COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Veteran bareback rider J.R. Vezain continues to progress after suffering a broken back while competing at the Pasadena (Texas) Livestock Show […]
Written by: C.J. Aragon< Back to Articles
College Rodeo is a unique sport because it blends an individual sport into a team sport. There are only a few other sports that have a similar format, golf and track and field being the most comparable. Individuals compete for individual titles, but they are still competing as a team.
Many students struggle to make the transition from practicing as an individual to becoming part of a team practice. As freshmen this is where I see one of the biggest struggles for students who go to a program that has practices that are run as a team. I have visited with several other coaches and they see the same difficulties in the program each year.
I have had the opportunity to coach a lot of really good individuals and a few great teams. From experience it is exciting and rewarding to have individual success. However the bond you will share with your teammates and coaches from team success is even more rewarding. With team championships the reward is much stronger because of the commitment and work that it took as a group to get there. Many of the following qualities can build the championship team that we all seek to be part of.
Your attitude will affect you in your daily routine. Not only will your attitude affect you but it may affect those around you. Your teammates and your coaches. Be coachable, and be the type of teammate you would like to have. IF you have a good attitude others will want to practice with you and help you.
You are now on a team. As a member of a team practice will not always be centered on you. You will not always get to run as many as you would like. You will not always get on the best practice horse or bull. However you are a member of the team and need to do what you can to make your team better. Run chutes, bring up the practice cattle. Be there to support your teammates as much as possible.
On every team that I have ever been on, or coached there have been strong personalities. Most good competitors have strong personalities, and strong personalities are not always the easiest to get along with. As a coach I have never expected everyone on the team to be best friends. I do expect everyone on the team respect each other in and out of the arena. You are members representing a school, working towards a goal and you are now going to be treated as an adult. One of the best and most important lessons you can learn on a team is how to be respectful to the different personalities on the team. This is a lesson that will serve you well the rest of your life.
A college rodeo team has a lot of different groups. I usually break it down into three groups, rough stock riders, men’s timed events and women’s timed events. Then in each group you have your individual events. Practice time and the coach’s time will be split up among the groups and events. Make sure you can learn to work on improving in practice without the coach babysitting you. Don’t expect a compliment or criticism on every run or ride. Coaches see more, observe more and hear more than you give them credit for. Coaches and team mates will recognize and respect great daily effort in the practice pen.
Be the teammate you would want to practice with every day.