Competitors of all levels speculate the impact of mental toughness. In the world of team roping today, we can enter many ropings with multiple partners, giving us several runs, sometimes spaced hours apart, which gives us many tries to put an average together. As anyone can tell you, rarely does any roping go exactly as planned. Sometimes you miss, sometimes you leg, sometimes you break out… sometimes you just freeze up and miss the barrier by a mile. What happens when the unexpected happens is a result of your preparedness… mentally and physically.
Recently, I was at a roping that started out… a bit rough to say the least. It wasn’t the most high stakes roping, but first place still paid over a grand. I had multiple runs and on the very first one, I missed. This was the first time I had missed in the last three jackpots I had attended, and, on top of it all, it was with a partner I hadn’t roped with before.
Needless to say, I was displeased. After that I split the horns and was able to fish it on so my heeler could rope a leg. Then I missed another. By this time I was debating why I had even bothered to hook up the trailer. I basically felt like added money for everyone else. After that I was able to put an average together with another partner and make the short go.
I tend to be a bit overly competitive with just about anything, so not performing to my best simply just doesn’t work for me. The only reason I was able to bounce back from such a horrendously rocky start, was the ability to push it all aside, focus on the next steer and just get it done. You have to refuse to let it control you and ruin the rest of the day.
People say that your best friend in this game is a short-term memory—I agree with that in part. When I mess up, I give myself exactly 2 minutes to sulk and be upset about it… but then that downtrodden feeling has to go and you have to focus on the next step. In my mind it’s unwise to simply forget about something without first going through the process of analyzing what went wrong and give yourself a chance to work it out mentally and clear your mind for the next step.
Analyze, process, move on, and just get it done.