Brayson McMillian, a Pony Pro from the Performance Pony Company, has big goals and he knows that it takes hard work to achieve them. The quote, “When you’re not practicing, someone else is,” keeps him motivated to continue doing the work.
When you are putting in those long hours that can be stressful and difficult, remember to have fun. We, coaches, parents and competitors, tend to get caught up in the big goals so much that we take the fun out of the everyday little victories. We put so much pressure on ourselves, which in the long run, actually causes us to make more mistakes.
At RodeoKids.com, we love to incorporate the K.I.S.S. method.
To us, this means breaking things down to where they are so simple, even on your dullest, non-brain functioning days, you can still be successful. By doing this, the day you have an overload of homework, stress from big goals weighing you down, tired from last night’s football game or a weekend of rodeos, you can still practice with a purpose and get one step closer to your goals.
So how do you simplify things? We recommend sitting down outside of the arena with whoever helps you and piece of paper. Talk over the different elements of your competition run you need to work on then turn them into one word. (Our minds can only process so much when we get to competition, 2-3 words are the maximum you want to focus on each run).
Pre-run roping scenario:
- Roping: I need to feeling the weight of your rope, your elbow up, stay balanced in my stirrups in the saddle and not getting rocked back or lean, see shoulder on this calf, stay focused on the point of the shoulder so I can catch, stay relaxed in the box, keeping my hand in the center of my horse with my coils even, having steady pressure on your reins and a big nod.
Now, simplify that into 3 words and give those words a meaning.
Example: Breathe, square, shoulder. (any order)
- Shoulder: When it gets to the end of the gate I point my left hand to the calf and the tip of my rope is pointed at the shoulder, when I deliver I come all the way to the shoulder.
- Square: means my spine is in line with my horse’s and the calf’s body, when they move, I stay square and move my whole body together towards the calf so I can stay balanced and maintain control through the entire run.
- Breathe: I breath in positive, focused, grateful energy and breath out and doubt or fear that comes into my mind. I CAN DO IT!
Now that everyone is on the same page and knows what those three words mean, when you back in the box, all the coach, parents and/or competitor needs to remember is take a breath and stay square with the shoulder.
At different stages of competition, these words will change or adjust for different scenarios. Create your own competition dictionary that you can keep notes in that will help you simplify every run you make.
Keep it fun, keep it simple and keep putting in the work folks! At RodeoKids.com we are proud of you! Please let us know if we can help you in anyway. Contact us at email@example.com or (641) 799-5042.
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