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The Importance of Models for Mental Toughness

One shot is the reason why the LPGA is currently dominated by Korean golfers. The Hinge moment was by Se RI Pak during the 1998 U.S. Open and she became a model for others, namely Korean girls.

Click on the picture for the video…

Dr. Rob Bell speaking on 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 book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness   

redskins

Kenya’s long-distance runner & two-time Olympic Champion, Kip Keino uttered these words so athletes would consider performance enhancing drugs. “When you stand on the podium, you must ask yourself, did I win this medal?”

I heard Hall of Fame coach, Joe Gibbs, speak recently. (He is in both the NFL and Nascar Hall of Fame.)  He told stories and talked about his faith and gave everyone a copy of his new book, Game Plan for Life.

He had his 1st Superbowl ring with him and announced that everyone could put on the ring and take their picture with him. I was about 10th in line and sure enough, everyone was putting on the illustrious ring and posing with coach.

When I shook his hand, I told him I grew up in Maryland and was a life-long Redskins fan. He proceeded to give me the ring and ask if I wanted my picture with it.

I told him, “Coach, I know what that ring represents and I didn’t earn it, I can’t put it on.” Joe Gibbs, said “ I appreciate that or respect that” and I had my picture with him while the ring lay on the table. Joe Gibbs & Dr. Rob Bell

Anything worth getting in life, we have to work for. Last time I checked, they don’t give championships, scholarships, high-paying jobs, or Super Bowl rings away!

Maybe that is the issue with motivation in general?  We are given too much, feel we deserve it, and don’t really appreciate it. Or worse, we expect it to be easy to earn.

Click here to subscribe to my Friday Mental Toughness newsletter…

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 .

 

 

 

 

Confident people can do this

Confident people can do this skill…


A boat is off-course 99% of the time. A sailboat finds its destination is by tacking. Confidence is contagious and these people can do this skill as well.  A series of zigzagging maneuvers, adjusting the sail back and forth and using the wind. Adjusting is how sailboats reach their final destination.

The best view tacking as the way to sail, while the stubborn view tacking as stressful.

We have to PUKE & RALLY

Last year during a tournament round of golf, I actually 3-putted three times….Yeah, brutal. Only after doing an autopsy, I realized something. I lost confidence because I lacked this skill. I never made an adjustment coming down the stretch. Confident people can do this skill!

They can make adjustments!

In the classroom, boardroom, or field of play. Those that can make adjustments will be successful. Stubborn people on the other hand make no adjustments (insert definition of insanity here) and sometimes refuse to make adjustments.

Adjustments can be physical or mental.

It may be a change in attitude or to our routine. Most importantly, however, these adjustments are usually small. The reason why adjustments are small is because…

Fundamentals Never Change!

If our foundation and process is solid, then all we need to do is make small adjustments. It may require asking outside people for their help, but the adjustment is usually small.

Confident people can make these adjustments because they believe an alteration will make them successful. On the other hand, those that struggle are firmly planted in the belief that a change won’t work. They believe they are only one mistake away from failure. (um, see my putting example from above). 

Mental Toughness is being able to deal with the struggle, setbacks, and adversity. How we make adjustments will determine our success. Confident people can also root for others….


 


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

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

Check out this 5-minute video on The Biggest Mental Obstacle that ALL Golfers Face…
Click here to subscribe to my Friday Mental Toughness newsletter…

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   

Every one of us is getting ready for a hinge moment, event, or person that will make all the difference in our lives. However, we just don’t know when or who that will happen. In fact, we may not know the impact until weeks, months, or even years after.

We can’t connect the dots moving forward in life, we can only connect them looking backwards.- Steve Jobs 

The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness.

In order for our Hinge to connect, we need to keep giving ourselves opportunities. Hinge moments require that we stay confident in ourselves to keep connecting with others and striving to get better. However, when we isolate and lose confidence, the Hinge fails to connect.

As Gandhi said , “you may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result.” You must be ready because when your opportunity hits, it’s too late to prepare.

Since each of us will have opportunities, here are three (3) people who took advantage of their Hinge moment! 


1. John Brooks-  

hinge moment

His goal beat Ghana in the 1st round of the World Cup. He became the 1st ever substitute to ever score in a World Cup Match for the United States. He only entered the game at half-time because another player, Matt Besler, was injured. With only four minutes left in the game, it appeared the game was going to be a draw. John Brooks was even on the bubble for making the USA roster. However, he told his teammates, “ I actually dreamt about making a header on a corner kick in the 80th minute to win the game.”

 

2.  Linda Perry-

hinge moment

She was the lead singer of 90’s band, 4 Non-blondes, and they had their 15-minutes of fame with the hit, “What’s Going On.”

Often as it goes, the success did not last, and a few years later, Linda Perry was sunk….

She was completely broke for three weeks, when an unknown artist contacted her and told her how she admired Linda Perry’s earlier work. Linda Perry had just finished writing a song, titled “Get The Party Started.” You guessed it, the unknown artist was Pink and it launched her career.  Linda Perry thereafter has written tons of top songs for artists like Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, & Adam Lambert.

3. Vin Scully-

hinge momentVin Scully was the hall-of-fame announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The greatest of all-time has been announcing Dodger games for 65 straight years! He called his 19th no-hitter when Clayton Kershaw accomplished it.

His Hinge moment occurred when he returned from the Navy and was announcing games for Fordham University.  

 

He sent 150 letters to radio stations all along the east coast and received only 1 reply from CBS Sports Radio. He started working alongside Red Barber and called his 1st game for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950.

Will Your Hinge Connect? 


                                             

top mental toughness coach

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   

Kenyan runnersKenyan runners dominate the world in competitive distance running. Many run barefoot, but they’ll tell you their personal best time right along with their name. With almost half of the entire population in poverty, if someone in a nearby village wins a small half-marathon and a check for $2,500 that is four times the yearly median income. In Kenya, the will to escape is channeled into running. The motivation to “make it” is a direct result from the environment.

The Olympic and world champions of the sport in Kenya train along side those merely trying to break through. These runners, regardless of skill, motivate one another to keep going, recognizing with painful clarity just how fleeting success can be.

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Since 1972, Cuba has won 32 Olympic Gold medals in boxing, more than any other country, despite the country’s boycott of the 1980 & 1984 games. However, the boxers status goes only as far as the amateur ranks. Fidel Castro banned professional boxing in the 1960s.

A Cuban boxer desiring to turn professional must defect, leaving everything and everybody behind including the motivational structure. It is a decision filled with torment, especially in the heavily family-oriented Cuban culture. Dyosbelis Hurtado, who defected in 1994, stated, “It was the toughest decision I’ve ever made because of my family. My mama, papa and seven brothers are still in Cuba. I don’t know how many more years will pass before I see them.”

“[You] can do it, so can I”

We need models to show us how they did it, coaches to teach us how to do it, and others around us trying to do it as well.

The same motivational structure exists for Brazilian soccer, running groups, AdvoCare,® CrossFit,® masters swimming clubs, Jenny Craig,® or Alcoholics Anonymous.® These groups all rely on each other as “how-to” models and coaches.

We are connected to others. We need models in our lives to show us how things are done and others to continually raise the bar for us. It is the external motivation that connects….Will your Hinge connect? Click here to subscribe to my mailing list

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   

Athletes Need A Better Performance Routines…

Almost everything we do contains a routine… How we wake up in the morning, go to work, eat our food, and even shave.  We have become so routine that we are not even aware of it, hence routine. We implement these daily routines because they make us comfortable and allow us to tune-in our focus.

However, we do recognize when we get out of our performance routines because we begin to think more and may even become anxious or nervous.

These daily routines don’t really matter too much though unless we are OCD. Although, they make ALL the difference in our performance. Performances could go wrong and routines make us comfortable during these pressure situations. Presentations, Surgery, Try-outs, Auditions, Competitions, Sales, Golfing, Free-throws, Bowling, Darts, Race-car driving to rattle off a few.

Here’s 7 Awesome Ways to Crush Your Pre-Performance Routine

Unbelievably though, our performance routines have not become routine. We practice the skill way more than the execution of the routine. This is why under pressure, we don’t focus on the right things, become anxious, get nervous, or choke. Our performance routines have not become routine. There are a lot of variables in our performance, and since our routines are 100% under our control, the main variable is YOU! Routines need to be perfect in all areas of our performance.

Our research in Applied Sport Psychology showed that routines need to be individualized. The timing doesn’t matter much with an individual routine, what matters is the behaviors, the patterns, and how deliberate someone is. If people varied from their actions, performance would decline.

Here is a PERFECT Performance Routine by Jason Calliste of Oregon basketball. During two rounds of the NCAA tournament, he only shot 22/23 from the free-throw line…

performance routineshttp://pac-12.com/article/2014/02/01/video-oregon-mens-basketball-jason-calliste-free-throw-technique 

 

 

 


Dr. Rob BellDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  Check out the most recent books on Mental Toughness. 

How An Olympic Gold Medalist And I Shared A Hinge Moment

Most of my life, I have been a sport obsessed honk, not only playing but also following every sport, in every possible venue. 

For instance, as a kid, I used to watch EVERY SINGLE match of Wimbledon on HBO during the summer.

I always just assumed that the best win, end of story. As a kid, I had no idea that there was a mental component to winning or even playing consistent.

In 1992, my beliefs changed. 

Reebok had launched a campaign titled Dan or Dave, who is the best athlete in the world? Who will take home the Gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics? The competition was between Dave Johnson and Dan O’Brien, two USA decathletes.

However, even before the Olympics began, during Olympic trials, Dan O’Brien was leading after the 1st day of competition and on record-setting pace.

However, during the 8th event, the pole vault, Dan O’Brien stunningly failed in three attempts, scored zero points, and drifted to last place.  He said, “it was like a dream, I wanted to turn to somebody and say, “Do something.”

Our Mess Becomes our Message…

However, he also said something I’ll never forget. During his weakest moment, he said “I pity anyone who goes against me in the next four years.” 

I was so intrigued that anything like this had happened that I began to follow his career, even cutting out the newspaper clipping from that day!!! It was his Hinge moment because our mess becomes our message… [ I took his picture holding this framed 1992 newspaper article that hangs in my office.]

It became my Hinge as well, because Dan O’Brien began to see a sport psychologist to help with his mental preparation. He admitted that there were too many variables in his preparation and he needed to become more mentally tough.

Well, in 1996, he won the Gold medal in the Decathlon in Atlanta and set the all-time record.

I knew from that hinge moment I wanted to help athletes feel the greatest joy of performing well when it mattered the most. 

I would become a Sport Psychology coach.  And I DID. 

I’ve been blessed to be with my athletes during the most intense times. For more information on Dan O’Brien and his journey, check out his awesome book.

hinge moment

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 mental toughness books.   

Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment.

3 Characteristics of the Best Athletes


People often ask, what are the features of the very best athletes?

Remember though, everyone is an athlete, our office is just different! 

Having coached, observed, studied, collaborated, spent time with and spoken to athletes for my entire life, here are the three (3) traits of the best athletes.

Note: I have chosen not to include talent, because talent is a pre-requisite. However, tenacity is more important than talent. 


jeanette cash coldwell banker advantage

characteristics of the best athletes1)  Passion- The best possess an unquenchable thirst to see how good that they can become & they LOVE their sport. 

This passion translates into a willingness and desire for hard work. It’s the basis of all Mental Toughness. Dale Earnhardt was once in an accident and could not finish his next race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He started the race, but they had to remove him from the car.

Here was the greatest race car driver, basically crying, because they had to take him out of the car. He said, “ Nobody loves anything more than my driving a race car.” Passion is one of the characteristics of the best athletes. 


2)  Competitiveness- The best athletes love to compete and put themselves in situations that test their skills.

The competitiveness is more than just beating others; it is the feeling that they get from testing themselves under pressure.

I often witness athletes even outside of their own sport, remain so competitive to win regardless of the event (e.g., checkers, sit-ups, darts, pogo-stick, etc.).

They may fear losing, but they don’t succumb to that fear, they have an inner confidence that they continually compete. It’s one of major characteristics of the best athletes.

As Jimmy Connors once stated, “I hate to lose, more than I love to win.”


3)  Another Gear- If you listen to quality sports announcers close enough, they mention how certain players can change speeds.

For example, Emmitt Smith holds the record for career rushing yardage in the NFL, and while few state that he is the best ball carrier of all time, he was nonetheless able to hit the gap successfully and turn downfield—He had another gear.

The characteristics of the best athletes are that they can muster up the inner fortitude and the “it” factor which allows them to finish strong. They simply have another gear…

These skills may be more innate with the best, but they can be learned and cultivated. Honestly assess your own mental game and answer which of these characteristics do you possess and which one’s need strengthened.


 


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

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

became the hinge moment

 


How A Reader’s Digest Became The Hinge Moment


The Hinge connects who we are with who we become.

It is the one moment, event, or person that makes the difference in our lives…We just don’t know when or who that person or event will be. 

I’ve had many Hinge moments, some good and some tragedies. I’ve even shared a Hinge moment with An Olympic Champion. 

This is the earliest of My Hinge Moments, that would take almost ten years before it connected me with who I became. 

As a teenager, my grandmother used to give me the awesome gift of, wait for it, Reader’s Digest magazine…Thanks, Grandma! 

As a fifteen-year-old, Reader’s Digest really didn’t fit my needs.

However, it did become great bathroom material and I would read it while on the porcelain throne.

Well, within Reader’s Digest, I once read a story about the “runner’s high,” the physiological and psychological effect that runners would sometimes encounter during long runs.

It was like “being in the zone.” The study looked at how the personalities of those running long distances may transfer into other areas of their lives. I thought it was cool. This was long before my Marathon and Ironman days. 

Fast-forward nine years to the end of my undergraduate college; I had to choose a research project in my advanced Psychology class to graduate. We were to find a previous research study and replicate it. Well, immediately, the image that came to mind was the Runner’s High story in Reader’s Digest magazine. I tried to do the same study, did okay I guess, and presented it an undergraduate conference and thought no more about it. 

I knew early on that Sport Psychology would become my chosen path in life, so I applied to Temple University’s graduate school, although I never really applied myself in undergrad until my junior year, I was a hinge candidate at best.

The on-phone interview went surprisingly well and, in fact, the Temple University professor who was interviewing repeatedly probed at length my little research project on the Runner’s High.

I was accepted and even received a graduate assistantship that paid for my graduate school. 

The Hinge Moment….

As it turned out, my professor, Dr. Michael Sachs in 1984 was the one who basically coined the phrase, “Runners High” for his research. 

If it weren’t for my grandmother supplying me with Reader’s Digest subscriptions as a teenager, I would not have been accepted into Temple University’s graduate program, nor met my wife, nor continued on to Graduate work at The University of Tennessee, nor caddied on the PGA Tour, or work with so many gifted athletes. I wouldn’t have written a book titled: The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness either. 

We have no idea who or what may be The Hinge Moment. Our role is simply to be prepared. 

My story and this story would have been different. 

Who or what have been hinges in your life?  Share your Hinge moment here.


dr rob bell

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 mental toughness books.   

Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment.