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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 

Check out this 5-minute video on The Biggest Mental Obstacle that ALL Golfers Face…
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Biggest Mental Obstacle ALL

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   

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.