Practice Pen Perspective
10 Things You Can do to Get the Most Out of Riding Practice Bulls
If you ride practice bulls (and you should), how do you practice? You probably don’t realize it, but how you practice is just as important as if you practice. It seems pretty obvious that if you want to get better at something, then you are going to have to put in some effort. When you ride at the practice pen, do you ride in your short sleeve shirt and no chaps? I admit that I’ve done this before too, but I don’t think it is the right way to practice. Since you practice so that you will compete better, it only makes sense that you should practice like you compete, right?
What I mean is that you should do everything at the practice pen the same way you will when you are at a rodeo or bull riding event. Pretend that there is something to win or lose, because there is!
Here are 10 things you can do to have a better practice session:
1. Be aware of your thoughts and don’t let any negative or fearful thoughts take over.
2. Have fun, but focus on doing things right.
3. Visualize yourself in a high pressure situation such as the Championship Round of the Finals and you drew the unridden bull that you have to ride to win the title.
4.Ride for 10 seconds instead of 8 so that you don’t get in the habit of waiting on the whistle.
5. Get on bulls that will challenge you, but that aren’t too rank for your skill level.
6. Have someone you trust pick your bulls for you so that you don’t pick too easy or too hard.
7. Don’t get on too many bulls. Typically 2-3 bulls is plenty for someone to get on. If you get too tired, you will form bad habits.
8. Have someone film your rides so that you can analyze yourself.
9. Wear ALL the gear you will wear when you are at a rodeo. You need to be comfortable with your gear.
10. Don’t be half-hearted. You should put out 100% effort EVERY time you nod your face. You don’t want to get in the habit of jumping off early (that will get expensive).
By taking your practice sessions more seriously, you will see better results and handle the competitions better. By working on your technique on a drop barrel and visualizing yourself making great rides, you will make better use of your time at the practice pen.