This week I wanted to bring someone in with expertise in the area of mental toughness to add a different perspective and a different voice. Dr. Rob Bell was kind enough to help out and lend his thoughts. Enjoy our discussion.
Coach Dehmer: Your background has focused primarily on golf. How are some of the aspects of mental toughness of a golfer related to a baseball softball player?
Dr. Rob Bell: The mental toughness across these sports are similar. It boils down to one common skill and that is confidence. Does the athlete believe and know that they will play well or just “hope” that it goes their way?
Golf and baseball/softball are so close from a mental game standpoint; focus, relaxation, etc, but the ONE difference is that there is no hustle in golf, which makes it even more difficult. One can’t sprint off and on the field to help release that nervous energy or bad AB. They have to ‘wear it” walking down the course. That and golfers home-run’s have to be hit to center field!
Dehmer: What do you feel are some of the most important things for an athlete to understand when it comes to playing their best when it means the most?
Dr. Bell: It only takes one. We are all going to be put in a situation that gives us the opportunity to succeed. We have to want to be in the situation!
I love the story you talk about in your new book about how one aircraft/decision changes the course of music history forever. For one band the turning point or hinge is tragic and for the other it turns their careers around.
Dehmer: Explain how you use imagery with your clients to produce better results. What would be some good ideas for baseball coaches/players to use in this underused area?
Dr. Bell: When athletes begin to use imagery, I think its best if they begin to focus on their past performance. Imagery has to be combined with an emotion; how they feel. They have already experienced it, so it is clearer and more emotion filled, than trying to use imagery for future play. When they begin to use imagery frequently, then they can start putting themselves in situations that they want to be in and how they see and feel themselves performing.
Dehmer: What do you know now that you wish you would have known then?
Dr. Bell: How to let go of mistakes. I was way to streaky and consistency only comes from one AB at a time.
Dehmer: Your new book “The Hinge” just came out. What is the message/premise that you are trying to convey?
Dr. Bell: In most every important game, there is that one play that makes all the difference in the outcome. The hinge is the one moment, event, or person that makes all the difference. We are all getting ready for that one play. The importance of mental toughness is that we just don’t know when that one moment will be, so be ready.
Dehmer: Who is the audience of “The Hinge”? And where can we pick up a copy?
Dr. Bell: Athletes, parents, and coaches. Amazon is best.
Dehmer: Dr. Bell thanks for your time and best of luck to you and the new book. I appreciate your time.
If you have any question for Dr. Rob Bell his email is: drrobbell
W1N YOUR DAY as a 1-Pitch Warrior!