Calf roping is my favorite event and my main focus for a majority of the year with team roping coming second most of the time, but lately I’ve seem to be spending more time team roping. Between the changing partners or the inconsistent jackpot cattle, the event has always challenged me as much as its frustrated me. My biggest hurdle lately has been finding the perfect corner while heeling on a less seasoned horse. The battle has been not being too early or late, riding to the correct shot, and staying disciplined with my delivery to not throw too fast or miss out on a competitive shot. As I left the last jackpot frustrated over another poor performance I started to wonder how I could connect solutions I’ve learned in life to my roping struggles. The past three months have been extremely busy. I completed my last year of college rodeo, had my best finish at the 2017 College National Finals Rodeo and graduated from California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly) with a degree in BioResource and Agricultural Engineering. It seemed like chaos at the time as I tried to balance school work, early final examinations, practice, travel plans, a social life and moving out of my college rental. During all of this I found myself easily overwhelmed with the stress and frustration of how to complete all of these tasks with maximum effort and success. From this I found four steps that helped me survive and I hope sharing these will help others.
Step 1: Set Goals for Yourself. More importantly write them down. No one has a perfect memory and it’s easy to forget things. I list out what I want to accomplish. By putting my goals on paper I am transforming my thoughts to something tangible. Seeing my goals on paper is a motivational reminder.
Step 2: Make a Plan. To accomplish my goals, I need a plan. I start by listing the things I am good at and more importantly the things that I need to improve. By being honest with myself, I critique the flaws that are holding me back from achieving my goals and create an organized solution. Lastly, I print out a monthly calendar and write out crucial deadlines such as project due dates and rodeo dates. At the end of each day I check my progress and if it’s on track I cross the day off the calendar.
Step 3: Ask for Help/Do Your Homework. In most cases it was literally doing all my homework and assignments that helped me get the desired grade or pass my classes. More specifically I mean really study and be dedicated to your plan and goals. Take in all related information, watch videos, read books, use Google and be self-dependent. Along with that, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The only dumb question is the one that isn’t asked. I rely heavily on the mentorship of my coach and my parents. They often have the best (and most realistic) advice and easiest solution.
Step 4: START. Like most college students, I suffer from procrastination. It’s easy to put things off until tomorrow but eventually I run out of tomorrows and am left underprepared. Mistakes are okay and the only way to learn is through practice. Commitment and action is the only way to find progress.
Now that I graduated and I’m in the “real world” I find myself stuck on what to do next and how to do it, much like my current struggle with heeling. For both problems, I realize that the answer is simpler than I think. I need to take a step back, remember my fundamentals, and simply follow my four steps exactly as I stated them above.
July 15, 2017