focus. 

2) Doubts-

I just thought that the very best didn’t have doubts.

Whereas, I bumped my head continually on self-doubt.

It was only after I spoke with Olympic Gold Medalists that they confessed they too had doubts. Things go wrong and bad outcomes happen, but these champions believed in their preparation and more importantly they believed in themselves. Fear grows on our doubts. I hate listening to the doubt inside my head, so I have to recognize it.

When things are bad, remember it’s just temporary and your mental toughness will return.

Make adjustments, breathe, let it go and if that doesn’t work, do it again.

3) Drugs, Alcohol, Sex-

 The better we get, the more important mental toughness is off the field than on the field.

James Banks was the best college football player I saw live (outside of Randy Moss).

This James Banks later stated after getting kicked off of Tennessee’s football team, “All because I wanted to have a good time.”  Examine the BEST in our area who didn’t make it, chances are, one of these three were the culprit.

All three of these things derailed my short baseball career in college. Off the field issues will kill your 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 the most recent book on Mental Toughness- 

dominate that fear

5 Ways to Dominate that FEAR


Fear takes us further than we want to go and keeps us longer than we want to stay.

Fear underlies almost all emotions, disappointment, sadness, motivation, anger, even fear of getting angry. Because fear dominates our lives, this list is 5 ways to dominate that FEAR.

It was the impetus to produce my latest film & eBook NO FEAR: A Simple Guide to Mental Toughness.


1) KNOW THE SOURCE- 

If we can’t identify where the fear is coming from or what it is about, how can we possibly begin to challenge it? One way or another, fear stems from the belief that “it” won’t work out how I want it to.

Romans 8:1 states, there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. If you believe in that verse, then any thoughts of fear, self-ridicule, or not being good enough is certainly not from God, the source is coming from someplace else. Hint: it’s not ourselves

2) IT FOCUSES ON THE FUTURE OR THE PAST- 

Think of fear as a person, not an emotion. He will try to show us why we should be afraid! That individual will direct our attention to the outcome, the result, and something out of our control. Fear wants us to become obsessed with some event or person in the future, a year, a month, even a day. It also wants us to look backwards not at our successes, but our short-comings and our failures.  Fear losses it’s grip when we stay in the now. It’s one way that we dominate that fear!

3) THERE IS ALWAYS SOME TRUTH TO IT- 

Fear is not all or nothing. Yes, your son or daughter may get injured, not play DI in college, or get in an accident. Yes, we may fail. 

If we take a game winning shot and miss, it will hurt. If we attempt a change in our business, we may get stuck! All truths. But fear does not stop there. It keeps going and going; fear catastrophizes.

It takes us down a road of imagining the worst-case scenario. Imagining that if we try and fail, well not ONLY will it suck, but also my friends will think I am a failure and I will lose my job. We can dominate that fear by ranking it from 1-10, if it’s higher than a 6, go to the next step. 

4) SHARE THE FEAR- 

We keep our biggest fears to ourselves and when we do that, fear can grow legs.

Most people share with their friends, hairdressers, or bartenders so why not share fears with them? They aren’t experts and won’t be able to provide quality solutions, but a problem shared becomes half a problem. Once we verbalize aloud and can hear our own voice, the fear actually diminishes instantly. Try it!

5) PRAY, AND IF THAT DOESN’T WORK, PRAY AGAIN –

Mental toughness is not about doing it alone, it is about surrendering to the things out of our control. Having worked with many successful high achievers, I am convinced the biggest fear is simply not being good enough.

The expectations and pressure  to succeed often become overwhelming and even if it is good enough, it doesn’t last for very long. The fear returns, knocking on our door, saying, “remember me?” When we let go of the fear, it let’s go of us…

For more in-depth strategies on dominating that fear, check out my film & eBook. NO FEAR: A Simple Guide to Mental Toughness.


 

NNDB.com

Henry Rollins photo by NNDB.com


It is what is. It’s only uttered by people who experienced a setback or are just miserable. I’ve never heard it by someone holding up a trophy. Although, my goal is to have an athlete hold up a trophy and is so consumed by the process that they say, “hey, it is what it is.”  

A focus on winning doesn’t lead to winning, a focus on the process does. However, our thoughts are often directed on the result and the outcome. When we do this, we welcome the ugly guest of FEAR into our game. Here’s 10 ways to forget about the outcome.

1) Talk to a teammate or competitor- Get outside of our own head, we are behind enemy lines. Andrew Luck actually congratulates guys who sack him! 

2) TELL yourself what you’re going to do next!- don’t ask questions in competition, it only brings forth doubt.

3) Make the picture big- When I focus on going on vacation or that dinner date next week, I get happy.  One of my players loved eating so much, he would talk about where we were going afterwards. Make the picture even bigger, we must know that it all works out, because it has so far.

4) Make the picture small again- Focus just on making one play, the next one!

5) Breathe- Breathe and look for the opportunity. 

6) Rock, Paper, Scissors- If you’ve got a sport with some down time, play a quick game! It reduces the tension. check it out here…

7) Repeat your mantra- hopefully you have one… what refocuses you?

8) Think about your family- I get happy when I think about mine, but it also kicks in the drive.

9) Think about your behind– You know, your past successes. If all we had were good memories, how would you play?

10) Act as if- Before I take the stage or work with a team, I act as if I am Henry Rollins or Bobby Jones. How would someone better than me act?


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   

NO FEAR
I have a brand new project coming out. It is an 18-minute film and E-book titled: NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness. You can sign-up for the pre-release here….

I was a University professor for 5 years and I would announce to every class on the first day, all that they had to do to graduate college. It was simple…Show up…every day. If they showed up every day, they would almost guarantee themselves a grade of a C, even if they did nothing else. Now, just graduating with a C average probably wasn’t the goal for most, but the point is valid.

Never miss a class… If they are present everyday, then they are taking certain steps to ensure they learn. They force themselves to act as if. They act as a person who graduates does. That’s it. And in doing so, they also ignite specific beliefs. They take ownership and responsibility and as a result of showing up every day, they develop habits.

First we form habits, and then they form us.

Once habits are formed, then beliefs are shaped and we start to conform to our beliefs. The beliefs don’t have to even be deep rooted or existential questions, like does God exist? The beliefs merely form our reason for doing what we do. It becomes our “why.”

When we develop our why, we can come up with any how.

Wait, doesn’t that go contrary to acting as if, and shouldn’t we come up with a vision statement before moving forward?

Neither mental skill is mutually exclusive. Our actions and beliefs work hand in hand. You can’t act as if without having some kindle of a why, a justification, and a belief. Just as once you really discover your why, your purpose, and no longer act as if.

So, when we show up every day, we are in place to get better. We can’t help to learn something and improve in some small way, every day.

When I get in debates about unbreakable baseball records, the one’s that will never fall are those that demonstrated and rewarded perseverance & longevity. One of these records was Cal Ripken, The Ironman. He played seventeen consecutive seasons without missing one single game. He played in 2,632 consecutive games. When Derek Jeter asked Cal Ripken the secret of playing every day, Cal replied, “ You know Derek, I Just…I just play.”

There is no secret….

Now, how many times do you think Cal Ripken was battling a slump, injured, was sick, or had an off the field issue? None of it deterred him from just showing up. What I knew is that when I went to watch the Orioles, Cal Ripken would be playing. #NEVERGIVEUP

Click here to subscribe to my Friday Mental Toughness newsletter…

The Hinge-The Importance of Mental Toughness Dr. Rob BellDr. 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 

NO Fear:

When I left the university as a professor and I began my Sport Psychology company, I used to give tons of free talks. I have thankfully been able to stop this practice (although, I still get asked to provide free talks). I literally could speak to groups and teams every day of the week if it was free….

One talk I would give was titled: NO FEAR and I told my wife and business partner that I was retiring the talk. “I want people to understand and capture their HINGE moment!” No sooner had I spoken those words, that a dear friend wanted me to speak to his men’s group. Okay, LAST TIME!

Maybe it was the emotion of the men or the atmosphere of the room, but several, okay three, said that they loved it and I should write a book and make a video about the talk….my reply   Yeah, no thanks. Here is my 2nd book called The Hinge, check this out.” However, one of the guys stayed on it and hence, the next project…

NO FEAR: A SIMPLE GUIDE TO MENTAL TOUGHNESS. 

-Shooting NO Fear

This project will consist of an 18-minute film based on the skills needed for mental toughness. NO FEAR- is an acronym and each letter represents a specific mental skill. Simple, but not easy. More importantly, these are the skills needed to capture our Hinge moment!! Accompanying the film will be an e-book designed for you or your team to not only work on your game, but also yourself!

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   

 

There’s a Huge MYTH about Trust

The best part about sports is that it is NOT like life. In athletics, A team or player won or lost, period.  Wash and wear. There is little ambiguity, because the Ball Don’t Lie.

Life on the other hand has tons of ambiguity to it. It is not as clear cut, nor clean. In fact, it’s messy.  In Life, there is a lot of gray.

Trust is the most important mental skill. (e.g., confidence) for success because it impacts all the other mental skills, but we automatically think in all or nothing terms…We have trust or we don’t. There’s the huge myth about trust. 

Trust is a continuum, It’s not ALL or NOTHING! Addicts think that way, ALL or NOTHING. I am either the best ever, or I am a horrible loser and no one is there for me.

I trust my pastor, but not for him to cut my hair. I trust myself with helping high-performers and athletes, but not for me to fix my own deck or garage door.

It’s not a question of IF I trust, it’s a question of HOW MUCH do I trust?

Trust is a process… HOW MUCH do we trust our coaches and loved one’s?  Trust affects everything because the more we trust and have confidence, the better focused, relaxed, and honest we become. Think about it, if we give a task to someone and know that it will be done, it frees us up to focus on something else.

How much do we trust our gut, and our own instincts?

Life teaches us that we are going to struggle and also be under pressure moments. When we mess up, how much of our trust and confidence is left, and how do we continue to build and work on it.

Proverbs 3:5-Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

Click here to subscribe to my Friday Mental Toughness newsletter…

 

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   

Glenn South 40I really had little clue of the importance of details.  I’ve heard it and lived it many times, but it finally hit home. While shooting the mental toughness film titled No Fear- A Simple Guide to Mental Toughness. Did you know that if one can accurately roll the A/V cables, then you’ll have a job in the movie/video/MTV business. That’s it, and always show up 15-minutes early.

Media production classes even have rolling up AV cable as part of the final. It’s that important. The cables are 2k a piece (on the low end) and in the midst of tons of expensive equipment, the cables can’t ever be compromised. Any kink in the cable can cause the slightest volume fluctuation or disruption. It all starts and ends with how they are rolled up. In large moving sets, the cables must be thrown out so that they will roll successfully and fast.

Now, I take great pride in everything I do, but I admit, I neglected the rolling up piece. I know how my christmas lights are stored away and even my ear buds in my gym bag. I run into kinks all the time!

How we finish is important, like stretching, writing out to-do lists, cooling down, and checking over our work for errors. But when you’re finished, it doesn’t matter until you start again…Maybe that’s the key, finishing strong and going over the details helps us when we start again, because there is no finish line.  If it made a significant difference, would we actually pay attention to it or just hope for a job in the movie industry?

Click here to subscribe to my Friday Mental Toughness newsletter…

The Hinge-The Importance of Mental Toughness Dr. Rob BellDr. 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