IN­NER STRENGTH

Team roper’s men­tal game

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with Erich Rogers

Through­out

my ca­reer, I’ve learned that I have to have a short mem­ory. I’ve had to learn how to for­get my mis­takes and move on. I’ve learned not to dwell on neg­a­tive stuff and to al­ways be pos­i­tive. No matter how south it’s go­ing, I’ve got to go through one run and one step at a time. As soon as I get over with that one run or one step, I for­get about it and think about the next one. A lot of peo­ple hold onto it. They still talk about mis­takes they made or prob­lems they’ve had. Liv­ing that way didn’t help me.

I used to be ter­ri­ble about dwelling on mis­takes. I al­ways thought about all the bad stuff–the misses. I car­ried on like that, and I fi­nally re­al­ized I needed to change the ways of think­ing about the neg­a­tive stuff. When I was rop­ing with Kory Koontz my first year, we were out­stand­ing. The sec­ond year it was great, but then we hit a slump. We had bad blood there for a lit­tle bit, and then we snapped out of it. We made the Fi­nals and fin­ished strong. We both de­cided to go our sep­a­rate ways, and to this day, we’re good friends. But dur­ing that time, I had to learn right then and there to keep push­ing on and keep do­ing what I’m do­ing and re­mem­ber the good ones. I re­mem­ber the good runs and don’t talk about the bad runs.

I didn’t re­al­ize, re­ally, that I’d got­ten such a short mem­ory un­til one year at the NFR, when I missed to put Cory (Pet­ska) and I out of the av­er­age and out of con­tention for the cham­pi­onship. I was mad, but I rode off and watched the rest of the per­for­mance from the back al­ley and thought about what I’d done wrong. I didn’t re­ally speak to any­one or say any­thing about miss­ing. Maybe three or four months later, Chad Masters came up to me at a rodeo and told me he brought me up at one of his schools. He said he ex­plained to his stu­dents that I never did talk about it or com­plain about that miss at the NFR, and that I was the only guy who acts like that—who didn’t sit back there talk­ing about that miss.

Cory is like that, too. We both know what we do wrong. We know we can’t catch them all. If we can do it right in the prac­tice pen, we can do it right in the arena. We have 75 of these rodeos to go to, and we get to run a lot of steers, so it will come around. What we prac­tice for and what we do in the prac­tice pen makes it all re­ac­tion when it all comes down to it. It’s all mem­ory of what goes on. We prac­tice as hard as we do so that when it’s all on the line, we can let our re­ac­tions take over.

I used to be ter­ri­ble about dwelling on mis­takes. I al­ways thought about all the bad stuff–the misses. I car­ried on like WKDW DQG , ÀQDOO\ re­al­ized I needed to change the ways of think­ing about the neg­a­tive stuff.

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