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Hinge (definition): Noun–A movable joint or mechanism…that connects linked objects. (v): A circumstance upon which other events depend.

The Greenbrier resort in White Sulpher Springs, WV, housed a secretive bunker that was built in the early 1960s. Located about five hours from Washington D.C., this

The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier

underground bunker actually became a part of U.S. defense. It was built to survive an indirect bomb strike, relying on the secrecy of its location and the West Virginia mountains for protection. If needed, it would have housed the entire Congress as a fallout shelter. This secret bunker lasted for 30 some years, only to be revealed in 1992.

The Bunker possessed three massive, blast-proof doors, each weighing over 20 tons. The doors were about fifteen feet high, thirteen feet wide, and 20 inches thick. Despite the enormity of these doors, it only took about fifty pounds of pressure to open and close them.

The reason one person could easily close these enormous doors was the hinge. The stronger the door, the more important the hinge, and the hinge used for the blast doors weighed 1.5 tons. Without the hinge, the massive doors would have been unmovable.

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How often have we felt like that door? We felt confident, in control, at ease, and self-assured of what we are doing. We were as strong as the 29-ton door with amazing hinges. Other times, we have felt the opposite. We have been discouraged; lacked confidence, focus, or burnout from our passion. The door has not changed, it has remained strong. What has changed is the hinge…

The hinge is so integral to any door, cabinet, table, or bridge that, without it, these items become useless. The hinge is also crucial to our anatomy: hips, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles. No matter how strong our legs are, if we have a torn ACL, our legs are useless.

The hinge connects. We need the hinge. Connection is why we are here…

The hinge is real. The hinge connects. And it only takes one.  The hinge is moments or opportunities that make all the difference. We are the door, but a door without a hinge is a wall. Since we can’t know when a hinge will connect, it is our role to have mental toughness.

how to make a hole-in-one
How to Make a Hole-In-One

Dr. Rob Bell


How to Make A Hole-in-One, Run a Marathon, and Write a Book


I often say “simple, but not easy.”

The steps are simple, but it does take hard work, a few mental skills, and some luck. 

I am fortunate enough to have achieved these milestones and simply want to share the simple, but not easy strategies on how to make a hole-in-one, run a marathon, and write a book. 

  • Write out your bucket list for mental toughness. 

In college, I heard about Ted Leonsis writing down 100 things he wanted to do before he died, and I simply did the same thing. 

When I was teaching Sports Psychology at the university, I had my students write out their own bucket list, except they had to frame the list so they would see it every day.

You have to get lucky… That’s how to make a hole-in-one…

Sorry…

If I hit it close, it was a good shot, but it went in, so I was lucky (irony). My first hole-in-one came with a 9-iron in my hand. Hey, it counted. I am happy that I actually achieved one of the goals that Ted Leonsis hasn’t had yet, a hole-in-one. 

What is it that you want to achieve, experience, visit, or accomplish? It’s easy and fun to start, but can get tough later on: because do you really want to party with Jay-Z, or ride across the United State on a Harley?

Think big when writing out your list, but only write down what you really want to do.

  • Use a mentor or guide for mental toughness.

One of my athletes stated the “he” got better because he saw what the great players did and would simply repeat their behaviors, practice habits, etc.

Writing my very book, I used two mentors, Malcolm Gladwell, and John Grisham.

First, I followed Malcolm Gladwell’s books and his writing style. He starts off every chapter with a story and infused research thereafter to back-up the claims.

Perfect! I can do that! 

I used John Grisham as a guide because he would write every day before going to the courtroom. When my daughter was born, I would take the early morning feedings, and she and I would then open up the coffee shop for an hour and half of writing, while she slept.

It works, I’ve written six books on mental toughness so far…

  • Make mental toughness a habit

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”-Aristotle

Starting graduate school, I needed discipline in my life, so I began running.

Slow and short at first, and not many miles per week, or at much of a pace, but I was consistent. I then witnessed the finish of a Philly Marathon, followed point #1, and I made it a goal.

I already had a small base of running underneath me, so I just upped the mileage, talked with experts, read a book, and ran…. I ran 6 days a week for four months of training and ran a respectable 3:32 marathon.

The best part was when my second marathon came around, I knew how to train, what worked, what didn’t, repeated the behaviors, and ran faster, a 3:22 marathon…

It’s also a big reason why I merely signed-up and completed a 1/2 Ironman and a full Ironman and an ultra marathon. 

Whatever it is that we want to do, we must make it a habit, and simply do it every day, period. “Simple, not easy.”


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-