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life lessons from sports movie


Indiana has two seasons, basketball season and waiting for basketball season. Although, This newsletter won’t make much sense if you haven’t seen the classic 1986 life lessons from sports movie, HOOSIERS.

Hoosiers is based on a true story, 1954 Milan High School with a tiny enrollment of only 161 students.  It was a true David vs. Goliath story that ended with them winning the state tournament beating much larger schools in a single class system.  If you want an entire database of leadership lessons from movies, then check out this site-movieleadership.com 

Here are 7 Life Lessons From Sports Movie Hoosiers

1) Be true to your convictions…

Norman Dale had a rule for playing team basketball that Hickory needed four passes before they shot. When Rade broke this rule by shooting, Coach Dale sat him, playing only four (4) players the rest of the game. The coach was booed out of the gym.

It is tough to stay with our principles when they are contrary to the norm. However, we better have a plan in place and be true to our beliefs and mission, ready to sacrifice small wins for the larger purpose.

2) People will hate…

Coach Dale was an outsider, which people didn’t like. He even closed off practices, which was a no-no for that town. They even had a vote to try and remove him as coach. 

-If your job is to please everyone, then you’ll fail. Focus on your role and accomplishing your goals. It doesn’t mean to ignore the naysayers, but just stay focused on the real goal and not trying to make sure everyone agrees with you.

3) We must have those crucial conversations…

Hickory was missing their star player “Jimmy Chitwood.” Coach approached him while he was shooting one day and told him the truth, “I don’t care if you play or not.”

-It is a risk to speak the truth to those close to us because they can reject the message or even us. However, if we don’t learn to have these conversations, we will never know the impact and more than likely regret never discussing the topic. In the movie, if the coach hadn’t had the crucial conversation, Jimmy wouldn’t have gone to his defense.

4) We should have at least one gimmick…

When the assistant coach Shooter takes over late in the game, he runs the picket fence on them. His last message is epic, picket fence“just don’t get caught watching the paint dry. “

 I think all of us need to have something unique to ourselves or business that we keep, a trick up our sleeve. We can’t use this tactic often, because the Picket Fence was only used once. We need to save our gimmick, for when we will need it the most.

5) Don’t show up drunk…

Shooter shows up to a game drunk, gets ejected, and simply loses it after that. Some of these life lessons from sports movie are simple. Here’s my blog post on why I quit drinking…

-Um, case in point, don’t show up drunk.

6) Focus on the process…

The big speech in the movie is saved for the semi-final game. To summarize, coach says, “focus on your fundaments, if you play to the best of your ability, I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book, we are going to be winners.”

-Too often, we focus on results and how the outcome will turn out, “will we win or lose?” There is fear in the outcome and it causes an ineffective type of focus. Coach reminds us to focus on the process of how we are going to perform and the steps that we need to do. This is one of the biggest life lessons from sports movie. 

7) Be confident…

The best scene of the movie, and with time for one more play, the coach calls a decoy play. Instead, Jimmy Chitwood tells him in the huddle, “I’ll make it.”

-We HAVE to be confident! It is the most important mental skill and it is also the most difficult. If we doubt our ability to recover from mistakes or to take risks, we will never be successful, period. We must believe in ourselves!!

It only takes one. The real Jimmy Chitwood, Bobby Plump, was asked during a CBS Final Four interview in 2010 in Indianapolis, “How important was that shot?” He replied, “I’m speaking to you right?”


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 books on Mental Toughness- 

On October 25, 1986, The Boston Red Sox were up 5-3 in the 10th inning. They were 3 outs away from their first World Series since 1918. The Mets, however, rallied for 3 straight singles. The next play was a slow roller by Mookie Wilson up the first base line. It went through Bill Buckner’s legs and became known as the most costly error in all of sports.

The Hinge…

On October 9, three weeks before the costly error, Bill Buckner was giving an interview, wherein he said, “The dreams are that you’re gonna have a great series and win. The nightmares are that you’re gonna let the winning run score on a ground ball through your legs. Those things happen, you know. I think a lot of it is just fate.100

American social psychologist Daniel Wegner conducted an important research study in 1987.

The researchers wanted to see how people suppressed their own thoughts. Study participants were asked to verbalize their thoughts continually for five straight minutes and to ring a bell if they thought or verbalized a “white bear.” The researcher, however, gave specific instructions before the five-minute session began: “ Try NOT to think of a white bear.”101

Wegner’s research showed that most individuals became preoccupied with trying not to think about a certain object. A meaningless object, such as a white bear, became lodged in the mind, and it would surface during moments of weakness. The real world application from this experiment is more pronounced, because we, as individuals, can become preoccupied with more significant thoughts other than a white bear. Worse is that the more we try to suppress it, it can create a rebound effect of pre-occupation.

Our minds are just like our coach. We will only remember the very last thing said by the coach. So, if the coach mistakenly walks off saying, “Don’t double fault, don’t walk him, or don’t strike out.” it is stuck in the head. Unless we can replace that thought of “don’t,” we will play trying NOT to mess up.

Our mental toughness is directly connected with our thoughts. We say what we don’t want to happen, instead of telling ourselves what we do want. We notice the danger and the bad things that can happen and become pre-occupied.

The key is to be able to replace the negative thoughts with an instructional cue or a focus on what we want to do. That’s mental toughness.

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 .

 

 

Mental toughness  dr. rob bellI noticed this past winter that I had accumulated (hoarded) scores of magazines.  I mean I had hundreds of Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and Golf Magazines all stacked up in a corner. Perhaps, I had justified keeping these because “I may refer to an article,” but in reality, they were just taking up space.

Most of us keep things that we really don’t need, but we have yet to throw it away. Mentally, our minds work the same way; we hold onto baggage that serves no further purpose. This mental baggage is made up of poor decisions, bad play, resentments, self-pity, bad relationships, poor results, and hopelessness, etc. What really accompanies the mental baggage however is guilt and shame, which hinders any chance of being confident.

Mental baggage is any negative experience that we have not let go. However, instead of learning from the situation in which we were hurt or messed up, we hold on to it.

Even airlines charge bag fees, but we allow our own mental baggage to live rent free in our head.

On the other hand, successful experiences and accomplishments are thrown away. We discount our good performances because it met our expectations and we tell ourselves “that’s what we were supposed to do.” Yet, when difficult times return and we have feelings of doubt, we still have that mental baggage of negativity.

Get rid of your mental baggage. It is a difficult process to do because it means reflecting on painful experiences. Not an easy task! Who wants to remember how it felt when they we fired, missed a shot, or even lost a loved one? But, the importance of mental toughness is that it only takes one! Each one of us has a moment, person, or decision that is coming up and it will make all of the difference.  The Hinge can only connect when we can re-focus and completely “let it go.”

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 .

mental toughness Growing up, Mary Towe was the oldest of 8 children, and had to take care of her brother and sisters.  For instance, she couldn’t go on any dates as a 16 year old until her newborn brother was asleep. She had mental toughness.

The entire family delivered newspapers when they were old enough (10 & 11) and each child had to go door to door to collect the money!!! If a household didn’t pay, the money came out of their own check.

When Mary was 16, she wanted to a pair of contacts. In 1966, contact lenses were $150 for one pair.

To raise the money, she babysat three children after school for $14 a week for 6 months, which she had to take a bus back and forth. She then took a job at a bookstore working from 4-9, five days a week and all day on Saturdays.

It took her 2 years to raise the money because she also had to buy her own clothes, own food, and bus fare, while also saving for Washington School for Secretaries. There was no safety net if she fell.

That’s mental toughness!!!

When my mom and dad separated when I was 9, Mary proceeded to obtain her Associates, Nursing degree, Bachelor’s, followed by an MBA. (I know because I was a child sitting in some of those classes). She eventually became Vice-President of the hospital and was very successful.

She not only ran a 40-million dollar budget, but was an incredible baker, could train dogs, horseback ride, cross stitch, type 80 words a minute, and run half-marathons.

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Nowadays, the safety net is really close…

I often see parents waiting in their minivans with their children when it’s cold outside for the bus to arrive.

Currently, if a high school kid forgets his/her swimsuit, they call up mom or dad to bring it to them.

The present state of athletics is if a child is not getting enough playing time, parents just switch club teams or even high schools.

And we wonder why there is a sense of entitlement?

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 .

focus like pete samprasOn Januray, 24, 1995, during the Quarterfinals of the Australian Open, two heavyweights, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier faced off.

Courier won the first two sets and Pete battled back to win the next two sets. During the fifth set, Sampras became obviously emotional, crying during a serve. Later, we learned that Tim Gullikson, Pete Sampras’ coach and friend, had a brain tumor.

Jim Courier saw what was going on and offered an olive branch that turned into a weapon. He asked Pete during his serve, “You okay, Pete, we can do this tomorrow, you know?” 47

Pete Sampras took the remark as sarcasm by Courier and used it to his advantage. He said, “It kind of woke me up to be like, ‘OK, let’s focus’.”  Pete Sampras ended up winning the match.

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Mental toughness is a focus only on the task at hand. This shot, this point, this day…The more we can center only on one shot at a time, the better we will accomplish it. Can you achieve a relentless type of focus? Sometimes we will be called into this type of focus with a light switch moment, embrace it.    Excerpt from The Hinge: Audio-book is now available…

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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 .

Three ways professional athletes crush their goals

The majority of people fail. It’s so true that the people at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there. All you have to do is look at how professional athletes crush their goals.

1)    Just Do It:

professional athletes crush their goals

Cal Ripken Jr. played in 2632 straight MLB games without missing a single day. When Derek Jeter asked him the secret of playing every day, Cal replied, “ You know Derek, I just…I just play.” The record didn’t drive Cal Ripken, The Ironman of Baseball…He just showed up and got better.
Any goal is worth pursuing! Whatever your goal is, just do it! Go get it, period! Don’t let the fear of not reaching your goal get in your way. Just be prepared to show up every day and work hard for it.


 

2)    Never Give Up:

professional athletes crush their goals

twitter.com

Diana Nyad, 64, achieved one of the most amazing feats in 2013 and reached her lifelong goal of swimming from Cuba to Florida. Nyad, completed her goal of swimming the 110 mile arduous journey on her 5th attempt that spanned across several decades.  She told the crowd after she was finished, One is, we should never give up” and “two is, you’re never too old to chase your dreams.”

Is this familiar? We miss a workout or a goal and we get down on ourselves. We slowly slip into missing another one and before we know it, we have given up. Research has called this interesting phenomenon, Adherence Violation Effect, which means that one missed exercise session leads us to abandon future exercise habits.

Don’t get discouraged, just pick up where you were and keep going!


 3) It’s Not About You:

Draftdayprep.com

draftdayprep.com

Juilo Jones, NFL wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, doesn’t set personal goals. Instead, “It’s all about the team.”  He doesn’t set personal goals for the same reasons we don’t, “I don’t want to limit myself.”

Often, instead of setting goals, what we actually do is make deals with ourselves. We make deal statements such as  “If I, then I” or “If you, then I” and in the process, limit ourselves. For instance, “If I work out four days this week, then I can eat that entire cake” or “If you clean your room, then you can have the car.” These are deals, not goals, and they undermine our success. Professional athletes crush their goals by NOT making deals with themselves.

Instead, focus on a team or family goal. When we focus on others through our goals, we follow through more, because the goal isn’t about us. This is how professional athletes get it done. NO ONE gets there ALONE! 


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- 

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.

everyday mental toughness tests

10 Everyday Mental Toughness Tests

We may think of Mental Toughness as a huge culminating, you have it or you don’t event or thing.

However, these Mental Toughness tests are really about doing what others aren’t willing to do, pushing ourselves in all areas of our lives, and simply getting better.

Thus, since you’re reading this post, some of these tests will be easy, whereas others may be difficult. The key is to accomplish all ten in one day. Each of these tests challenges us to work on ourselves.

Want to check out the infographic of 10 ways to build mental toughness? 

1. Look everyone in the eye.

The eyes tell it all. Your eyes give you away!

The reason we won’t is that we aren’t confident in ourselves. Maybe it is because we are troubled or uninterested in the other person. Don’t just gaze and look away either but right up to the point of it being uncomfortable.

 2. Ask a question.

Ask for clarification or to elaborate in every conversation you’re in. Not only will it show your paying attention, but also you’ll learn more. Few people ask questions for fear of looking stupid, so it’s even better to ask a question in the presence of several people, such as a meeting.

3. Write out your goal for the day.

This is the easiest test, but don’t make it a to-do list.  Most of us just think about the goal instead of writing it down. If you write down what you want to accomplish, you’ll achieve it.

 4. Get your workout on.

Whether you’re a corporate athlete or someone on scholarship, everyone is an athlete. All athletes get physical. These everyday mental toughness tests must include physical activity. 

5. Wake up 30 minutes early.

This is a huge indicator of success and this everyday mental toughness test is a cornerstone for our 30-day challenge. The first hour of the day sets the rudder for the rest. Can you fight the innate urge to hit the snooze and just get up? What will you do with the extra 30 minutes?

6. Work through lunch.

In the movie, Wall Street, Gordon Gekko said it best “ Lunch is for wimps.” Pack your lunch; take a break and be present while you eat and recharge, then grind ahead. Everyday Mental Toughness tests take sacrifice and getting uncomfortable. 

7. Turn off your phone.

This is the tough one for everybody because how long do we go without our phone anyway, 5 minutes? Plan when you get home to shut your phone off during a certain amount of time. Be present!

 8. Take 30 seconds of a cold shower.

Pay attention to where your thoughts go. Its only 30 seconds, can you do it?

9. Listen to someone.

Too often, when someone speaks, we merely start talking about ourselves. Instead, just listen and put yourself in their situation. Ask a question and look them in the eye.

10. Forgive someone.

You can check this one off by forgiving someone who cut you off in traffic, or you can seriously work on this step and choose someone who really hurt you. These everyday mental toughness tests are simple, but NOT easy! Remember, resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Sometimes the most difficult person to forgive is ourselves.


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.

 

keys of confidence

Three Simple Keys of Confidence


Show me a successful athlete, or person and I’ll show you someone who is confident. It is without a doubt, the most important mental skill. You gotta believe in yourself! Here are three simple keys of confidence.

  • Confidence is a feeling:

When we are confident, we feel at ease, relaxed, and focused. It is something that we just know. However, confidence is NOT thoughts! We usually only recognize when we are not confident. When we are not confident, we just have more thoughts, doubt, and are not as comfortable. It does not mean the thoughts are even negative, it’s just that we are thinking more… We can act our way into right thinking easier than trying to think our way into right acting.

  • Confidence is knowing that you’re ready:

The keys of confidence is knowing, not hoping that you are ready.

A question to assess our own level of confidence is: how would you play if you couldn’t fail?

This mind-set is important, because I have yet to meet a successful athlete that plays awesome when they play timid or scared. Confidence = aggressive.

  • Confidence is patience:

Confident athletes never seem to panic or press when results aren’t going their way.

Look, we are ALL going to have bouts of struggle and adversity and we need to remain patient. We must trust our preparation, our coaches, our game plan, our emotional management, our routine, and process of execution. If we have confidence in the aspects we can control, then we will eventually have good outcomes. These are the keys of confidence!

 “They know, that I know, that they know that I know, I will win”


Watch this clip on Larry Bird & confidence!

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 

This is what (we) did at the Tom Petty show. There is a mental toughness component to it (of course). They don’t give front row seats away, you have to pay for them or win them.

How to get front row at ANY show


A colleague  of mine,  Tom, was part of the group at the show. Our group of 8 people were camped out in the lawn at this concert and near the end, Tom announced, “I’m going down to the front row.” Off he went… Just like that…

Now, before we go further, Tom is blind…. so, actually Tom and his guide dog left to get front row.

After about 10 seconds, I say to the others, “I’m going with him” and run to catch him twenty feet down the path toward front stage.

How to get front row, takes audacity, because there are people employed to keep people from getting down front… Here’s what to do…


Rule #1:  Don’t stop!

I have been front row at many places before, and honestly most places I have been, I probably shouldn’t have. It all stems from employing rule #1.

Here’s how it went:

Row 60-We walked right past the first two set of ticket checkers without any problem to get front row. Now, if it was just me, there may have been a problem, but they looked at Tom and his guide dog and we kept moving….

Row 40-The second set of ticket takers also saw us, asked for our tickets, and we employed rule #1. They also saw Tom and his guide dog and they let us pass. We kept moving…

Row 30- We hit the lower level of seats and now needed to find a new path, we shuffled left and found a row leading us down. The lady checking our tickets actually grabbed us and now I employed the verbal response of “we are okay.” She let go and we kept moving…

Row 20- We were now in Box Seats Land, meaning the guide dog had a better chance of getting us closer than I did, because I was in front of and in-between sets of people (these people don’t dance either, they just sit or stand). I had no place to go.

Row 18- We slipped in with a group of people who looked at us, but did not say anything. Now, the lady who had grabbed us had followed us and was now standing right behind us. I told her we were here for one song and that was it. “Was that okay?” She said “1 song!”

I looked around and during the daytime would have seen the only way to the front row was from the sides not the frontal assault we had chosen. We were stuck.

We stayed until the entire encore was over and left the concert with everyone else…. We were close, 18th row… Now, if I knew the path, we would have made it, or maybe if Tom was by himself, he would have made it. Either way, this is the strategy of how you make it.

In life, whatever you want to accomplish, you’ll have to be bold and just do it.  Don’t stop just because people will try to stop you, just keep moving!


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-