The HINGE: The Importance of Mental Toughness by Dr. Rob Bell
What’s the difference between a wall and a door? The HINGE. The hinge connects and it changes everything. The hinge is the one moment, event, or person that makes all the difference. Nobody knows when the hinge moment will occur, but Dr. Rob Bell wants to make sure we are ready for it. In his new book “The Hinge” Dr. Rob Bell emphasizes the importance of mental toughness to connect with that one moment, event, or person. Without mental toughness we may miss it and forever regret it.
I have listed the 5 Maxims of the HINGE below, as they relate to one of my personal favorite HINGE moments. Dave Roberts 9th inning stolen base in the 2004 American League Championship Series that sparked the Boston Red Sox comeback against the New York Yankees.
1. It only takes one…
It only takes one moment, event, or person to change everything. In 1919 the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees and sparked the famous “Curse of the Bambino.” At the time the Boston Red Sox had a record 5-World Series titles, but the Ruth deal changed the landscape of baseball, as we know it. From 1920 through 2003, the Yankees won 26 World Series championships and 39 pennants, compared to the Red Sox’s 4 pennants and 0 World Series championships. During this 84-year period, the Yankees finished with a better regular-season record than the Red Sox 66 times. However, just like Babe Ruth, it only takes one moment, one event, or one person to change things forever. Another HINGE moment came in the 2004 ALCS.
2. Things happen for a reason…
The Detroit Tigers drafted Dave Roberts in the 28th round in 1994. He bounced around to the Cleveland Indians, the minor leagues, then to the Los Angeles Dodgers before finally arriving in Boston at the 2004 trade deadline, barely making him eligible for postseason play. Roberts was a role player that came off the bench when needed, and before ‘the steal’, he hadn’t played in the team’s previous 10 games. He was called on in the bottom of the 9th, Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, the Red Sox were facing elimination. After Kevin Millar drew a walk from Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, Dave Roberts was called on to pinch run. No team in the history of baseball had ever won a best-of-seven series after being down 3 games to 0.
3. Trust your gut…
Dr. Rob Bell emphasizes that we have a sense that we are supposed to act, the HINGE connects with action It may be that one decision to take a chance, to take a risk, to get out of our comfort zone. This decision will make all of the difference. Red Sox manager Terry Francona knew what he was going to do, this is why he has Dave Roberts on the team. “When he left the dugout steps, I just winked at him. And that was my way of saying ‘go get ‘em big boy.” Francona didn’t play it safe and hope something was going to happen, he trusted his gut and made it happen. In order for the HINGE to connect, we must be in the moment fully integrated with our intuition, taking action and following through. Dave Roberts later described the situation to ESPN: “When you’re in the moment, everything is just quiet. You see the people in the stands, there’s no sound. It’s just you, in that moment.
4. Tragedies are immediate…
Even though we don’t always welcome it, tragedies become the strongest type of HINGE. There is a difference between a tragedy and an inconvenience. An inconvenience is a case of not getting what we want at the moment we want it. The Red Sox have had their number of inconveniences throughout the history of their franchise. They went 86 years without a World Series Championship. Those years included some heartbreaking moments: Bill Buckner, Bucky F’ng Dent, & Aaron Boone to name a few, however all of these made their 2004 comeback even sweeter. Dave Roberts stole second base successfully. Bill Mueller followed with a single that drove Roberts in to tie the game. The Red Sox completed the improbably comeback and went on to with their first World Series Championship in 86 years. Since Dave Roberts’ HINGE moment, Boston has won 3 World Series Championships. The HINGE is real.
5. What-if never happened…
What if Dave Roberts got thrown out? What if Bill Mueller didn’t follow with a single to drive the tying run in? What if David Ortiz didn’t hit a walk-off homerun in the 12th inning? What if the Red Sox lost the next game? What if Babe Ruth never went to the Yankees? What if? The HINGE cannot explain what-if moments because they never happened. The Hinge is about real moments. Mental Toughness is essential, since we do not know when that one moment will happen. We must be ready; we must stay in the moment. Will you be ready for your HINGE moment?
Pick up a copy of The HINGE and learn the essentials to Mental Toughness!
Check out Dr. Rob Bell’s Website
Check out The HINGE: The Importance of Mental Toughness
Check out ESPN’s 30 for 30: Four Days in October-Dave Roberts stealing 2nd