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Advice for Bull Riders from Cody Custer

Failure has its Place but Success Breeds Success,

Hey, we’ve all put kids on ones and said to ourselves later “I wish I hadn’t” but we must learn from it and treat them like precious possessions, given to us to take care of. A kid has no true understanding of the danger involved with bull riding. We are responsible for what they get on.

Donnie Gay tells about

how Neil would make him turn out if he thought the bulls were too big for him and Donnie hated it at the time but is thankful that his dad knew when and when not to let him on. The same story is the one of Cody Teel, his dad Robbie did the same for him. Cody thanked his dad the other day for protecting him when he was young even though it made him so mad to have to turn out while his friends were getting on bulls that outmatched them. I wouldn’t let my son Brett go to state his 6th grade year because I knew he was in no way ready for the stock that would be there. He was mad but I think he understands it better now.

This whole issue of kids being over matched and mucked out is the most important thing to the bull riding industry. Too many involved that don’t understand (or won’t) or guys that just care more about bulls than kids. I have a bunch of people who don’t like me but I’ll keep putting the word out there about the things that are the best for the kids.

Parents and the leaders of these youth organizations need to get some good educated information as to how to best help the kids become great and still have their health as they get a bit older. Most people are just going with the flow and are pushing the kids too fast to be bull riders rather than letting them enjoy it and experience success all the way through.

Dominating at every level is the best for any athlete. Ask any NFL, NBA, NBL player how it is best done in preparing for a successful career in the pros. Everyone of them is going to have the same moral to the story “Success breeds Success” and “Being Overmatched causes Harm”. No matter what anyone else says, a kid is only so good and needs to go through important steps in order to get to the next level of competition. If they fail more than they succeed then they will settle for mediocre. I believe this is the norm in bull riding now. I’m certainly not knocking the riders but am calling out the ones who should be directing them the right way.

Parents, Youth Rodeo Leaders, Bull breeders, former bull riders who train and professional rodeo/bull riding organizations are at fault for not setting standards for training the youth in our awesome sport. I have three fingers pointing back at me as I point my finger at all the above. I am involved in each of the problem areas that I mentioned. Being quiet about it and thinking it’ll fix itself is stupid. We have to get extreme about how we go about raising up the future bull riders here in america. We are losing ground here while others are gaining ground as they see a future for their youth in the sport.

The next issue is getting the youth to buy into the (going through the process) mentality. The competition level of bull riding in the lower tiers is so weak that guys are making money by merely staying on. So many good bulls out there that most events don’t payout $ to every hole possible. A guy can get on a runner and collect a check, this puts the idea in his head that he is a bull rider that is making a living riding bulls so he enters events at the next level without dominating at that level, then gets lucky and stays on at one of those and thinks that is where he belongs. (Probably Not).

He is left with a task ahead of him that he is not ready to conquer because he never dominated at each level. Youth and try will go a long way but it is not the fullness of what it takes to have a solid career. A solid career is developed through hard work and a lot of success mixed with some failure. Experiencing failure more than success is not the best thing for a solid career. Parents have to buy into the (going through the process) mentality and show their kids that it’s the way to go also.

We’ve all seen a young guy make his debut on the scene and have some early success but begin to struggle and all the sudden they disappear from the bull riding world. Some eventually make it to the top but few are ever even heard of again because they never experienced enough success along the way to make up for the failure at the level they have always dreamed of. Failure is a part of the process but if that is a ll they experience than it becomes the norm, not just a small piece of the big picture. Constant failure does crazy things to their minds and many go to the amateur level (which many skipped as a part of the process) and have little success there because they have been trained to fail at every level. Once a great light and future in the bull riding industry they become a disgrace to the talent they had and in most cases their whole life follows that same path.

This is not all I have to say on this subject but all I have time to write today. Have a good day.

Cody Custer