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Coping With Stress
Damion Hernandez asked me a good question last month. In fact, I thought it was one of the best questions that anyone has ever asked me.

He wanted to know what you do when you are nervous. How do you cope with the pressure of getting the job done? This is a problem that people in every sport go through. Some of the most talented people in the world are not the top athletes in their sport because they cannot handle the pressure.

When it comes to this kind of problem most people deal with getting nervous in their own way. You have to find what works for you and how to deal with the issue and get positive results. The things that haunt the minds of the ones that lose, are the negative thoughts that enter your mind when you back in the box. For example: “Don’t Miss,” “Don’t choke,” “My girlfriend is watching,” “just catch” and etc.

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These are only a few non-productive thoughts that can go through the destructive mind. Give yourself some positive, productive mental pictures that will help you. If you are thinking of something positive, your mind will not have opportunity for the negative.

I suggest focusing on simple things or one simple thing that you need to do to win. For instance, “I need to ride to my spot,” or “look at the base of the left horn.” There are many other ideas, but just try to find something simple and productive. Don’t think out the whole run because you will get ahead of yourself if you are nervous. Just make sure to keep what you are thinking positive. Then just let your practice skills take over.

Starting Off In The Box
I would like to talk about steers that move back to the right. As a header there is one thing that you have to do. Ride your horse in correct position, not only for yourself but also for the one who is following, the heeler. As a header you need to pick your horse up and drive him to exactly where you want to be. It is tempting to just lean over and take a shot as the steer is moving away or to pick your horse up half way but yet not riding to the correct position. When doing this you are setting everything up wrong and will usually end up having problems (if you even catch). When the steer is moving away like that, it’s hard to keep it the rope on. This happens when you will throw a bad loop, plus the direction of the steer and along with your horse movement it is hard not to wave it off.

The steers are hard enough for the header to catch, but if the header keeps it on the heeler has a real problem. The reason everything is bad is strictly because of the headers control of his run. If the header keeps domination of the run, the heeler’s job should not be much different. Headers need to remember that you are the one who has the full control. You can make it hard or easy. So choose the easy way and ride your horse to the position and set things up on every run.

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