Dealing with not winning – USTRC Finals
We just got home from the USTRC Finals in Ft. Worth and I’m happy to say they had a huge turnout. There were 300 to 400 add on teams in most ropings. Some of the ropings paid $30,000 to $40,000 for $200 or $300 entry fees. When you have over 500 teams in a roping there are a lot of variables that need to happen in your favor to be successful. My son started roping in the #16, heeling for Kaleb Driggers, and roped all the way down to the #9 where he headed. Hali roped in the #14 down and heeling in the #9 and #8. We never made it to the short round.
During my career, over the years, I’ve seen times where you actually rope well but make a couple of baubles… one goes over the hip, you lose a dally, lose a leg. There are a lot of little things that can keep you from winning. Hali did not break a barrier or miss a steer. Six heelers in a row all missed for her. She never made it to the second arena. Gabe had a couple of runs where he was clean on two, and then headers would miss the third, lose a leg, or draw a tough steer.
I thought Gabe roped smarter at the USTRC Finals and accomplished what we’ve been working on and that was to not throw fast every time. He needed to ride his horse and try to rope every steer during a long week of roping. Him being a boy, he wanted to enter everything, so he also roped in the jackpots in the third arena. Most of the time I don’t tell my kids yes or no. I give my opinion, which in this case was, “We probably need to stay away from the outside jackpots and focus on the ropings where you have a chance to win big money.”
I understand his mentality. He wanted to rope at every opportunity. He never even made the short round outside in the jackpots. It’s very hard to stay focused all day, much less when you put more obstacles in your path. When it was all said and done, I asked if he thought it was smart. He replied, “No sir.” My goal is to raise my kids to make educated decisions. So, a lot of times I let them make mistakes and then we talk about it afterwards. Later in life there will be more important decisions than whether you’re roping too many times in one day.
Overall, I was extremely happy with my son’s heeling. He lost some legs and missed his dally but threw some great loops and did a good job of being patient. But he wasn’t able to put all the runs together with one partner. I can remember being young and heeling terrible but catching four with one partner and winning the roping. Then I had days of heeling outstanding but missing the one for money and not winning a dime.
My wife tries to film all the runs and walks back from one arena to the other. When we’re done we watch the video and talk about the runs and what we should have done and what we’ll do different the next time.
My goal in life is to prepare my kids to make educated decisions. So, I often give them leeway to make their own decisions. That way they understand the consequences of bad choices while I’m still here and able to guide them in the right direction. I’m not saying that Gabe would have had a better chance if he had not roped in the jackpots. But after you go all week and don’t win a dime, it may have been better to put more effort and concentration on the ropings that paid $20,000 than the jackpots that paid $2,000. It’s a little different if you’re done and don’t have anything to do for three or four hours.
It was gratifying to watch my kids and clients rope at the USTRC Finals and see them ride and control their horses so well, as a result of their work on the Speed Trainer. It made me feel good for my clients to ask where the Speed Trainer was so they could get on it and do their drills before competing. One of the main reasons most team ropers struggle to improve is horsemanship – how they ride their horse and swing their rope. If used correctly and regularly, the Speed Trainer can shave years off what it normally takes to learn to ride and rope correctly. When learning while roping horseback there’s just too much going on at once to focus on mistakes like using your left hand for balance or your legs to hold on with. After watching over 5,000 teams go this week and watching ropers make the same mistakes over and over, it boils down to it’s hard to improve your roping if you cannot ride and guide your horse correctly.
The Speed Trainer is also very beneficial to work on fundamentals for those who don’t want or need to make a lot of runs on their good horses. It’s great for beginners to get their habits down correctly before running steers in the jackpot and making mistakes that could have been prevented.
This Christmas Day we will be giving a Speed Trainer away again. To qualify you just have to submit a video of yourself roping on a Speed Trainer. Upload and submit the video at www.speedtrainergiveaway.com. Please check out the website for the rules. There are Speed Trainers set up at the following dealers in Texas: NRS (Decatur), Teskeys (Weatherford), Cooper’s (Stephenville), and Wheelers (Boerne). We will be adding a list of dealers to my website at speedroping.com. You can also call Colter Buck (903-434-8970) at Priefert for more information. If you have questions about the Speed Trainer, how to use it, and what it can do for you please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.