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second wind in life

How to Get Your Second Wind In Life


When 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 experienced the runner’s high.  It’s like jumping out of an airplane, it’s tough to describe. I was moving 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!


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

Here’s how to get your second wind.


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 end point. Every workout ENDS! Every pain period we are going through will stop! Hard times do not come to stay, they come to pass!

Remember, 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 comeback. RARE!

You have to keep moving to get your second wind!

3. Find Your Rhythm-

Everything has a rhythm!

Life has momentum!

In the court room, 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 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 tell me, “I can’t wait to be patient.”

I get it.

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


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 

(INFOGRAPHIC) 5 Simple Action Steps for Injured Athletes

If you are currently one of the injured athletes on your team then follow these five action steps for injured athletes and it will help!

1. Grieve space-

Allow yourself to experience the pain of being injured. Injured players need to set aside times to think about being sad/getting angry/ worrying/ etc. Then you can avoid these emotions at inopportune times (dinner, etc.)


steps for injured athletes

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 

What Blocks us from Mental Toughness


One of the most difficult things in life is to let go of old ideas and ways of thinking. The sexy term nowadays is having a growth mindset compared to a fixed mindset. Here’s how it plays out.

Hope you enjoy this brief Mental Toughness video. 

“The secret it to move with the punch” – Jake LaMotta


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- 

how to build mental toughness


 How to Build Mental Toughness 


How do we define Mental Toughness?

It is performing well under pressure AND how we cope, handle, & deal with the struggle and setbacks and adversity of life. Click here if you want to view the precise Hierarchy of Mental Toughness 

There’s many different ways of building mental toughness, but the main common theme is that there has to be some kind of present adversity! 

Here’s some Examples of Mental Toughness- Check out the article on 17 famous examples of mental toughness  


Example #1 of Mental Toughness-  Dealing with a Challenge. It was May 7th on a Saturday evening and I was planning my schedule to meet with my professional athletes for later in the month.

Then, an invite for a ½ Ironman came across my email.

The race was in 2 weeks.

On May 20th, I crushed a ½ Ironman in less than 2 weeks. I don’t recommend this strategy on how to build mental toughness


 Example #2 of Mental Toughness- Coping with Anger and Frustration

It was the beginning of August and I got a call from a good amateur tennis player who lived in California.

However, at that time, he was suspended from the USTA because of his on-court behavior. He just couldn’t control his emotions. 

After working together on how to build Mental Toughness for exactly 1 year, he became the first unseeded player ever to win the USTA National Championship.


 Example #3 of Mental Toughness- Patience & Persistence. 

A professional golfer and I started working together on how to build mental toughness while he was just a mini-tour player. He had the heart of a lion and wanted to reach his full potential. 

Three years later, Scott Stallings, he won his 1st tournament on the PGA Tour.


Example #4 of Mental Toughness- Preparation Meets Opportunity 

I started working with a professional tennis player, Rajeev Ram before the Australian Open, the first major of the year.

Normally a doubles player, he had a season long goal of top 50 ranking in the world. He received a call during the summer to play with Venus Williams in Rio at the Olympics!

By the end of the games, he won a Silver Medal. 


Mental Toughness is the common theme in every one of these examples. But, every one of these examples manifested in different ways.

The brain is a muscle, and there is no one way to build mental toughness, because no matter what, we must be faced with adversity!  


We can’t predict the future, we can only prepare for the unpredictable.

I love helping people build Mental Toughness and taking people where they want to go, but only if performance is crucial to their success.  

Most people like talking about mental toughness, grit, resiliency, but few people actually act on it. I think the lack of action is because there isn’t a quality how to build mental toughness. 

I have laid out two of the step-by-step directions for building mental toughness. When our moment hits, it’s too late to prepare, we must be ready! 

Want to know the IMPORTANCE of building Mental Toughness? 


 How To Build Mental Toughness

Here are the first two steps…

1. HOLD ONTO YOUR SUCCESS & SETBACKS.

2. IMPROVE YOR FOCUS.


Step #1 How To Build Mental Toughness

HOLD ONTO YOUR SUCCESS & SETBACKS.


Have you ever broken an arm?

or

Want to know why mothers have more than one kid?

It is because we forget about the pain.

Try and remember the worst physical pain you ever had and while you remember that it really hurt, it’s impossible to recall the exact amount of pain you were in.

Hence forgetting about the pain is a huge strength, but it also makes us more like deer crossing the highway.

We forget about the pain and it becomes “what are those headlights?”

When we struggle, we need to be able to go back and look at the reasons why we struggled, what was our adversity, and notice our emotions around it, and what we did to get better and overcome. 

However, just like our pain, success leaves clues.

We need to go back over and recreate our successes and everything occurring during those times. 


 

 


If you don’t write out the details of your performance, you’ll forget about it.  No matter how small our success or large our defeats, we need to write them out, to build our confidence and get better. 


Step #2 How to Build Mental Toughness

IMPROVE YOUR FOCUS


Stress and pressure flow downhill. Unfortunately, we can’t handle much overflow.

There are so many distractions in our life that we can become agitated, upset, or down and not even know why. Was it that person in traffic, or that so called friend who hasn’t replied back? 

We multitask so much, I’m not sure we even know what multi-tasking is anymore. Doing more than four things at once?

We are also perfectionists, and that means our minds are constantly running, always churning.

We are all so busy that we don’t spend any time to recharge and refocus.

We need to maximize the transitions in life. We simply need to allow ourselves time and space to focus.

Focus is one of the major skills on the pyramid of success. We can begin training our focus by becoming deliberate about our focus.

Developing specific habits start at just 3 minutes a day.

The best way to train our focus is to follow this step-by-step process.


On the breathing audio, you’ll begin deliberate breathing by doing rectangle breathing. You’ll breathe in on 6, hold it for 2 seconds, out 6 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds, and so on…






When thoughts pop in the mind during this exercise, just bring your focus back to your breathing and listen to this audio.

I did a session with a baseball team once and after a few minutes asked them to raise their hand if they did it without any thoughts popping in their head.

All raised their hands!

I thought to myself, Yeah right!! So, I’m the only insane crazy one that couldn’t shut my mind off?

Focused breathing is about progress, not perfection.

We all have to focus and become deliberate about our breathing….

My thoughts still raced every time I did this exercise, but something happened, and I don’t know exactly when, but a change started to occur and I could focus better.

What we hope to do with ease, we first must do with due diligence.


Conclusion- How to Build Mental Toughness

Mental Toughness isn’t necessary to be comfortable in life.

But, then again, you don’t thrive in the middle, you survive.

Mental Toughness is required only if you want to excel and win. I’ve presented to you the first two steps for building Mental Toughness.  

Step #1- HOLD ONTO YOUR SUCCESS

Step #2- IMPROVE YOUR FOCUS

 Here are several bonus resources to help build Mental Toughness. 


First, I’ve provided you the exact audio file that will begin your improved focus under pressure. 

Second, as stated, I’ve put together a step-by-step process of how to build mental toughness. Simply Click on the link below and start accessing your step-by-step process. 


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 all the books on Mental Toughness- 

 


Footprint of Mental Toughness


As a child, I threw a tennis ball against the outside steps of my house countless number of times.

I did it to practice my baseball fielding. Sometimes the ball would catch the corner of a stair and it would shoot off and make for an “amazing” play.

I did this for hours on end… I enjoyed it, I kept score, it was fun, and my fielding was never better! I made some killer plays in the actual field because of my repetition. 


Have you done any activity so many times that you lost count?

Imagine how many steps it would take to leave footprints in stone?

Footprints represent where we were and what we have done. 

In order to leave footprints there must be a blueprint. 

One has to think about and plan not only the sheer number of steps to create footprints in stone, but also the manner in which the steps are placed. 

Creating footprints of mental toughness requires a blueprint of dedication, sacrifice, teamwork, and extreme precision.

It has been done.

Every second of every day since 1937, men and women followed the blueprint and created these footprints in stone. The Honor Guard for The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. check out more of their exact requirements and sacrifice here. 

The detail is how the footprints are created in stone. The Honor Guard march in specific twenty-one step arrangements, The heel strike and toe push are so precise, that footprints are eventually created. Twenty-one steps and 21 seconds in-between movements at the end of each walk. Twenty-one symbolizes the 21 gun salute which is the highest honor bestowed in the United States military. Every second of every day the tomb is guarded and footprints are made.

The changing of the guard is where the blueprint gets riveting. Each changing of the guard is so precise that perfection is the goal and each sentinel is graded after every change. If there is a mistake, each guard will hear about it during review. 

Tradition demands it and Honor Guard enforce it.

What is amazing, is that even with the blueprint and the evidence of the footprints made in the stone, they still make mistakes. Perhaps the posture is a tad off, or their tone in voice is low, or there is an error like what you’ll see here. Can You Catch it? 

Here’s the head fake.

These are the folks with footprints of Mental Toughness. However, even the best in the world with a perfect blueprint make mistakes. What seems to matter more than the footprints is that they keep following the blueprint. That’s only when footprints can be made. 

Does your team have a blueprint and can you keep following it long enough to create footprints? 



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- 

smart goals are stupid

smart goals are stupid


I completely failed the first time as a young Sport Psychology coach.

I started working  with the a University baseball team. I had my mental toughness session all planned out and we were going to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. The word still makes me cringe.

Of course the team session went well, we did the song and dance, wrote them out, shared them and even had specific team goals. But, I quickly learned smart goals are stupid!

Well, one of the goals the entire team agreed upon was no errors for the upcoming weekend series. The very first play was a ground ball to 3rd base, which he bobbled and bam, there goes that  S.M.A.R.T goal down the drain.

Goals are exactly like fitness. We ALL know it is important and want to do it, but the first time we miss a workout, our goal now becomes a gut wrenching reminder about why we hate goals.

Goal-setting works, but SMART goals are stupid.

Shockingly, Some companies or teams still use this outdated method to motivate and hold you accountable for production? Are you kidding me?  Do people still drive to Blockbuster to rent movies?

Three reasons why SMART goals are stupid.


Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. said ” I have a mission statement” Or “I have a realistic goal?”


First, SMART Goals do not offer any type of plan. Second, they inherently make you set goals that are “realistic or achievable.”  Third, they fail because there is no emotional connection to the goals. 

1:  SMART goals are apathetic.

They offer no plan, sort of like the gym teacher who just rolls out the balls at class time. These teachers simply have different things on their mind. SMART goals are bumpers for bowling. They don’t actually help you become better. As Mark Murphy posts in his blog, only 13% of people think their goals will help them maximize their full-potential. 

2: They make you put a ceiling on the goal. 

If we reached our goal in the past, (which we did, because we are achievers) then the goal just moves a bit further out next time. It produces an assembly line of goal setting, not a way to actually make a difference.  For instance, Improve your market share for the year by 5%. How is that creative or inspiring? Set Top Gun Goals Instead…

3: There is no emotional connection.

SMART goals are similar to packing for the vacation, there is a precise to-do list and set time to get them done. However, real goals are instead all about the vacation itself and what you want to do there.We need to make an emotional connection to that goal and vision about our why, our passion. Your why has to make you cry, if it doesn’t, it’s not your why.  Check out Gia Ganesh importance of the “why.”

Here’s what to do instead:

Step #1- Set a vision.

Who do you want to become?  Not what do you want to achieve, but who do you want to become? There’s room there for only 1 or 2 goals, everything else just becomes a distraction.

Step #2- Develop habits.

First we create habits, then our habits create us. We are what we repeatedly do, so begin forming routines and beliefs that align with your vision of who you want to become. 

Step #3- Focus on the now.

Become a Millionaire is your goal; great. But, you only made $85k last year?

Focus on the short-term objectives you have for your vision. These shorter-term goals are needed for momentum. When we ride a bike, we don’t need to pedal all the time, we just need momentum.  These short-term goals need to be delved into deeper and set for us to be pleased not satisfied along our journey.

Step #4- Look at them.

Look at your vision everyday.  They have to be places where we can see them and reinforce our vision. Tanya Patrice writes about the importance of looking at the goals every day and even posting motivational quotes alongside.

Obstacles and adversity will emerge along your process of becoming who you want to become. Don’t worry about that SMART goals are stupid, instead make the commitment that nothing will keep you from it, no matter what it takes. 


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- 

Mental Toughness is built off of the field?

Not only does our best change as we get better, but Mental Toughness also becomes more about what takes place off the field than on the field. We are who we are when we are alone.

What happens when the door comes off the Hinges? If you hear a creaky door, it’s not the door at all, it’s The Hinge.  Here is a story about the athlete that you know because he/she is simply the best athlete in town.

 


 

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- 50 Ways to Win: pro Football’s Hinge Moments 

The Human Taproot of Mental Toughness 


The dandelion is an interesting flower. We spend billions of dollars every year to try and rid the dandelion, but it keeps coming back. 

If flowers possessed Mental Toughness, the dandelion would top the list. 

It is a very hardy plant. 

It sprouts very quickly in most types of soil, growing in many climates, with little or lots of rainfall. It also does not seem to need the approval of its owner to grow successfully. Young children generally revere it, but at the same time, most homeowners hate it, because they believe it is just an annoying weed. 

Mental toughness is akin to the hardiness factor in plants, which is a plant’s ability to survive in adverse growing conditions. The measurement of plant’s hardiness includes its ability to withstand drought, wind, cold, and heat. The process of gardeners developing strains of hardy plants and shrubs involves the process of “hardening” them to the elements. Ironically, the hardiest types of plants (i.e., weeds and dandelions) are usually the most undesirable to the typical homeowners.

The common trait among all hardy plants, however, is the taproot. The taproot looks similar to a carrot or turnip and grows vertically down as opposed to branching off horizontally. It distributes water where needed and it makes the plant very difficult to displace, because it will continue to re-sprout. Thus, developing toughness begins with developing a human taproot.

A human taproot is a perfect metaphor of mental strength. The analogy of a taproot is effective because it is unseen. Honestly, when we look at a tree or plant, we only focus on the branches, leaves, and perhaps the fruit. Unless you are a botanist, you will pay little attention to what you can’t see, namely the taproot.

Coaches and commentators often label the human taproot as “the intangibles.” These unseen qualities are often immeasurable, yet the intangibles and the strength of the human taproot determine the success of each athlete. 

Just as the strength of the taproot is what ultimately determines the longevity of the plant, the real key to success lies in the unseen, the intangibles, and one’s resiliency. (check out this awesome blog post for more info on motivation).

If the roots are not strong, then the plant and player will eventually submit to the adverse conditions.


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 a recent book- Don’t Should on Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness   

(Video) Parents- You’re ruining the car ride home (sorry).

It doesn’t build Mental Toughness to pile on kids after they’ve messed up. Here’s a better way because you’ll have better discussions and feedback.

 

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   

6 Ways to Build Pre-Season Mental Toughness 


  1.  Set the Mental Tone. Everyone is optimistic, driven, and enthusiastic during pre-season. Determine how you and your teammates will approach the entire season with unshakeable belief. Adversity will hit so start preparing.


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-