Confidence in Preparation
with Nick Sartain
I can be the most confident person in the world, or I can be not so confident. Preparation and practice, to me, makes me confident. I’ve roped with guys who don’t care if they practice and don’t have to ride. That works for some guys, but not this guy.
I find my confidence in the arena in how prepared I am to compete. If I feel like I put in my time in the practice pen, and I’ve worked my horse and I’m with him, that gives me confidence. If I’ve been rodeoing for a few weeks and I know my horse is going to want to be quick and he’s not going to score the sharpest and I haven’t gotten to practice—I don’t feel as prepared.
It can even be because my ropes don’t feel right—maybe I didn’t get enough ropes sent where I needed. When we’re out rodeoing all over in the summer, we’ve got to get boxes of ropes sent to friends’ houses where we know we’ll be ahead of time. Sometimes younger guys don’t have those connections on the road, so they end up having to buy ropes at feed and tack stores and make it work. Just planning all of that out, and being sure you’ve got good, fresh ropes, can really make or break a guy because we are dealing with tenths of a second.
Sometimes when you’re rodeoing hard, you aren’t able to ride your horse. I still rope the dummy, and I make sure somebody is riding or exercising my horse if he’s in another rig somewhere else in the country. If I rope the dummy for an hour and a half, I can fake myself into believing I’m prepared.
You have to realize every day is a new day. It’s about the preparation you put into it coming up to that event. What you’ve done in the past doesn’t do anything for you the next time you go to town. I had to learn that myself. Worrying about what other people think or trying to prove yourself won’t do you any good.