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A team locker room is a sacred place.

Basically, what is said there, when you leave there, leave it there.

Sorry, but here’s the wrong way to win the locker room.

New Buffalo Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott felt that setting the tone of the locker room was important.

Agreed

Coach Sean McDermott is all about “culture” and leading by example. He’s a 3:30AM fitness guy. 

Agreed

He is a driven, hard-nosed, accountability coach whose locker room culture begins with him.

Agreed

Coach stated that “this is a business”, so he removed the pool table and video games from the locker room.

Disagree    



Players don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Hall of Fame coach, Bill Walsh, set up a fishing tournament amongst his players during pre-season. He stated, a “team that can laugh together, can get serious together.”

Hard nosed, two time Super-Bowl winning coach, Tom Coughlin, spent the very first day of a training camp by having a bowling tournament. He changed his tyrant approach because  he “wanted his players to see him as his grandchildren did.” 

Super Bowl Winning coach, Dick Vermeil was known for his “boot camp” practices and discipline, but only after he started to develop a relationship with his players did he finally reach the pinnacle.

Look, there is nothing sexier than discipline, accountability, hard-work, grit, perseverance, and a culture of excellence.

However, in order to win, coaches have to win their hearts as well. In order to do that, they need to win the locker room.

Here’s 5 ways to win the locker room



Develop a TEAM culture-  

Every coach would agree that when you have players willing to fight for one another, there is nothing more powerful. Practices should be difficult and demanding, but developing team chemistry also takes place in between practices and games. You hang out so much together, that either bonds or cliques get formed in various ways. 

Developing a locker room where players can unwind, relax, be themselves, and hang-out is crucial. Who wants a locker room where players simply dash out after showering and changing?

A pool table or ping-pong table encourages players an outlet to bond over a competitive activity that is not directly related to their own sport. The Cornell basketball team that made the sweet sixteen and finished 29-5 all lived together and touted their Super Mario bros. and table-tennis competitions. 

Allow the players to take ownership-

Jeff Van Gundy allowed all minor decisions like where to eat, which music and movie to play on the bus up to the players. He granted them a voice in their own culture. 

Have a leadership council-

 

In all pick-up games, kids self-govern themselves. You can’t break the written and unwritten rules of the court and expect to be welcomed back. A leadership council of players should make decisions on certain disciplines that coach doesn’t have to. That creates more ownership among players and takes more off of the coach. 

Orchestrate the cohesion-

Teams become cohesive over the task at hand (winning), or socially (togetherness). Ultimately, task-cohesion is king. However, these task-cohesive teams are only fostered through extremely strong peer-leadership.

Social cohesion is queen. Teams full of mutual respect for one another have more trust and uphold standards within the team. Usually, the best teams have BOTH task and social cohesion. These bonds can be enhanced through scheduled sessions intended to do so. 

Foster organic cohesion-  

Yes, it is a business. Winning is a habit. But, allow play to be a part of the culture. Allowing athletes to express themselves through free-play is as old as the cave-man days. We thrive on working hard toward a goal and also having fun along the journey. 


I’ve been in the team locker room at the end of a season with such tears of joy from winning, because they all knew of the effort and sacrifice and bond. I’ve been in the other locker room as well, that tears flowed because the loss was so heartbreaking because of the sacrifice and bond.

If you’re in the game long enough, these moments will happen. That’s life.

The way to a winning team locker room begins way before these moments of joy or heartbreak. It begins with the culture of the team and finding ways to win the locker room. 

 

This is Just ONE way to Build Mental Toughness. If you are interested in learning more Mental Toughness Techniques. Check out RING THE BELL FOR Mental Toughness. 

Build 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 

Al Bundy stuffhappens.us

I was in Tennessee with a golfer at the PGA tour event. On wednesday afternoon, We were all standing around the chipping green while I was talking with my players’ caddy.

From literally nowhere, this guy, drove a gator tractor over my foot with the front tire and then just stopped with the back tires now on my foot!!

I yelled at the guy to “KEEP GOING” because he just had a blank stare on his face. He looked like he couldn’t believe he just did that. I couldn’t believe it was happening.

Time does stand still for the precious seconds that a gator tractor is on top of your foot while you try to lift it up.

The entire process took less than 10 seconds, although it felt like minutes.

He pulled forward and I didn’t have shooting pain down my foot, so I knew it wasn’t broken.

Even though I didn’t do anything wrong, I was still a bit embarrassed. 

I said “Man, I hope you don’t drive like this is real life.”

After the commotion was over and people asking if I was okay and such, The guy walked back over to me and apologized.

I apologized as well!

I know he didn’t do it on purpose!

I said “I hope I didn’t say anything derogatory to you, I was just upset.”  I also said, “If this is the worst thing we ever have, we will be okay.” He laughed.

He made a mistake and was embarrassed as well. I could have blown him off or yelled at him some more, but what would that have accomplished? It would have made the issue way worse!

I wanted to use this situation as a quick lesson on how I want to conduct myself and stay calm. If I lost my cool, maybe I would have been viewed as an idiot.

How can we make our mess, our message?  Mental Toughness is doing the next right thing and apologizing is a big part.


 

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   

A participation trophy does not build mental toughness 

FOX 59 interviewed me… click on the image above to watch the story…

Kids are not to blame. We are. We’ve become obsessed not with their own medals, but our own. We run a 5k and expect a medal. A coach even told me a runner who didn’t even run, wanted their finisher medal for a 5k!

Trophies don’t mean anything.  Many Olympians have their Gold medals in a sock drawer. We are the one’s who give meaning to the trophy and what it represents.

Olympians didn’t participate for a medal, it was not the driver. They wanted to test themselves against the best. Their own mental toughness and talent are the reasons for their success.

When we give kids a participation trophy, it is more about the adults than it is the kids. 

I doubt if even one kid ever began to play sports because they thought, “Hey, I get a trophy at the end.” They play for the fun, and the capri sun.

 

Awarding a participation trophy actually can do more harm than good. 

 

We think that providing an external reward for hard work will build motivation, but the opposite may be the case. It may diminish their motivation. Is it a reason why 80% of kids stop playing by age 14? Not sure.

Yale researcher, Amy Wrzesniewski examined the motives of over 11,000 West Point cadets across the span of 14 years. They wanted to assess the impact of cadets “why” for entering the academy. Cadets that had internal motivators were more likely to graduate, receive promotions, commissions, and stay in the military. Cadets that entered with BOTH strong  internal and external motivators (such as get a good job later in life) revealed drastically less success.

The external factors such as get a better job and make more money had a negative impact on overall success.

Think about it, we all have different internal motivators and are more likely to accomplish a task when we tap into our own “why” rather than a carrot or stick approach.  (i.e., I find a wallet- I’ll return the wallet because it’s the right thing to do, rather than the possible reward I could get.) 

Adults don’t need to give a participation trophy to kids, they just need praise their effort and allow them to have fun and also fail. We don’t make everyone a winner by making everyone not a loser. It may even create more losers.


 

 

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   

Herschel Walker Mental Toughness

Herschel Walker was made fun at school and never went out to recess because he was afraid of getting beat up. His teacher used to put him in the corner of the room because he had a speech impediment, and called him “special.” His father used to give him a quarter to buy a snack at school. Herschel would give it to another kid, so they could buy a snack as long as they would talk to him. After the kid had finished his snack, he would go back to making fun of him.

The last day of school in 8th grade, he went out to recess and got beat up, bad. He said to himself “never again….When your name is called, you have to stand up.”

Mental Toughness is often caught rather than taught. From that Hinge moment in school, he didn’t train to become a great athlete, he trained to become a super hero. How did he do it?

He did 5,000 sit-ups & 5,000 push-ups every day! Herschel also ran on a dirt track every day, with a rope tied to his waist dragging a tire.

He transformed himself from one of the slowest guys in the school, to one of the fastest in the state of Georgia by the 9th grade.

During an interview with Jim Rome, Herschel was asked when was the last day he missed a workout? He replied “NEVER.”

Sometimes, our mess becomes our message. Mental Toughness means doing what others aren’t willing to do.
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 .

dadson

www.etsy.com

When it comes to parenting, your example isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing. As a professional speaker and author who studies and writes about what the best do better than the rest, I was blown away by what was possibly the most amazing audience I’ve ever spoken to.

I recently spoke at the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association annual convention. Those folks are leadership personified. The biggest, fastest, strongest, healthiest group of people you’ll ever meet.

What they do in their daily work with the people they lead (college athletes) applies to each and every one of us in the work we do leading our children at home and our employees in the workplace. As I thought about the phenomenal impression they all made on me it got me thinking about precisely what leadership is at its core. Even more so, it made me take a long hard look in the mirror.

You’ve probably hear the expression he or she “just gets it”. Well, when it comes to leadership these coaches ALL “get it”. I didn’t see any negative, lazy, disengaged, unhappy, overweight or unhealthy looking people sitting in that audience anywhere. ZERO… not a single one. I also didn’t see them drinking at the bar late into the night which is a common occurrence at most conventions. These folks were the epitome of high performance. They didn’t live vicariously through the success of their athletes either. They were too busy creating their own success. They were the epitome of mental toughness and simply walked their talk.

The entire experience was a great reminder that when it comes to parenting, your example isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing. Think about it… How do these coaches convince world-class athletes they are capable of being bigger, faster and stronger? Quite simply they do it by being bigger, faster and stronger themselves.

“Our lives are a mirror, what we give out gets reflected back to us by others.”

Whatever you’re doing is contagious. We are all living proof of that statement. I know from experience:

  • Balance is contagious. I found that when I wasn’t modeling balance for my team, they weren’t balanced.
  • Conversely, when they were nervous during a big game or a key timeout, if I was calm their nerves would settle and they’d become calm. Calm is contagious.

Think again before criticizing your child, their coach, or the officials. Bite your tongue instead of yelling at your child to run faster or work harder. Besides, yelling is a poor excuse for coaching and for parenting.

I recently had an executive coaching client complain to me that most of his employees were “negative and low effort” (his words not mine). I encouraged him to stop keeping “banker’s hours” and be more positive and kind to them. Which, to his credit he did, it’s no small surprise that they just posted their best quarter since 2006.

We need to be the change we wish to see in others. Kids need a model to see not just a motto to say. They crave authenticity and can sniff out B.S. a mile away.  Their B.S. meter is calibrated with even more sensitivity and is more accurate than the adults you lead.

I share this with you because being at the CSCCa convention was an important reminder that I need to heed this advice as much as anyone. I have a 9 year old who is ADHD. If I want her to be less impulsive and more mindful, I need to practice mindfulness and emulate it better for her. I also have an 11 year old child who is entering a very emotional stage and prone to drama and outbursts. If I want her to be calm and patient, guess what I have to get better at.

About John Brubaker | Performance Consultant
John is the author of two award-winning books:


John_Brubaker_high_resJohn Brubaker is a nationally renowned performance consultant, speaker and award-winning author. More importantly he’s a husband and a father. John teaches audiences how to obtain better results in business with straightforward tools that turbo charge performance. Using a multidisciplinary approach, “Coach Bru” helps organizations and individuals develop their competitive edge.

Dr. Rob Bell true success

Duke basketball fans have one of the most indelible student sections in all of sports: The Cameron Crazies. They epitomize passion, organization, and wittiness. They camp out in Krzyzewskiville for three months prior to games, they hand out cheat sheets for the student cheers, and were the one’s that coined the now famous “air-ball” chant.

Can you imagine that the Cameron crazies once actually cheered for an opposing player?

During one game in 1995, Joe Smith of the Maryland Terrapins was unstoppable. He scored 40 points, had 18 rebounds, and had a tip-in basket as time expired to beat Duke, 94-92.

At the end of the game, after they lost, they truly applauded Joe Smith!

True success is being able to root for everyone.

However, we often feel threatened by others having success, because somehow it means that we can’t be successful too. Inter-team conflicts are based on the belief that success is limited. Therefore, we operate on the actions that not only do I need to be the best that I can be, but remove any obstacle in that path, including anyone vying for my position or record.

We perpetuate this notion and create a culture of it. Whenever we call out someone, put down a coach, or another company, we are doing so based out of fear. I hate it when I notice that I’m rooting against someone or envious of other’s success. It’s just based out of a fear that I won’t reach my own goals.

When we root for others, it means that we are confident. It shows that we are secure enough to actually wish the best for others. That is true success!

When I post this philosophy online, I’ll get questions like ‘even the Yankees?” It doesn’t mean that we have to cheer or root for our direct competition. It just means that we should look for opportunities to cooperate, cross-promote, and learn from them.

Rooting for everyone also means wanting to beat people at their best. I hate it when people make excuses for losing, because it tries to take away the winners success. We should want them to play well, but just for us to perform a little bit better. It doesn’t take away from our own drive or hating to lose.

We actually need others to succeed so we know what we have to do in order to improve. A funny thing happens when others around us have success. It cements the belief in ourselves that it is possible to reach the next level. If everyone around us was mediocre, what models do we have to get better?


Dr. 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 . 

 

AP Photo/Gareth Fuller,

AP Photo/Gareth Fuller,

Check out the INFOGRAPHIC- 5 ways to help your kid Build Mental Toughness

“Perfect little Rachel ” That’s how her parents described and introduced their child, a high-school 2nd baseman. That’s pretty high expectations, and I was curious how long they had been calling her that. She was not mentally tough and it had little to do with her.

1. Call them a competitor:

How do you introduce and describe your kids? “There goes our little winner” or “Here comes Johnny, our star goalie.” Be careful about using descriptors that emphasize only part of our identity. We are not always winners, and we certainly don’t always lose. We are also only an athlete at certain times as well. BUT, we can compete in everything we do. We can compete in grades, paying attention, and playing sports. Emphasize that competing means against yourself, not anyone else.

2. Love your partner:

It’s easier for me to be a good father than a good husband. I don’t like that part of me, but I can just love on my kids as much as I want. With my wife, I have listen, reflect, emphasize, budget, discipline, strategize, and co-parent. It’s part of being in a relationship, it takes more work. However, the most important relationships take place within the four walls of our home. How we interact, show affection, and disagree with our partner, models how our kids will see the outside world. Remember, whatever they see as a child is “normal,”  you get to define it.

3. Allow them to take ownership:

There is a big difference between ownership and buy-in. Buy-in means its someone else’s idea. Ownership is more powerful. If competitiors take ownership of their game, they will then assume ownership within the team.  Before each season, define your role and ask them what feedback they want from you…Allow them to pack their own bags, schedule their additional practice and free-time. Basically after the initial conversation, don’t intervene unless their safety or health is concerned.

4. Don’t call, email, or text:

I had an awful bachelor party. I even told my wife how disappointing it was, (it was even in Vegas). She actually emailed the guys in my party after the fact. Ouch, I was embarrassed. She fought my own battle…Kids develop mental toughness by overcoming the adversity they face. They need to be able to communicate with coach and other players, but if we don’t allow them to use their own voice, then they won’t face their fear and fear wins. Most coach-athlete problems are a result of a lack of communication anyway.

5. Don’t talk about other players, coach, or refs:  

Sports is about winning, but it is also about losing and getting better. Losing sucks, but it isn’t fatal. We help build mental toughness by allowing them to experience the setbacks and the adversity. If we try to remove their ownership by blaming anything else other than their play, then we have actually given them an out, an excuse. If there’s an out, they will use it and learn to use it. Bad calls, bad plays, and poor execution happen, but what’s the lesson when we blame, it wasn’t you, it was something else? Well, when they win, it has to be something else as well, can’t have it both ways.

My great uncle plays cards all the time, he says it in jest, “when I win, it’s a game of skill, if I lose, it’s a game of luck.”

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   

everyone gets a mental toughness trophyAs a parent of an athlete, there is really only one responsibility, support your son or daughter. Problem is many parents get the tonic of support mixed up with liquor of critiquing the game or practice. Tonic is fine, Liquor, never sicker…I wonder do kids lose the passion for sports or do their parents kill that passion with all the expectations, criticisms, and post-game rants?

I watch it after every game. Parents come over and immediately start talking about how they could have done this better, should have made this play, or performed a certain skill. I have made a conscious effort after each performance to do two things with my own kids.

1. Compliment their effort and tell them I love watching them play.

Believe me it is not always easy, but after having a conversation with my daughter, I will continue to stick to two things post-game. After listening and I watched a couple families do their thing after the game was over and tell their kid about not fouling, how to pass, when to dribble, proper shooting technique, moving their feet faster on defense, etc. I thought, holy crap, this is their first real game of basketball EVER! One parent went so far as to take his daughter out on the court and give her a lesson in boxing out the opponent to get the rebound.

2. ASK your child on how they want to be coached: 

I asked my daughter if she liked it when I have critiqued her play in the past. Again, she said, “No.” It felt like a fist to my face!

So, I changed… I merely referred to a couple of loose balls she dove for on the ground and how she hustled up and down the court each time on defense.  I never once talked about something she could have done better. I will leave that up to the coaches. I did tell her if she ever wants my opinion about anything I will give it to her, but she has to ask. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

dr rob bell mental toughness article. Coach Justin Dehmer holds Back-to-Back-to-Back State Championships and 3x Coach of the Year 2010, 2011, 2012. National Record 87 Game Winning Streak in 2011 ended in 2012 at 88. Contact www.1PitchWarrior.com   Twitter @1PitchWarrior  coachd@1pitchwarrior.com

dominate that fear

5 Ways to Dominate that FEAR


Fear takes us further than we want to go and keeps us longer than we want to stay.

Fear underlies almost all emotions, disappointment, sadness, motivation, anger, even fear of getting angry. Because fear dominates our lives, this list is 5 ways to dominate that FEAR.

It was the impetus to produce my latest film & eBook NO FEAR: A Simple Guide to Mental Toughness.


1) KNOW THE SOURCE- 

If we can’t identify where the fear is coming from or what it is about, how can we possibly begin to challenge it? One way or another, fear stems from the belief that “it” won’t work out how I want it to.

Romans 8:1 states, there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. If you believe in that verse, then any thoughts of fear, self-ridicule, or not being good enough is certainly not from God, the source is coming from someplace else. Hint: it’s not ourselves

2) IT FOCUSES ON THE FUTURE OR THE PAST- 

Think of fear as a person, not an emotion. He will try to show us why we should be afraid! That individual will direct our attention to the outcome, the result, and something out of our control. Fear wants us to become obsessed with some event or person in the future, a year, a month, even a day. It also wants us to look backwards not at our successes, but our short-comings and our failures.  Fear losses it’s grip when we stay in the now. It’s one way that we dominate that fear!

3) THERE IS ALWAYS SOME TRUTH TO IT- 

Fear is not all or nothing. Yes, your son or daughter may get injured, not play DI in college, or get in an accident. Yes, we may fail. 

If we take a game winning shot and miss, it will hurt. If we attempt a change in our business, we may get stuck! All truths. But fear does not stop there. It keeps going and going; fear catastrophizes.

It takes us down a road of imagining the worst-case scenario. Imagining that if we try and fail, well not ONLY will it suck, but also my friends will think I am a failure and I will lose my job. We can dominate that fear by ranking it from 1-10, if it’s higher than a 6, go to the next step. 

4) SHARE THE FEAR- 

We keep our biggest fears to ourselves and when we do that, fear can grow legs.

Most people share with their friends, hairdressers, or bartenders so why not share fears with them? They aren’t experts and won’t be able to provide quality solutions, but a problem shared becomes half a problem. Once we verbalize aloud and can hear our own voice, the fear actually diminishes instantly. Try it!

5) PRAY, AND IF THAT DOESN’T WORK, PRAY AGAIN –

Mental toughness is not about doing it alone, it is about surrendering to the things out of our control. Having worked with many successful high achievers, I am convinced the biggest fear is simply not being good enough.

The expectations and pressure  to succeed often become overwhelming and even if it is good enough, it doesn’t last for very long. The fear returns, knocking on our door, saying, “remember me?” When we let go of the fear, it let’s go of us…

For more in-depth strategies on dominating that fear, check out my film & eBook. NO FEAR: A Simple Guide to Mental Toughness.