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The Benefits of College Rodeo
Written by: C.J. Aragon< Back to Articles
article by C.J. Aragon,
Odessa College Rodeo Coach
Last week I had a recruit on campus and partway through the campus tour he said that he wasn’t sure he wanted to go to college, and that he thought he would just start going pro rodeos. Then he asked me my thoughts on going to college. I am not sure he was ready for what I had to tell him.
My first advise was this: if you are not serious about earning a degree and are just going to college to rodeo, don’t pretend to be a college student, you will not do well and it can hurt you later when you may want to really go to college.
Competing in College Rodeo is a great opportunity. Here are just a few of my thoughts on the benefits of college rodeo.
College is a place where you can discover what you want to do in the future. Many times your career path that you chose when you graduated is not the same one a semester or two into college. By being able to take classes that you choose, you are able to explore your options. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take classes that you are interested in. Just because you are a Kinesiology major don’t be afraid to take a business class.
College rodeo gives you a great chance to network which will help you either as a professional cowboy or as a business professional in the future. Many of the people that I competed against in college rodeo have gone on to be very successful and those contacts still benefit me today. Some have been to the WNFR many times, others have become very successful in the business world either way they people you meet in college rodeo can be an great resource. You never know what paths you may cross with the people you meet during your college rodeo career.
In college you will learn some lessons that will help you in all aspects of your life. One of the first lessons you need to learn is to manage your time. For a lot of students the first lesson is the one that is the downfall of their college and later professional careers. Your development of time management skills will prove to be valuable. As a college rodeo athlete you need to manage your class and study time, practice time and social life. Your prioritization of these will go a long way in determining your success as a student and an athlete and even later in life. The sooner you can learn this lesson the better.
College rodeo is a stepping stone; the competition is a step up from high school rodeo and a step below pro rodeo. If you have dreams and aspirations of making it on the pro level you should be able to have plenty of success on the collegiate level, if not you need to take that time to continue to build yourself up to the pro level. Use your time in college to get an education in the classroom and in the arena, both will serve you well.
Just remember there are only a handful of PRCA World Champions who made the jump from high school straight to the professional level. You can find a very long list of contestants that came up through the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association that have gone on to have successful professional careers in the arena and in life that took advantage of their time at college
Just don’t pretend to be a college student.
C.J. Aragon was named the 2008-2011 Grand Canyon Region Coach-of-the-Year. 2014-2015 WJCAC Coach-of-the-Year, 2016 Southwest Region Coach-of-the-Year, and 2010 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Coach-of-the-Year.