It is what it is builds mental toughness 

I yearn for the day that someone holds up the trophy with tears in their eyes and says “it is what it is!” 

NO CHANCE. They’d be condemned. NO ONE says it is what it is when something good has happened!

But, I’ve got a sick sense of humor. 

So it’s cool when we hear “it is what it is” because we love misery?

It means something bad has happened and this person, leader, or team has accepted the circumstance. Or worse, they’ve accepted the setback, the defeat and turned their circumstance into a condition.

I can’t get better, hey, It is what it is…

Except, mentally tough people actually use it is what it is as a starting point, not an ending point. 

It’s temporary and it’s part of the process. 

You lost, so what are you going to do about it?  Stay Bitter or Get Better? 

Some coaches after winning a championship actually have come close to the It is what it is mentality. They have sold out to the process so much that success is merely a byproduct, an outcome.  Not soon after their pinnacle of the season, they are back to the grind and the process. It is what it is builds mental toughness if we are committed to the process. 

It is what it is either stops us or starts us…

It is what it is builds mental toughness

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-

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 download singles. 

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 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. 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 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 Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness   

WKUDuring the bowl season, there was the greatest single football play ever that sealed an incredible comeback. Except the comeback victory didn’t happen.

In another college football bowl game, there was also a dramatic comeback that did result in a victory. The difference was that The Hinge connected for one and it didn’t for another and there was a reason why.

Game 1: Bahamas Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky

Read this insight from James Jimenez The greatest comeback that never happened

WKU was leading 49-14 in the fourth quarter. Central Michigan came back and was behind 49-42 with just one-second left. They then had the most remarkable pass play since The Play (see Cal vs. Stanford). From their own 20-yard line, and four laterals later, they scored a touchdown. The play made the score 49-48. It was a Hinge moment!

Coach Enos decided to go for a two-point conversion to win the game and an incomplete pass later the game was over. They lost.

Wait, what? The Hinge connects; it was supposed to provide Central Michigan with the win. What happened? Coach Dan Enos said he originally planned to kick the extra point. Someone yelled to go for it and he changed his mind, he called the extra point team back off of the field and went for the win.

Coach Enos didn’t trust his gut.

Game 2: Armed Forces Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Houston

Pitt was leading 31-6 in the fourth quarter. University of Houston was still behind 34-20 and then proceeded to get not only 1, but also 2 successful onside kicks. A Hinge moment! Houston scored on a 25-yard touchdown play to trail 34-33 with just 59 seconds remaining. Coach Gibbs went for a two-point conversion and they scored to take the lead and win the game 35-34. It became the largest 4th quarter comeback in Bowl history.

Coach Gibbs said, “We made a decision the 1st day of practice that if it came down to the end of the game, we were going for two, no matter what,” Gibbs said. “There was no decision. They knew three weeks ago.” Thus, coach Gibbs had prepared for the exact moment that occurred.

Why did Houston comeback and Central Michigan did not? Coach Gibbs trusted his gut, and when we trust our gut, the hinge connects. What we need to learn from this is that each of us needs to trust our gut, our intuition.

Our gut is our in-born GPS that we all have. We must trust it, it is extremely difficult, but it is also necessary for The Hinge to connect. We have no idea when our Hinge moment will occur, but we must prepare for it.

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