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episode #256

Interview with Dr. Rob Bell: Mental Toughness, Power of Time and Importance of Patience!

May 30, 2023 in Podcast


This week I interviewed Dr. Rob Bell!

Dr. Rob was the mental coach for multiple winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, and University of Notre Dame. He has also written eight books on Mental Toughness and has an awesome sport psychology podcast called Mental Toughness Podcast. We discussed what he has learned from coaching mental toughness with high level athletes along with:

  • Hinge Moments in Life
  • Power of Time
  • Recovery of the Mind
  • Importance of Patience and
his one tip to get your body back to what it once was!

Brian (0s):

Coming up on the Get Lean e Klean podcast.

Rob (3s):

So when I look at patience, patience is recovery of the mind. We talk about how important recovery is today with sleep, nutrition, hydration, patience is the recovery of the mind. That's what we need to really work on, is being patient. And if you show me somebody that's gonna be patient, I'm gonna show you somebody that's confident. So the avenue to all these mental skills and mental toughness and mental health is through time. And it's, and it's through patience. You know, we have this action bias. We always think that doing something has to be better than doing nothing. And that is not the case. Sometimes we don't have to do nothing, you know, we always hear it, right?

Rob (44s):

Like, don't just sit there and do, do something. Well, sometimes it's don't just do something, sit there, right? Reflect, breathe, let you ever drink wine before it's ready, right? No one would do that stuff, man. You're not gonna waste a good bottle of wine on that, because it takes patience in order that to come to fruition. That's the same exact thing it is in life.

Brian (1m 5s):

Hello and welcome to the Get Lean ean podcast. I'm Brian Grn, and I'm here to give you actionable tips to get your body back to what it once was, five, 10, even 15 years ago. Each week, I'll give you an in-depth interview with a health expert from around the world to cut through the fluff and get you long-term sustainable results. This week I interviewed Dr. Rob Bell. He's the mental coach for multiple winners on the PGA Tour, India 11 and the University of Notre Dame. He's written eight books on mental toughness and has an awesome sports psychology podcast called Mental Toughness Podcast. We discussed what he's learned from coaching mental toughness with high level athletes, along with hinge moments in life, the power of time, recovery of the mind, importance of patience, and his one tip to get your body back to what it once was.

Brian (1m 56s):

This was a great interview with Dr. Rob Bell. I know you'll enjoy it as much as I did. Have a great week, and enjoy the interview. All right. Welcome to the Get Lean ean podcast. My name is Brian Grn and I have Dr. Rob Bell on the show. Welcome to the show.

Rob (2m 12s):

Thanks, Brian. Look forward to it.

Brian (2m 14s):

Thanks for coming on All the way from Indie. I was explaining, I went to Butler for a couple years, so we have that in common. Good school. Where'd you go to school?

Rob (2m 25s):

I went to three different schools. I went to Shepherd University, which is in West Virginia, and then Temple University in Philly, and then finished up my doctorate at University of Tennessee.

Brian (2m 36s):

Gotcha. Okay. Sports psychology coach, podcast host. You got the podcast, 15 minutes of mental toughness podcast. When did you start that?

Rob (2m 48s):

Geez, man, that was probab. I mean, we're in, I just had the hundred and 20th episode. Okay. And they come out biweekly, so I wanna say, I mean time now, right? It's, everything's pre covid, so I know it's pre covid. I knew that it's probably 2018. I even kind of rebranded it now. It's just mental tough in this podcast with Dr. Rob Bell, cuz I started it out as like, man, I wanted these 15 minute segments, but I couldn't get anywhere in 15 minutes, man. Yeah. You know what I mean? So I, I kind of said like, if anybody reads a book or you listen to a podcast, I think you're gonna get, like, if you read a book, you're gonna get a couple really good nuggets out of that book, but you don't remember everything that was in that book.

Rob (3m 30s):

Same thing with the podcast, you remember, Hey, that was a really good podcast and I remember this one item, so I tried to say, you'll get 15 minutes of really good content. But then I just kind of bagged it and said, look, mental toughest podcast Dr. Rob Bell. We'll just run with that. But I, I love doing it, man. I, I feel like I get so much out of interviewing people. I'm, I'm sure you can agree, man. It's just I love interviewing people.

Brian (3m 50s):

I do too. I mean, I've met so many great people. We were just talking, I've had Scott Stallings on, I know you're involved with the PJ tour a little bit and sports psychology and like building mental toughness. Like I love that topic. So I'm excited to have you honor and talk all about that. Perhaps maybe give the audience just a little bit background of, of, you know, you know, what you've been up to and, and sort of how you got into, you know, sports psychology.

Rob (4m 16s):

Yeah, man, that's, I mean, I don't know if we have, we have enough time for that one that's, well,

Brian (4m 19s):

You you'll do the, the, the short version.

Rob (4m 22s):

The short version is, yeah, work with professional athletes and and executives. My philosophy, man, is that everyone's an athlete or office is just different. So even working with corporate athletes, I mean, I, I still think everyone's an athlete, you know, because we compete against the most difficult opponent and that's our mind. Yeah. It would've been up to man just finishing. I can't Wait to Be patient has been released. So that was my eighth book on mental toughness and really excited about that one and that kind of movement and really focusing on time as the most important resource that we have and why don't we approach our mental game and our mental health through time before we were looking at any other type of, like, recovery.

Rob (5m 2s):

And, you know, I mean, I got into the field because I was an athlete that just thought too much. Man, I could, I was always thinking, always think I can never shut off the mind. And the thing was that Brian is, no one could ever help me. So I always wanted to be then that person that I needed back, like in the day. And that's essentially man, how I started and, and got into it. And then when I came across it and in college and I just knew it was tattooed on my heart. This is what I'm gonna do with my entire life. And that was help athletes, coaches and teams before they perform their best, when it matters the most.

Brian (5m 35s):

Yeah, I love that. I think as, as a golfer, it's something we're always, at least for, for me, I've always read a lot on the topic. I mean, Bob Ro Teller, Dr. Bob Rotella has obviously has come up with some great books. What have you, what have you learned through the years? I mean, you've done some caddying for some PJ tour players. Looks like you've helped different athletes from all different walks of life. One of the thi what, what are some of the, the big, the high level things that you've learned from that?

Rob (6m 5s):

I, I, I've learned that it only takes one. That's the main thing. No matter how bad things are in our life, no matter how downtrodden it is, how bleak and outcome looks. It only takes one, takes one shot, one tournament, one, one person that you meet, one podcast that you listen to, one book that you read to turn everything around. That's what we're getting ready for. The, the thing is, is we just don't know when that's coming. So what does it take? What takes being prepared? That's the real importance of mental toughness, is you have to be ready. Cuz when your moment hits, it's too late to prepare. You have to be ready. And the other part of that is just believing and knowing that you're gonna get an opportunity.

Rob (6m 46s):

And it's about maximizing that opportunity. That's probably the biggest thing that I've learned throughout my years. And that's, you know, I wrote the whole book on the hinge. And that's why I look at the, I mean, there are these hinge moments that happen. We don't know when they're gonna happen, but our job is to be ready and to be mentally ready. Especially when, when that, when that comes.

Brian (7m 6s):

Yeah. Talk, talk a little bit about the hinge moment. I know, is that something that happened in your life?

Rob (7m 12s):

Well, I think we have multiple hinge moments in our life. I think, you know, again, it can be any one moment. If you look at any important game, any important competition, it's gonna come back to one possession. Right. One catch of the ball. And coaches always say, look, one play doesn't make it. I agree. One play doesn't make it, but you don't know which play that's gonna be. So it's never one play, but it's always one play. Right. And so, you know, with that, I mean the, the part is like multiple hinge moments that happen in our life. I mean, tragedies that happen in our life, there are immediate hinge moments because from that moment on, everything's different. And when I talk about the hinge, I mean, every door in life has a hinge.

Rob (7m 53s):

So doors opening and closing in life, that's because of the hinge. Did you ever hear of a rusty door? It's not the door that gets rusty at all. It's the hinge gets rusty. And so what the hinge does is it really connects who we are with who we're gonna become now. Because we cannot connect the dots in life looking forward. We can only connect the dots in life looking backwards. We don't know what those moments are gonna be. Sometimes we don't know that the hinge connects sometimes to weeks, months, years later. Right. But that, that talk that we gave, that person that we met, connected us to somebody else. So we have no idea how these dots are gonna connect. But the, the, like I said, like these tragedies that happen, they're immediate because from that moment on, everything's different.

Rob (8m 36s):

You know, death of a loved one, significant injuries, you know, the, the depression, I mean the, you know, life that happens, cancer, from that moment on, everything's different. And what our job is and what our role is in that is to one, you know, be able to have acceptance around it. It, and then how do we use that obstacle in one way or another into an opportunity. And as trite as sometimes it sounds, in every bad situation, there's gonna be some good that comes out of it. Yeah. If we have the right mindset. And that's where it's always coming back to that mindset that we have. And, you know, I'm, I'm just, I see it all the time that it only takes one.

Rob (9m 20s):

Only takes one. That's what we're getting ready for. We just don't know when that one is gonna be.

Brian (9m 25s):

Let's talk a little bit about, you know, I just was listening to a podcast with Johnson Wagner and they asked him, Mike, what's that?

Rob (9m 35s):

Yeah, he's a good guy.

Brian (9m 36s):

Yeah. Yeah. Cuz I know you've worked with some PJ tour guys and he talked about self-talk and what made him a good putter. One of the things that, what made him a good putter was obviously working hard at it, but also having the right mental approach to each putt. And just believing how important is self-talk, not only in golf but in other walks of life. Cuz I, I actually coach high school golf, so I try to get these kids into the right mindset. I mean, I'm not gonna change their swings, right? Like, so I want to try to have them perform as, as to the best of their ability and what, you know, what they bring to the table. And so we always talk about self-talk.

Brian (10m 16s):

What are some things that individuals can do to help, whether it's in golf or in life with self-talk?

Rob (10m 23s):

Yeah, man, it's it the power of self-talk or the inner chatter. You have to be so careful about what you say to yourself because you're listening, you're listening to it and you, it's really tough to outperform your own self-worth. So whatever image that you have of yourself and you know, mine when it comes to self-talk, mine isn't always the best. It's really not. I really have to take those thoughts captive and, and then be able to speak truth. Sometimes it's like, you know, you don't suck. Maybe it's right now, right? You haven't really reached that goal yet, you know, so you have to be able to add these powerful words into it.

Rob (11m 6s):

I mean, I read the, one of my mates books is called the Spartan Mindset. I read malty and Coach Reid just really talks about like those power of words that we have. The interesting thing when it comes to the self-talk is we are hardest on ourselves and we are with anybody else. Like, I would never say what I say to my best friend, what I say to myself. So if that's the case, then when that negative talk really comes up, the strategy that we have to do is be able to take those thoughts captive and to be able to speak it out loud.

Rob (11m 47s):

Cuz I think when we speak it out loud, you know, that's when it makes sense in our mind. I don't know how it works, but even working with athletes, they have to be able to express it and be able to verbalize it. Doesn't that always have to make sense? But they make sense of it themselves. So if I'm saying, look, I suck, you have to be able to say that stuff out loud and then be able to capture and be like, no, no, no, no, I don't suck. That was a bad shot. You know, I mean, it was a bad round, but we can't perform our own self worth. If I keep saying it ourselves, that becomes really difficult. So then once we start speaking it out loud, we have to start talking to ourselves like it is our best friend. I'm like, how would I, how, what would I say to my, my best friend in this situation, my best friend in this situation.

Rob (12m 28s):

Yeah man, it was a bad shot. So what next shot You got another opportunity. Bad tournament. Okay, so what, you know, you're gonna get that back. You're still a great player. What, what did you learn from that situation? Like that sort of, that sort of talk instead of just throwing the stop sign out and just saying, I suck and then that's it. Boy, that leaves a lot of the mind then to, to make sense of it. And that's where I look at the power of, of that talk for sure.

Brian (12m 57s):

And which, which tour pros have you worked with? I'm just curious, you know, I mean you mentioned Scott Stallings, who else have you worked with?

Rob (13m 8s):

Oh, I mean, geez man. I mean, I'm trying to think on, I mean, unless people are like fall on the tour, I mean, you know, Austin Cook, Adam Shank, Tyler Duncan have been some players, Jimmy Canals, Josh Pral, you know, worked with Brandon Steele back in the day. So I mean, I've been fortunate enough to have, you know, three different winners on tour.

Brian (13m 36s):

What I had. What do you think at that level, do you think, I mean these guys are all have tons of skill, but do you think it, what do you, what sets the guys that are winning to the guys that just aren't winning? What's

Rob (13m 50s):

The power Belief? Power belief in themselves and what they're trying to do. They have absolute 100% belief and trust and confidence in what they're trying to do. And that's, that's the major separator. Yeah.

Brian (14m 3s):

And you see that like obviously John Rom number one player in the world and the belief he has, but then you see guys like Max Homa who, you know, for a lot of his career, I mean, he was sort of on, on the up, but like once he got over that h that sort of hurdle of belief probably and saying, you know, thinking that he's, you know, one of the best, now he's obviously there and he, he believes in himself. Same thing with like pheno, I feel like Tony pheno talented it ever, but you know, now he, he opened the floodgates. He started winning I think last year. He won three times and he, he's, he just won recently. So you sort of see how, just like you said, it could take one event, it could take one round where just like the, the switch gets flipped and they just, their belief is there and they just start winning.

Rob (14m 54s):

You know, confidence builds confidence, you know, and success builds confidence. No, no question about it. What, what these guys, what they all have is they have that belief that's not always gonna be broadcasted, it's gonna be on the back end. So after they have success then they're talking about it. But you don't get to be at that level without having that, that just sheer belief in what you're doing in your process.

Brian (15m 18s):

Yeah, I mean, Scotty Scheffler won like over 90 events as an amateur, you know, just winning at any level, right? He's got that much confidence and knows how to close it out. And you see that now as a professional, how he just gets to the lead and most, you know, most of the time closes it out.

Rob (15m 35s):

Yeah, yeah. Good example, man. Also good guy.

Brian (15m 39s):

Let, let's talk a little bit about, I'm curious, your book, I can't wait to be patient. What's the premise behind the book?

Rob (15m 48s):

Yeah, I mean it's the power of time. I mean, it's our most precious resource. It's the most common resource that every single one of us have together. I mean, you know, money, connections, all that, that, that varies. The playing field time always levels the playing field. And what we have failed to do, what I think is that we've failed to look at time as the path towards improvement. Now we look at time management, we look at energy management. We, we look at all that stuff, but have we really improved our relationship with time? And that is the basis of the book. And the reason why that one got written was, was simply because we try to speed up time when things aren't going well.

Rob (16m 33s):

And we try to slow down time when things are going great. Well, the reality is, is that this too shall pass good and bad. Meaning we always look at like, oh man, don't worry, this too shall pass. We look at it as like, like that's, that's should give us hope. And, and it's true. But the real proof of that is be the good times do not last. So no matter how things are going great right now we're on top of the mountaintop that this too shall pass, that will pass, that is not going to last. So that alone gives us proof that the bad times will not last as well. And what happens in life and what I've seen is that we have to attack life.

Rob (17m 15s):

You have to attack and approach your practice, approach your profession with a sense of urgency. If you ease into it, you're gonna get lapped, right? If you're gonna see how it goes and feel things out and maybe have a plan B to it, then you're gonna, you're not, it's not gonna work. We know that. And we know how hard work is. We know action changes everything. And I'm not debating that at all. I'm 100% on board with that mentality attack at all times. However, what we do is, because we have a sense of urgency towards everything now everything is urgent. And once everything becomes urgent, it trumps what's important.

Rob (17m 56s):

And now we become urgent waiting in line. Now we become urgent when we're talking with somebody. Now we become urgent in these situations that are unimportant. And now there's not an off switch. So if we wanna talk about stress, we wanna talk about anxiety. It's getting back to that relationship with time that we haven't prioritized what's important. And we, and the urgency always trumps the importance. So when I look at patience, patience is recovery of the mind. We talk about how important recovery is today with sleep, nutrition, hydration, patience is the recovery of the mind. That's what we need to really work on, is being patient.

Rob (18m 37s):

And if you show me somebody that's gonna be patient, I'm gonna show you somebody that's confident. So the avenue to all these mental skills and mental toughness and mental health is through time. And it's, and it's through patience. You know, we have this action bias. We always think that doing something has to be better than doing nothing. And that is not the case. Sometimes we don't have to do nothing, you know, we always hear it, right? Like, don't just sit there, do do something. Well sometimes it's don't just do something, sit there, right? Reflect, breathe, let you ever drink wine before it's ready, right? No one would do that stuff, man. You're not gonna waste a good bottle of wine on that because it takes patience in order that to come to fruition. That's the same exact thing it is in life.

Rob (19m 18s):

And what I've seen today is we bail before we're able to see it through, we change, we switch, we try out things when what we need to do is we need to stay committed to that past, stay committed to that process and really just have patience. The process takes perspective, but the product always requires patience. And that's why that book was written, man. And you know, I'm really happy about it and I love really just approaching everything now in terms of mental toughness through patience.

Brian (19m 48s):

Hmm. Yeah, patience is huge. I mean I think, you know, we talk a lot about health and wellness on this podcast and whether it comes to changing, making lifestyle changes or getting into working out, a lot of times people don't like wait it out till the results can come, right? Like they wanna have results so quickly that whether, whether they're changing their diet or making lifestyle changes with, you know, working out or whatever. I think the biggest thing is just staying consistent over a long period of time. And that's the most important thing. You see people, you know, get into workouts, they start, they go gung ho for a week or two or three and then expecting results.

Brian (20m 29s):

It might not happen right away and then they bail. And I is is that sort of what you're sort of, it's exactly,

Rob (20m 35s):

Exactly it, man. And that's sort of like the macro level of patience. I mean, anything worth doing is going to take time in order to see results, right? Well why is that an issue now even though we've known that ever since the beginning of time? Well, because the cadence just look at technology, the cadence of life has sped up exponentially that we don't have to wait for anything really anymore.

Brian (20m 59s):

No. Right.

Rob (21m 0s):

And so since we don't have to wait for anything, well the tolerance then of waiting has dropped to the level of I don't need to wait. Well, no matter what, you're still gonna be waiting, right? We're gonna be waiting in traffic, gonna be waiting in line, but because we're still waiting but we're done, the illusion that we don't have to wait, we're not good at it. And it, it, you know, when the emotions then come into play, man, it's like, look, wisdom says wait, emotions say hurry when the emotions are gonna kick in. You know, all it's getting back to is, are we able to take a breath, reflect here, like in this moment big picture stuff, are we able to just stay committed? And I mean, you, you know it better than I do, man, but I just think crazy. I mean, consistency beats crazy all the time.

Brian (21m 44s):

Yeah. And it's just like you said, this is the environment that we're in now. Right? You can get everything like in, in the matter of seconds. Like, you know, if your internet, like, it's like a test is like if your internet's not working exactly right. Like, and you're waiting a little bit for a page to load, like that's it. Like I'm freaking out man.

Rob (22m 4s):

Yeah. And that's, I put that in the book man. There was an average of two seconds before people bailed on, on sales page and that was two seconds, 50% bailed

Brian (22m 14s):

On, on a, on a sales page. Yeah, yeah.

Rob (22m 16s):

Like was that was a study.

Brian (22m 18s):

It's like with social media now and if, if you don't catch someone's attention within, you know, the first few seconds they're just gonna move on and, and scroll through and yeah, that's just the time we live in. And you know, you look at like, like kids, I mean I know you have, what do you have two kids? Yeah, yeah. Like do you see that with kids nowadays? Like cuz they're not used to being bored and having nothing to do and you know, wanting everything within, like do you see this with kids growing up?

Rob (22m 49s):

Yeah, it's interesting because, you know, in the third grade, like any kid in the third grade, the reason why growing up the third grade always seemed so long was because of the frame of reference. So to a kid in third grade, their entire life is third grade. If, or right now, one year flies by why? Because literally one year in the percentage of life is not that much, you know? But for, for a third grader it's 90%. Well what do you see now, man? Is that Yeah, they, it flies by for them too because of the speed and the cadence and I mean, it really gets back to this man, it's like, look, we're designed to get from point A to point B as fast as possible.

Rob (23m 31s):

There's no question about that. Right? What are you gonna buy? Are you gonna buy something that tells you how to lose 10 pounds in six months? Are you gonna buy lose 10 pounds in two weeks? Speed, speed trumps it all right, right, right. I mean, even though it's not correct, and even though it's not gonna be sustainable, it's still gonna be the selling point. So because we're designed to get from point A to point B as fast as possible, everything then has this speed and this cadence to it. What I'm trying to say and, and what comes with that, right? What's the collateral damage is we're bombarded by the urgent man, we're, we're tugged and you know, by the, by the future. And we're distracted by that, which is really unimportant and we gotta get back to rhythm is more important than speed the rhythm about what we're doing is more important to speed creating those routines and, and having the recovery of the mind.

Brian (24m 25s):

What are some ways people can, I don't know, like implement this into their lives, you know, like become more patient. I mean it's something that I actually, I do, I don't know what your thoughts on like affirmations, but one of 'em is for me just becoming patient positive, present and per and productive the, the four Ps I came up with.

Rob (24m 50s):

Yeah, I love it.

Brian (24m 52s):

Yeah, I was, yeah, go ahead. I,

Rob (24m 54s):

I just think it starts with number one awareness of time. Okay. We, when you, we feel, we all feel the trigger of when we get rushed, what, what are we, what are we getting rushed for, right? Because five months from now, it's not gonna matter at all. Five years from now, we're not even gonna remember what that stressor was. But we remember when we make the mistake, when we react instead of respond to the situation, I'm always saying this man, instead of speed, we just gotta focus on rhythm. What's the rhythm that we're creating in our life? How are we showing up in the transition in life? These are the times that require us because from, from patients and from the recovery standpoint, if we go from meeting to meeting to meeting to meeting, there's no recovery to it.

Rob (25m 37s):

At some point we're not at our best, we're not performing our best. It's the same thing about growing the muscle, man. The muscle doesn't grow when, when we crush it in the actual workout, it grows in the recovery piece. We don't overtrain, I don't think we overtrain the very few people that overtrain we undercover. We don't put the time, we don't stretch enough, we don't have the hydration, we don't have the, you know, the supplements, all that stuff. That's the same way that the mind is coming into play. So focus on rhythm, focus on the transitions and just being really aware of the time and, and when the stress hits, getting back to the time situation.

Brian (26m 19s):

Yeah. And would, would one technique be like in something that I try to do almost every day is just, just sitting in silence. Like literally like I'll, I've worked on like just sitting in like even if it's 10 minutes of just like being present. Yeah. Something like that can really, I find can just, you talk about recovering the brain can sort of just Right. Put you in a different mindset. It's

Rob (26m 44s):

Fantastic man. No question. I am not that guy. I'm not the guy to sit and meditate. I've tried man, but I'm not, so what I do is I remove the distractions that are gonna be there when I'm running. I do not listen to music when I run. Never. And the reason why is because we're, we're trying to disconnect from that stuff, right? And then we're gonna add to, it doesn't make any sense, man. Now that's the flip side. I would never do a workout without having any music on the background. Cause then that's kind of weird. Well people look at, you know, so I'm still to a point, right? I like, I don't have the bombardment of exterior, you know, communication that's going on.

Rob (27m 31s):

I'm alone kind of with my thoughts, but then in that mode of running, focusing on my breathing and focus on gratitude and focus on perspective, you know, that's the prayer time man. That's the time that I try and be quiet and still to mine. So I do that. It's just over a span of, you know, a four hour run out there in nature in the hills and

Brian (27m 50s):

Four hours stuck

Rob (27m 52s):

In life. Well it depends man. I like, I like ultra runnings, man, so

Brian (27m 55s):

It's like, oh my god. Oh yeah, you is that, yeah, that's right. You've done some endurance events and things like that. Is that, do you still do that?

Rob (28m 1s):

Yeah, man, I still do. I don't have a hundred miler on the, on the list this year. Jesus. I've got a 50 K that's coming up. But yeah, I love doing that stuff because again man, I love pushing myself as well. But if you were to say, Rob, are you patient? The answer is no, I'm not patient. That's why I wrote the book, man. Cuz I'm totally admitting, no, I'm not patient. If you ask any dog though, hey, are you mentally tough? Yeah, everyone's gonna say, yeah, I'm mentally tough, but are you patient? No, not at all. That's why I wanted to approach it through, through this recovery piece, man.

Brian (28m 31s):

And you've done iron, you've done an, how many Ironman have you done?

Rob (28m 35s):

Man? I've done one Ironman. That's

Brian (28m 37s):

Great. I mean, I

Rob (28m 38s):

Mean I've done a few Hals, I'm not the best fan of the bike. I love the camaraderie of cyclists. I love being with the team while training, but I'm not the biggest cyclist man. I just don't get that much joy out of it. And I know those cyclists that listened to and are like, oh man, you know, I, I get it, but I, I like running and swimming more.

Brian (29m 1s):

Yeah, that's, that's quite an accomplishment. And yeah, so I, I know you talked about, so like, you know, I don't know if shutting off the mind is the right word because I think your mind, you'll all, you know, it's like when I meditate you'll have thoughts, right? But you just sort of let 'em come and go, right, right. And just sort of, I just try to focus on breath, but I do agree, like I take walks every day with my dogs. Like I'm not an endurance athlete or anything. I do more like just resistance training and you know, but on the walks I'll see people that are on their phones the whole time, like with their walking their dog, they don't even know where they're walking half the time.

Brian (29m 42s):

So like that's one thing that's a rule for me is I don't bring any, I don't bring my phone, I don't listen to music. It's just me walking my dogs and, and yeah, that, that in itself is, is a great way to just focus on staying present and, and good

Rob (29m 56s):

Question man. You know, and that's the disconnect. So on one hand it's been awesome that I can order something from online and have it there this afternoon if I want. Right. I mean that's tremendous. I mean incredible. Right? You know, the other hand is, well you have to be able to disconnect from it because if that's always that's there, then that's what we're always gonna be going to man scrolling, you know, ordering, you know, just because we don't like that stillness and being, you know, not connected at that time. We need it man. It's exponentially more so important. Like when raising our kids, we never had any technology out in public.

Rob (30m 38s):

So even like, yeah, I mean they would have in the car but they're not taking that stuff to dinner with them.

Brian (30m 43s):

That's nice. I like that role

Rob (30m 45s):

Because they gotta be able to self-regulate man. They gotta be able to self, you know, and when they get stressed and if we don't self-regulate, you know, what are we doing instead man? We just are freaking out.

Brian (30m 57s):

I actually wanted to touch on that a little bit. I saw one of your books don't should on your kids build toughness, maybe touch on that and, and and what are some of the high level points from that book?

Rob (31m 9s):

Yeah man, don't should on your kids don't, don't say it three times fast. The youth sports has just been professionalized, you know,

Brian (31m 19s):

Youth sports, you said

Rob (31m 20s):

Youth sports man, if you look at the, I mean, it, it is, I mean it's, it is big, big business now and what, there were so many different avenues I think to take from it. But it's like it really got back to, we try removing the obstacles for the kids and we try preparing the path for the kids when what we need to do is prepare them for the path. And that requires us, you know, being better communicators with their kids. It requires us to allow them to take ownership of it.

Rob (31m 60s):

It requires us to, you know, have better debriefs, you know, as parents when it's good or it's bad and these are not easy man. These are simple things but they are not easy. And then it's really, it's just being able to allow them to take ownership of it. Tons of things. I think when it comes to just sport teaches us whatever we wanted to teach. People say, well sport teaches life lessons. That's, that's not correct man. It doesn't, if you have a good coach that stresses ownership, then it can teach a life lesson of being able to ownership.

Rob (32m 40s):

If you have a coach or a debrief or a parent talking about the time and the importance of preparation, well then that is what that is gonna teach. But sport by itself will only teach whatever we want it to teach. And that's where I look at, look these lessons in sport are going to last way beyond when their sport is gonna be over. Are we really stressing those in those development years as well? Cuz if the only thing that we really stress is winning ranking and statistics, then that's what they're gonna own. And that's why that book was written ma'am.

Brian (33m 13s):

Yeah, I always get more, I

Rob (33m 15s):

Get more parents that reach out to me about that one that that one helped than, than any other.

Brian (33m 20s):

Yeah. When did you write that book?

Rob (33m 23s):

Jeez man. Pre covid. I know that. I know man. I think that one was 2017. Seems like a long time ago now.

Brian (33m 31s):


Rob (33m 33s):

Oh was that when it was okay,

Brian (33m 34s):

Just looking it up right now. Yeah, don't should on your kids build their mental toughness. Yeah. One of the things I've gotten in, you know, coaching you coach golf with, you know, your, with your clients or coach, mental toughness with your clients who are working on that. The psychology is golf. There's so many, there are so many life lessons that you can learn from from playing golf. I always encourage parents to get their kids involved with golf, even if it's not playing it in, in high school or in college or whatever. You just getting out there. Cuz for one, they're not in front of their devices, right? They're like a, they're in nature, they're outside, no distractions and just, you know, just integrity, you know, patience.

Brian (34m 19s):

You talk about having, having to be patient on the golf course and just being, you know, like talk about self-talk and there's so many things that you can apply that go so far beyond the sport of golf.

Rob (34m 34s):

You mic drop, man, you said it, bud Sport teaches whatever, you know, whatever we want to teach. And that's golf is, every sport is like life on one way or another, right? If you look at like swimming, so if you wanna be a swimmer, you know, or have that part of your identity, then that means early morning workouts. There's no way around it. That means twice a day workouts. So that one resembles life because that there's no harder worker in sport than it comes to like swimming, you know, when golf, the way that resembles life as well is because the harder you try, the worse you're gonna do. You can't muscle the sport of golf.

Rob (35m 15s):

It's a finesse sport. You know, the way you fight though in golf is to be patient. The way you fight in golf is to, you know, recover from this mistake to use time to your advantage. And it's such a social sport as well. That amount of connections you can have just through golf, man. It's, and it's the sport you're gonna play for your whole life too. You're not, yeah, I mean you might swim, you know, your entire life, that's great. You might run, you might do these activities, but when it comes to like an actual sport, right, and I'm not saying like swimming in the sport, like I still swim man, I'll do master's events and all that, but it's like the part that you would do longer than anything man is gonna be, it's gonna be golf.

Brian (35m 58s):

What would you say, I mean you've had your podcast and you've written a bunch of books. Like have you, has your stance on anything changed through the years as far as working with clients or even for yourself when it comes to just mental toughness?

Rob (36m 13s):

Man, that's a, that's a loaded question there, isn't it? Like,

Brian (36m 17s):

I know, I mean, you know, I look at myself just from like, like I've been in health and wellness for like 20 years now and your, I don't know, my per perspective and how I sort of think about things when it comes to health has changed. And I was just wondering from your standpoint, just being a professional in, in sort of the, the mental game, is there anything that has changed your viewpoint on things have changed?

Rob (36m 46s):

I mean the biggest, I mean that's that I'm not, I I get back to the book, I can't wait to be patient because that has been probably the biggest thing that's changed is we never looked at time. I was always the person that wanted the good times to last a little bit longer. I was always depressed after a season went in. I was always depressed after, you know, I'd have an athlete win because then it's on to the next. And I guess if there's one part that I think is so important is to have closure to whatever you're doing the end of the season. You gotta have a get together with the team, just the team. And there has to be a closure before being able to move on.

Rob (37m 28s):

Because if then, if it's moving on, we're always on to the next and it's on to the next and it's on to the next. When you gotta be able to enjoy these moments because they're so important. There's so few and it goes so fast. That's probably one stance that I find to be really important in, in sport. And every, anything that we're gonna be doing in general, good or bad, there's gotta be closure to it.

Brian (37m 51s):

Yeah, no, that's a great point. I mean you look at it just in sports, like guys win on tour and then, you know, you put on PJ tour.com and it's whatever the next event is, you know, like here are the power rankings, you know, and, and yeah. Winning at any level. Yeah, you gotta be able to sort of enjoy it and create some type of closure. Yeah,

Rob (38m 12s):

Brian, if you, if you look at any championship, whoever's gonna win the next championship, whatever the sport is, it's the out, it's out that night. Hey, can they repeat? Hey, hey, what are the rankings for next year? Hey, on to the next year. And they try to buffer it by saying, hey, way too early rankings, you know, but it's basically just saying, Hey look over here, you know, this doesn't really even matter anymore. Look, look over to this. I mean look at the past four N B A champions, different teams, three of 'em have already been fired, already Been already gone.

Brian (38m 46s):

Do the coaches.

Rob (38m 47s):

Yeah, to the coaches. Yeah. I mean, why? Well because, well that's, that's, it's always on, it's always on the next, right? It's not, it's not. There's no, and that's the part of like patience with that is, doesn't matter what, you know, that's what the media wants us to do. Is the focus always on the next, when I'm saying, look, if you wanna really enjoy these moments, then make sure you're enjoying these moments because it's gonna be gone before you know it.

Brian (39m 12s):

Yeah. It's like, you know, you have one kid, they're like, are you having another one? Well we just had one. Yeah, let's enjoy or let's, you know, let's enjoy that or you know, and before we get on to the next one, it's like, yeah. And it's like that in sports and in life. Well this was great. I I your book, I can't wait to be patient. We'll definitely put a link in the show notes for that.

Rob (39m 38s):

Yeah, it's can't wait book.com, man.

Brian (39m 40s):

Oh, nice. Got its own.

Rob (39m 41s):

People wanna go there and take like the patient's quiz if they have the patient personality and,

Brian (39m 45s):

And that's can't, can't wait.com,

Rob (39m 48s):

Can't wait. book.com.

Brian (39m 51s):

Okay. And one question I I like to ask guests, what, what one tip would you give an individual who's looking to get their body or even their mind since that's sort of your, your road back to maybe what it once was when they were younger? Because you know, especially mental, you'll see this even with golfers, right? Like they have so much scar tissue from things that have happened to them in the past. Like you look at like, I don't know Phil Nicholson, right? He's had so many close calls in the US Open or whatever and, and there's like so much scar tissue and I'm sure it's, I know it's something that I'm sure he's worked really hard on to try to sort of put that behind him. But like what tip would you give one individual who's looking to get their mo body or their mind back to what it once was?

Brian (40m 35s):

Let's say 10, 15 years ago,

Rob (40m 39s):

I would basically say this man is, is don't, you know, don't, don't try and get it back to what it was 10, 15 years ago. Cuz you're, you know, you, there's a saying that you never enter a river at the same spot twice because if you go to that same spot, the river's already moved on. And what that means is, is you, I want you to create instead of what the vision for you looks like now, cuz what, 15 years ago you didn't have two kids, man, you had more excess time. So why don't we look at, okay, what's the enjoyment that I want to have with this activity, with this movement? What's the discipline that I want to have around certain foods?

Rob (41m 19s):

What is, where do I go to when I'm gonna be stressed? How can I get better maybe at that part of my life? So picking like the different areas and getting real, I mean hammering home one of those areas and then the broad product becomes, hey, you know what you're gonna look and what you're gonna feel like, but just pick one area, start with that. Don't worry about trying to get back to where you were. Just develop a better you now and you're gonna be exponentially better than what you were when it comes to scar tissue and stuff like that. It's a, the reason why the scar tissue's there is cuz we haven't let go of that past. We keep bringing that stuff up. Well, you don't get to the level of a Phil Nicholson without having gone through, you know, that tragedy, setbacks, whatever it is.

Rob (42m 5s):

And then I just believe that it's not about the setback, it's always gonna be about the comeback.

Brian (42m 11s):

Love that. Great advice. Awesome. Well, you, your, your website's dr rob bell.com with all your books on there. Anything from golf to kids to Having No Fear. Yeah. So lot of different avenues here. Well, thanks for coming on. Awesome.

Rob (42m 28s):

Thank you Brian.

Brian (42m 29s):

Yeah, and appreciate all the, all, all the, the tips, definitely stuff that can be applicable right now. So have a great rest of the day and I appreciate you coming on the podcast. Thank

Rob (42m 39s):

You man.

Brian (42m 41s):

Thanks for listening to the Get Lean EAN podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

Dr. Rob Bell

Dr. Rob Bell is a noted sport psychology coach, author, and speaker. He has spoken to the NFL, PGA, Marriott, and Walgreens, and has written 8 books on Mental Toughness.

Rob has worked with 3 different winners on the PGA Tour and has served as the mental coach for University of Notre Dame, Indy Eleven, an Indy 500 champion, an Olympic Silver medalist, a grand slam tennis champion, and the USTA National Champion.

Dr. Bell has caddied over 20+ events on the PGA & LPGA Tours. He’s an ironman, completed several ultra marathons and a 100-mile trail run. He hosts the Mental Toughness Podcast With Dr. Rob Bell and interviews experts on mental heath, mental toughness, and their Hinge moments.

A fomer university professor Dr. Bell has published over a dozen journal articles and has been featured on ESPN, The Golf Channel, Runner’s World, NY Times and Stack Magazine. He is a graduate from of University of Tennessee, Temple University, & Shepherd University.


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