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How Athletes Can Re-Focus


How athletes can re-focus is a good question. The reason it’s a good question because when were athletes, or ourselves, taught this skill? 

Athletes can be taught to re-focus through specific cues, and these cues are best utilized when they are merged with one’s specific learning style, auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. 

Re-focus is the second most difficult mental skill because it is the second most important. However, when it comes down to the actual how athletes can re-focus tools:

A strategy is more important than technique. So, here are three. 

how athletes can re-focus

 


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.  

seconds to build Mental Toughness

30 Seconds to Build Mental Toughness


Playing baseball in high school, all I wanted for Christmas was to go to a baseball camp in Sarasota Florida. As a pitcher, we learned these strengthening exercises that are now the norm.

The Major League instructor told us all that when we returned home, we wouldn’t do these exercises.

I balked at the notion, bought the 5 lb weights and performed these rotational movements. He was correct however, this lasted just a few weeks…

Mental Toughness is often difficult to evaluate because it involves our response to difficult and/or stressful situations. It means doing those things that we simply don’t want to do, getting out of our comfort zone, and taking care of the little things that it takes to be a champion.

Most of you will dismiss this mental strength exercise, won’t see any value, and scoff at the notion that 30 seconds to build mental toughness. Here it is:

At the end of your shower, turn the water on cold for 30 seconds to build mental toughness

It’s like doing the ice-bucket challenge, but in your shower and for longer, and no-one will film it.

We must not fear a cold shower for 30 seconds to build mental toughness.

If you do a tough mudder, it’ll be much worse. The 30-seconds is no different than pushing yourself in a race or workout or having a pressure situation in a game. You have to push through it and focus. More importantly, you must recognize the type of thoughts that arise and how to control these thoughts.

What’s amazing though is the fear and apprehension to the build up. Trust me, you will not die! Yes, it will be uncomfortable, most likely take your breath away, and involve some physical reactions to the cold water.

The cold water causes you to narrow your focus and it’ll be near impossible to distract yourself from the sensation. You’ll notice immediately what your thoughts attend to and you’ll instantly develop a strategy to build mental toughness. 

You can count to thirty, sing yourself, spin around, or tell yourself motivating statements.

Either way, you’ll find very quickly what type of thoughts enter your mind and what you do with them. At the end, bask in the thought that you just did what most aren’t willing to do.

Carry that motivation into your day.

Of course, you can refuse this 30-second test, no-one will know… except for you.

“Do something everyday for no other reason than you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test.”-William James

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 

killing your mental toughness

Three Things Killing Your Mental Toughness

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

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 troubleshoot. 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 was the culprit.

All three of these things derailed my short baseball career in college. Off the field, issues will kill your mental toughness.


top mental toughness coachDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & Associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent books on Mental Toughness- 

confidence


 

Confidence does NOT do this…

How many of us have been driving in an unfamiliar place,  following our GPS, and we suddenly sensed that we were not quite in the right spot? So, we turned at corner or drove straight ahead disregarding the map. (I sometimes believe that the GPS takes me past businesses so I’ll have to stop.) 

We all have a built-in GPS system. It’s called confidence! The belief that our needs will be met, and the ability to trust in our decisions, and those closest to us.

Trust is our gut, our intuition. It’s another reason why confidence is just a feeling. 

The GPS just points us in the direction we are supposed to go. It’s our decision whether or not to trust our gut. Even though, if we don’t trust it, we will often be incorrect.

To date, I’ve never had the GPS ask me “How did you get here?”  “Why are you in this part of town?” “Are you going to be late?” 

Confidence doesn’t judge!

It never asks questions like “how did you get in this situation”? This should be over, “why are you even here”? “Are you really good enough”?

Confidence is the ability to re-focus, to let go of mistakes, and to listen to our gut, our inborn GPS.

Confident people can do THIS skill. 


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- 

focus like pete samprasOn Januray, 24, 1995, during the Quarterfinals of the Australian Open, two heavyweights, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier faced off.

Courier won the first two sets and Pete battled back to win the next two sets. During the fifth set, Sampras became obviously emotional, crying during a serve. 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?” 47

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.

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Mental toughness is a focus 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. Can you achieve a relentless type of focus? Sometimes we will be called into this type of focus with a light switch moment, embrace it.    Excerpt from The Hinge: Audio-book is now available…

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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 .