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Herschel Walker Mental Toughness

Herschel Walker was made fun at school and never went out to recess because he was afraid of getting beat up. His teacher used to put him in the corner of the room because he had a speech impediment, and called him “special.” His father used to give him a quarter to buy a snack at school. Herschel would give it to another kid, so they could buy a snack as long as they would talk to him. After the kid had finished his snack, he would go back to making fun of him.

The last day of school in 8th grade, he went out to recess and got beat up, bad. He said to himself “never again….When your name is called, you have to stand up.”

Mental Toughness is often caught rather than taught. From that Hinge moment in school, he didn’t train to become a great athlete, he trained to become a super hero. How did he do it?

He did 5,000 sit-ups & 5,000 push-ups every day! Herschel also ran on a dirt track every day, with a rope tied to his waist dragging a tire.

He transformed himself from one of the slowest guys in the school, to one of the fastest in the state of Georgia by the 9th grade.

During an interview with Jim Rome, Herschel was asked when was the last day he missed a workout? He replied “NEVER.”

Sometimes, our mess becomes our message. Mental Toughness means doing what others aren’t willing to do.
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 .

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.

TILLAMOOKCHAMBER.ORG/CAMPOAMOR/

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.

The tour caddy is the closest thing to being a sideline head coach, except the roles are  different. Whereas the head coach has the final call, gets criticized, and interviewed; the player makes the decisions. Caddying reveals amazing insight into the game that no one else can get, and caddies save a professional golfer, in my opinion, about one shot a round.

“Keep up, clean up & shut up”

Caddying is all about timing. Just like being a good spouse; the best have an awareness of when they CAN  speak up and when to SHUT UP.  Our spouses {players} want us to know what they are thinking and even anticipate a response before a question is asked. Since reading minds is tougher than reading greens, it comes down to the strength of the relationship.

“There is a reason why their name is on the bag”

A caddy never hits a shot, but he/she is still only as good as their player. Two of the absolute best that I know are Paul Tesori and Joe Skovron. They have played golf at the highest level, have caddied for winners on tour, and prepare better than anyone else.

A great caddy is also like a sponsor in A.A. It is built upon a mutual relationship of trust and 100% confidentiality. The best aren’t afraid of having a heart to heart if their player is not preparing the right way, abandoning game plans, not committing to shots, or getting in their own way. Most importantly, a great caddy isn’t afraid to make mistakes.

“We shot 66, he shot 74”

Caddying is easy when they are playing well and the bags are never heavy after shooting a 66, but they can get weighty with a 74. In fact, the toughest part of looping is removing oneself from the actual score and not getting caught up in what the player is doing. The player himself sometimes rides an emotional roller coaster, so keys for a caddy is staying positive, calm, in-control, and un-emotional at all times.

“Every shot counts”

The difference in prize money between the Nationwide and PGA tour is vast. Thus, at the end of every season, the difference between who keeps his card at 125th on the money list and loses it at 126th, will come down to basically a few thousand dollars, even though they will both will have made over $600,000.

I was reminded of the importance of every shot, when once my player 3-putted the last hole of a PGA tournament, which cost him a top-25 finish and $21,000. Ten percent of that amount, (my cut) is more than I have ever gambled in my life.

If you care to read about my worst experience as a caddy and how I caused a two-shot penalty, check out the book: Mental Toughness Training for Golf: Start Strong Finish Strong

Dr. Rob Bell is the author of Mental Toughness Training for Golf, and an AASP certified Sport Psychology consultant. He has PGA Tour credentials and has worked with winners on the PGA Tour. He consults with athletes, coaches, and teams at all levels helping build and enhance their own mental toughness. His website is www.drrobbell.com and you can find him on Twitter @drrobbell