What I hope to teach my kids about rodeo

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Breaking it Down by Speed Williams – June 2023

Currently I’m in Corpus Christi for the WCRA Rodeo. This is a great opportunity to possibly win some big paychecks. In the WCRA you can nominate an event, like a rodeo or jackpot on their app, and if the event isn’t listed you can request it by submitting a flyer.

Last year Dale Davis asked why Gabe and I hadn’t nominated any of the rodeos we were going to. He gave me the info and said the books for Northside closed the next Monday and if we won enough points, we could qualify for one of the Major Rodeos of the Triple Crown, like at Corpus. The Triple Crown of Rodeo is a series of annual major rodeo events which includes an annual bonus that will pay $1 million to any one athlete or collection of athletes who win first place in any three consecutive WCRA Major Rodeos.

At each one they take 48 contestants, and take half of them to the Major Rodeo. This is our second year and we made the top 24 again. Last year I missed for Gabe. This year I hung it on one pretty fast but the steer didn’t handle and Gabe missed. These are great rodeos and I’m able to go with my son and talk about the different situations he will face. Rodeoing with him takes me through a lot of different emotions. There’s always pressure to give your heeler a good shot. You always feel bad when you don’t, but when it’s your child, it’s more intense.

I quit rodeoing to raise my kids and was able to make a living creating videos on speedroping.com when my kids were small. I was able to share my thoughts and theories of kids using short ropes and trying to eliminate mistakes. I feel blessed that now my son craves roping and has a burning desire for something we do every day. I feel this is one of my bigger accomplishments… of not making him sour or not wanting to rope. I tell parents all the time kids have to have fun. It has to be enjoyable and be a challenge at the same time.

We’ll be going to some of the amateur rodeos this summer. I hope to instill some things in him that can last him a lifetime. I want him to learn about how to prepare and give him the best opportunity to be successful. I want him to learn how to take care of his sponsors and the people who support him. Without that, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. I wouldn’t have accomplished near what I have without that help.

I want to take my hat off to all the parents who haul their kids up and down the road. There is a lot of work and effort that happens behind the scenes for kids to participate in this sport. I know what it takes to be successful; and it requires a lot of preparation and hard work.

Every day I’m thankful my kids chose to do something I can help them with, and time will tell what they’ll be able to accomplish. There’s a lot that goes into being successful, like having horse power and knowing how to keep those horses working, especially when you’re on the road and unable to practice.

They will need to master the mental game, especially when things are not going good. That’s when you back in the box and work from fundamentals and your preparation from home. You have to have the confidence to be able to lie to yourself and believe that you did well on the last steer you ran. It’s detrimental to dwell on a bad run. It’s important to watch the video and try and understand what happened, but then let it go. Things happen fast in our sport and there’s no benefit to second-guessing yourself. Mastering confidence, whether real or imagined is crucial.

What’s new with me: Smarty has taken over production of the Speed Trainers. They have inventory now and you will probably be seeing them at events. We’re working on videos that show how to use the Speed Trainer. You will learn to use your left hand and your legs correctly. The Speed Trainer has been invaluable for teaching my children and clients how to ride their horses correctly. Once they master the drills, where they don’t use reins for balance, and their legs to hang on with, the progress is amazing. Without constant pressure on the reins, horses work better without having to use bigger bridles.

 

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