instead of goals

instead of goals

In 2021, 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; we need to do this growth technique. 

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

Why There is Only One Reason That Destroys Your Fitness 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.

What happens AFTER you reach your goal? 

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 our current state. 2020 taught us much about ourselves and our own hurts, headaches, and hang-ups. So, instead of goals, try this technique. 

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. 

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

We often focus only 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 still 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

In 2021, 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 for this year, instead, 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 the annoying quirk that 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 abundance 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 to be grateful, but to focus on the obvious and the mundane and to still remain 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.

It’s sad, but 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! If it does, let me know how you do it. 

We can’t be hateful and 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 speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

your second wind in life

your second wind in life

How to Get Your Second Wind In Life

Early in my running days, I was training for one of my marathons, I HAD to get my run in late one evening. 

It was dark, I was tired. I wanted to rest, but I went anyway. 

I’m so thankful I did!

I ran 5 miles and I actually experienced the runner’s high.  It’s like jumping out of an airplane, it’s tough to describe.

I moved so quickly, so effortlessly, and so fast. I was overcome with so many feel-good emotions that I almost cried. It was the best feeling in the world and one I can still remember today!

After 15 years of running, I’ve had great runs of course, but hitting the runner’s high is special, like an eclipse, it happens only ever so often.

I’ve experienced the greatest phenomenon twice. Just twice thrice in my life! It happened recently!

On the other shoe, almost every run I currently do, I rely on my 2nd wind. 

In the first 800 meters or mile, I am slow, heavy, and my breathing is labored! I actually start to wonder, what’s the matter?

Before you get your second wind in life, there’s a little bit of panic, anxiety, stress, and discomfort.

Soon though, our next burst kicks in.

In everyday life, we RARELY operate in the space where EVERYTHING just flows perfectly and doves fly around when we enter the room and the trumpets roar!

Nah, it’s a struggle.

We are training, preparing, and focusing on the details on our craft. We are advised to EMBRACE THE SUCK!

However, the suck is the farthest thing from a peak experience!

Here are 4 ways to get your second wind in life.

1. Know Your Why-

If we are running and we start to walk, then walking becomes easier later on. 

If quitting is an option, then we take it. Quitting then becomes easier later on. We must know our own why! If we know our why, then we can come up with any how. It begins each day with a check-in with ourselves.

What’s your goal? What’s your purpose? Who are you connecting with? 

2. Don’t Stop- 

My wife was going to break 2 hrs for a 1/2 marathon.

I was running with her, pacing. It was going to be close! On the very last slight up-hill, 300 yards from the finish, SHE STOPPED! I screamed at her to get going! She finished in 1:59:52.

No matter how bad something hurts in our life, there is an endpoint.

Remember, Every workout ENDS!

The pain period we are going through will stop! Hard times do not come to stay, they come to pass!

Even slow walkers arrive!

But, IF you STOP, then all bets are off. How often does someone start college, take a semester or year break, THEN come back? RARE!

You have to keep moving to get your second wind! When all else fails- PUKE & RALLY!

3. Find Your Rhythm-

Everything has a rhythm!

Life has momentum!

In the courtroom, the best defense is to “object.” It gets the other lawyer off their rhythm! Tennis players go back to their towel, Baseball hitters step in & out of the box. All intended to get you off of your rhythm.

Find your rhythm, breath, get back to your routine. Breath, get back to your routine. Breath, reset, re-focus, get back to your routine. Oh yes, and breathe.

4. Patience- 

We want our second wind in life NOW. And sometimes we get it….

But, we just don’t know when it will come. We can’t know. All that is certain is that if we go through the motions, if we check-out, if we start looking for the exit, then, our next wind won’t happen!

I had an athlete once tell me, “I can’t wait to be patient.”

I get it.

Patience is a higher-order skill and one in which we do not practice today. I can guarantee you that your second chance in life is coming if you just hang on long enough.

4 ways to find your second wind in life 
1. Know Your Why
2. Don’t Stop
3. Find Your Rhythm 
4. Patience. 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 


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

maximize the transitions in life


maximize the transitions in life

How to Crush the Transitions in Life

If we use the bathroom 10 minutes a day, we will have spent over 6 months of our lives in the bathroom.

The average person spends two hours a day watching T.V. (wow).

We will also spend about 1 year of our entire life just cleaning.

Dated research revealed that we spend over 2 years of our life merely waiting (traffic, lines in a supermarket, etc.). Although, online apps have now changed our entire behavior by being able to pre-order. This is cool of course but doesn’t help with our patience.

How To Achieve Patience   I Can’t Wait To Be Patient 

William Penn once said, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”

One way to build everyday Mental Toughness is to crush the transitions in life. 

A transition is a process.

We can have major transformations, like changing careers, mid-transitions, such as waiting in an airport and minor changes, like driving from the gym to work.

Crushing the minor transitions is the BEST way to get BETTER. The goal of a successful transition is that we are in the best spot mentally when we arrive. Patience is needed…

Since we are busier now than ever before and if we are a leader, then we need to become more of a fire marshal than a fire-fighter. We need to understand and act when needed, but also, when to rest, wait, and simply avoid action.  

Here are 8 ways to crush the transitions in life

1) Evaluate-

Where am I right now and where do I need to focus?

Is it urgent?

Is it important? 

Do I need to relax more, address my business, gain more knowledge, or connect with others?

2) Breathe-

 The absolute perfect time to focus on our rectangle breathing is now. Get centered. Get relaxed, take a break. 

3) Listen to a podcast-

I drive a ton and while I’m paid to read, I also try to crush audio-books and podcast episodes. Martin Rooney, Jocko, are killer one’s. The transitions in life are meant to be utilized. 

Hey, check out our Mental Toughness podcast- 

Best Mental Toughness Podcast With Dr Rob Bell

4)  Turn off the agitator-

The mental game is more about subtraction than it is addition. 

It is often about removing things that do not make us better.

There is a lady who constantly talks on her phone while on the treadmill (Yeah, she doesn’t work hard). I HATE IT. 

But, you know what, that’s not her problem, that’s mine. I hate treadmills and avoid them when possible. I just have to remove myself from the situation.

5)  Make a Call- 

The opposite of isolation is connection.

Reach out and contact a friend, coach, colleague, family member, or business associate. Make a connection with others a goal of your transitions in life. 

6) Remove the phone- 

When we have a minute of downtime we pull-out the phone and check twitter, facebook, Instagram, whatever.  

I do this too much and it becomes a habit-” I can’t wait to be patient.” 

Unfortunately, it’s become a HUGE distraction and time spender. It also becomes an instant way to go to negative town inside of my own head. 

7) Gratitude list

Gratitude is memory of the heart! It is tough to be hateful and grateful at the same time. It also represents a way to show our perspective and humility. 

Write out 10 people, places, or things that you are grateful for. 

8) Pray-

And if that doesn’t work, Pray again.

God usually answers, “ask me again tomorrow.”


Prayer is an active form of perspective and also one of the best ways to crush the transitions in life. 



dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

best sport parents

best sports parents

I love my kids more than anything. So, I get it, how they perform is important to me. But their performance is not a reflection of my parenting, just a shadow.

The most important element of youth sports is passion- a love for their sport! Each of the following recommendations is related to nurturing their own passion.

Remember, sport teaches whatever we want it to teach…

Click Here for Bonus Video that I Guarantee Will Help!

Here are 6 ways that the best sports parents are doing it wrong.

1. Wanting it more than them- We get calls every single week from sports parents wanting our mental coaching for their son/daughter. I have to screen each parent, and one question I ask them, “Is this something your child wants?”  Whatever the situation they have to want it, period.  No matter the sport, the best athletes have that passion.

They don’t have to be asked to work at it or practice, because they love it. 

2. Not allowing them to fail- Losing hurts and it should hurt. The pain eventually subsides, but if we remove the failure, setbacks, and allowing them ownership of their mistakes than we actually cheapen the joy of winning. How can we truly appreciate winning and improvement if we have never lost?

The safety net for children has become dangerously close to actually touching them.

They know mom or dad (sports parents) will take care of it… Example: “I forgot my glove, my Gatorade, jersey, goggles, putter, etc, Mom and dad will pick it up for me.”

Click Here for Bonus Video that I Guarantee Will Help!

3. Traveling too early- It’s the gateway drug to specialization. 

Anything before middle school is too early. A few travel tournaments or matches here and there is great, its fun! But even for young kids, the trips have become every single weekend.

Here’s the danger, it becomes expensive and once they start traveling, it’s too easy to buy the idea that they now have to pick a sport and stay with it.

Specialization isn’t all that either because the specific movements with different sports actually transfer.

Jumping, running, throwing, all transfer across sports! Playing a variety of sports achieves that goal of skill development.

Plus, each sport offers a unique advantage, competitiveness. When they learn to compete in many different sports, they will eventually transfer that skill of competitiveness to their favorite!

Ultimate Sports Parents Guide: How To Have a Great Athlete in 2022

 4. Not emphasize & reward effort- Effort is everything. But even as the best sports parents go, we forget that. If we only emphasize the outcome, athletes will learn and internalize “all that matters is winning.”  

Players that are good will win early and often, until they no longer win. If parents only emphasize rankings, final scores, and talent, then taking risks, addressing weaknesses, and competing become afterthoughts.

At some point, they are no longer the best, and they can become stuck in limbo between past expectations and low confidence.

Question for the best sports parents: shouldn’t the best 12-year old in the nation almost always be one the best 18-year olds?

Rarely happens because winning and outward appearance was ONLY rewarded instead.

5. Blame coach, system, or refs- I was sitting next to a parent of a future DI basketball player whose brother had made it to the NBA. This sport parent was miserable and every single play or refs call that did not go his son’s way, was heard by everyone including his son. I cried on the inside (sort of), because there is no way that this kid was happy either.

A little league coach once told me when he knew parents were talking about him because the kids would no longer look him in the eye. Sad…

It’s about progress not perfection.

It’s not your role to call or blame coach about playing time, change coaches or schools, or get a lesson every time they play bad. 

Click Here for Bonus Video that I Guarantee Will Help!

6. Over-communicating with them There are good opportunities to talk about their performance and not good ones.

During the game is NOT the appropriate time. However, all the time, parents are communicating with their son/daughter. Body language doesn’t talk, it screams, and they can see your negative behavior. Also, the stands can be packed with hundreds or thousands of screaming people, and the ONE voice they will recognize is yours! Why are you trying to coach them during their performance? 

I get it, no one has an ugly child, but if he/she becomes great, then they will get noticed. Really want to be among the best sports parents? Just tell them, “I love watching you play and pick out what they did well!” 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

An Attitude of Gratitude is a Myth

Viktor Frankl was a Holocaust survivor. 

His immediate family died in the concentration camps, but he survived. He talks at length in the amazing book- Man’s Search for Meaning -about how he survived while others did not.  

He concluded that we actually find meaning through our suffering.  

Frankl stated: “it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.”

It was through his suffering as a prisoner that he was obligated to find meaning, to focus on the smallest of gratitude, like a sunset, or a memory. 

It was NOT his Attitude of Gratitude. It was his ACTION of Gratitude.

  • He would have a virtual conversation every morning with his wife even though he didn’t know if she was still alive.
  • Prisoners who were starving would give their last pieces of bread to another to help them survive.
  • His freedom came as a result of his refusal to give up hope, even though survival was thin.

His attitude of gratitude is a myth. It was a result of his action.

We need to take certain action steps to exercise our attitude muscle.

Some of us have a greater sense of thankfulness than others, just as some of us are faster or better-looking but, what matters is are we willing to take certain steps?

Here are six ways to exercise an action of gratitude

  • Write out as gratitude list-  

Once we start listing our blessings, it gets tough to stop. It is too easy to focus on where we lack, or where we come up short. Basically, all advertising focuses on telling you that you need this product in order to be happy. It’s not enough to think about our gratitude, we need to write them out.

  • Keep a Gratitude Jar- 

On our dining room table, we have a jar that fills up with small pieces of paper from the week.

We express our gratitude for someone in the house when they do something we are thankful for. We can be in poor moods to begin, but at the end, our outlook has changed. That’s why an attitude of gratitude is a myth. 

  • Change the way you treat somebody- 

Want to change the way you feel about somebody, change the way you treat them. This is difficult if you have anger or resentment toward someone, so start small, send a message, email, or ask them a different question.

  • Forget the weather- 

We could have a cold, brutal winter and yet not after a month after warming up, people will start complaining about how it’s too hot.


A simple action step is to find the benefit in the weather, no matter the condition. I’ve trained my family that we are mudders. We LOVE the poor weather because we play better. 

  • Pray and if that doesn’t work, Pray again- 

There are three kinds of prayer,

1. God- Help Me! 2. God- Give Me! and 3. God- Use Me.

Prayer is an action. Pray as if God has already given you the gift that you want, give thanks for that, and ask God to help you help others. God, Thank you for the patience that you have given me so I can be a good father and husband. 

  • Find The GOOD-

Basically, here’s the way to approach all challenges and obstacles. Another reason why an attitude of gratitude is a myth. In every bad situation, some good will come out of it! 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

My top 5 game changer albums

I took my daughter to a Rob Zombie concert because we workout together to his music. She took me to Taylor Swift; I took her to Rob Zombie.

Music is an index fossil.

You’ll see from this list of my favorite albums, my approximate age, likes, and a specific period of my life. Is it odd that my favorite all-time albums are all from a certain period of my life?

I still listen to music today, but now, I like everyone else stream the music. 

The list is my top 5 game changer albums.

Why game changer? Well, these all left a huge timestamp in society! These are the albums that could be played today and whatever song was on still crushed it.

I wrote this because I guess I want my athletes today to see another side that still reveals awesomeness.

Heck, any artist current or past that could release an entire album of quality music earned my respect. That’s the equivalent of having a great season and career rather than just a good game.

Put together your list, I’d love to hear yours.

  • janes-addiction  Jane’s Addiction (LIVE)-    The iconic hit “Jane Says” leads this entire parade of songs that mesh the different kind of guy that Perry Farrell was along with the rock sound that this album enveloped. Release date was 1987 although I didn’t first listen to it until much later. It was a Hinge moment but new label, Epitaph records, was going to sign either Jane’s Addiction or another hollywood band, Thelonious Monster. They chose to sign the latter, eeeeeek. 

  • pauls-boutique Beastie Boys (Paul’s Boutique)–  This hip-hop album is by far the best one of the Beastie Boys’ and it was a follow-up to License to Ill. Shake Your Rump is the party type favorite on this album, but there are sweet hits galore from these three guys from Brooklyn who earned my respect especially because they played their own instruments. Hinge Moment, but these guys were all punk, and actually had a fourth member before refining their craft and releasing License to Ill. “Dropping science like Galileo dropped the orange.” 

  • bob-dylanBob Dylan (Blonde on Blonde) Of course, the greatest song writer of all-time was going to be on this list. The issue was, which album? This was the 1st Dylan album I ever listened to, it was a double-album, and it also had my favorite tune, Visions of Johanna. It’s the closest thing to perfection from a song standpoint. “We sit here stranded, but we all do our best to deny it.” 

  • no-control Bad Religion (No Control) I don’t know what type of punk music reigns supreme in today’s landscape. This is Bad Religion’s best album and close to the best punk album of all-time. You’ll need the lyrics to keep up along with a dictionary, no joke. Fast, angry, politico, & still relevant today. “If you came to conquer, you’ll be king for a day,
    But you too will deteriorate and quickly fade away.
    And believe these words you hear when you think your path is clear…”

  • nirvanaNirvana (Unplugged)-  MTV had acoustic sets from some of the best bands during this time. I watched this album live, and probably the last time I watched MTV honestly. Check it out. It remains such a riveting show, because it had killer covers, and displayed the genius of Kurt Cobain, which made his death not long after such a unbelievable event at the time… “Jesus don’t want me for a sunbeam.” 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Top Mental Toughness Quotes

don’t question your mental toughness

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 an indication of their mental toughness

I listen for how often they question themselves. 

  • “how did I do that?”
  • “what are you doing?”
  • “why am I out here today?”
  • “What are YOU DOING!?” 

All Questions! 

Mental toughness doesn’t ask questions.

Do you question your Mental Toughness? 

Because I don’t hear an athlete that is playing well, ask themselves questions such as, “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 mental toughness!

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

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.  

You don’t need to question your mental toughness! Or question your ability or skills. You just need to develop a habit of telling yourself what to do next!

Confidence is king, but Focus is queen!



dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

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. Except he calls himself ” The REAL Rob Bell”, so not sure what that means… But, expectations certainly a key to killing your mental toughness. 

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. It’s important to recognize these things that are killing your mental toughness. 

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 it doesn’t mean it’s killing your mental toughness. It 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 your 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 end up killing your mental toughness.


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

If you ever listen to a creaky door or gate, it’s not the door or gate at all. It’s the Hinge! So ,what happens when the Hinge becomes Rusty? Chances are that we got away from what got us here, our focus and confidence changed. The Hinge connected, but we let it get rusty…

Here is a 3-minute video on how to prevent the Hinge from getting Rusty! 

The Rusty Hinge

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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

Check out the new film & e-book, NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness