Positive Attitudes

by C.J. Aragon

What separates those who are successful in the rodeo business? Over my years as a coach I have watched many students go on to be very successful in the arena and they all share a few key characteristics that seem to separate them from everyone else.
The best student athletes on my team each year are not the most talented on the team. In almost every case the students who win the most have a few characteristics that separate them from everyone else.
Winners are driven to reach their goals. They know what their goals are and so do those around them. Over the years I had a few students on my team that have been extremely successful. They were not shy about telling you what their goals were. They weren’t afraid of working hard to reach their goals. They weren’t afraid of competition. They also took their failures as a learning experience.
Along with treating failures as learning experiences, they were incredibly positive. Not just about what they were doing but to those around them. Their positive energy was contagious, it made them better and it made those around them better as well.
Because of their attitudes they were very coachable. They showed up to practice with energy. They listened to feedback from the coaches. I know there were times when they were coached, and told things that they did not want to hear. They listened anyway. That is one of the keys to any successful athlete, they have the ability to be coached. Not everything is going to go their way, they will not be told what they want to hear, and they learn from all experiences because of their attitude.
Dedication to their craft is a must as well. They study and learn all they can about their sport. They take care of their business. For a college rodeo student, that means getting good grades, becoming a leader, and being the best competitor they can be. These guys spent time in the gym and they really put in the work in the practice pen. Because of their dedication they find ways to win.
Finally they competed fearlessly. This group approached every competition with one goal in mind, winning. They didn’t worry about their competition, they didn’t make excuses. Because of their approach to competition they were able to eliminate distractions and focus on what they were working to accomplish.
I have been blessed to coach several WNFR, and PRR World Finals Qualifiers over the last few years. Every one of them had these traits, and I believe I learned a lot from these students as well. Now it is exciting for me to see these traits in students currently in our program or coming into our program. I truly believe that if you want to be at the top of any sport you need to embrace these traits.

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