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 […]
Choosing to Improve
Written by: C.J. Aragon< Back to Articles
The National High School Finals Rodeo is one of my favorite rodeos of the year. There are not many rodeos you can go to and see students from around the world try to win championships. The energy these student put forth to reach their goals is exciting to watch. The youthful passion is contagious and there is excitement every performance. If you have a chance you should go.
It is the largest rodeo in the world, and like most every rodeo there are more people that leave disappointed than satisfied in the results. For the true competitors, the road does not end at the high school finals. Sure the journey to win a high school championship will end for most in disappointment. There are only a few lucky enough to win the championships. For many of these students they have invested so much time and energy on reaching their goals. The defeat at the high school finals can be a defining moment for these students.
Students can learn from their experience and use it to cultivate their competitive spirit for future events. The high school finals rodeo is one of the best learning opportunities that many students will attend. They get to compete against the best high school athletes from around the world. It is a measuring stick on where you are with your current skill set and how far you need to go the compete at the highest level.
Truth is there are not many of the WNFR qualifiers that won high school national championships. Most of these PRCA World Champions and WNFR qualifiers competed at the high school finals and their experience did not end the way they would have liked. These competitors used the high school finals rodeo as a spring board for their careers. They took the disappointment from not doing well at the high school finals and used it in a positive way to improve. Their approach to their future was not defined by their performance at one rodeo.
All of the competitors at the high school finals will have a chance to respond to their performance at the high school national finals. There are approximately 1,500 contestants at the high school national finals rodeo this year. In future years you will see many of these contestants competing at the WNFR and winning World Championships.
The students that will rise to the top are the ones that will refocus their goals and energies on their new goals. They were not satisfied just competing at the high school finals rodeo. Shortly after the high school finals rodeo these contestants set their sights and expectations on college rodeo and competing professionally. The learned from their experiences and use them to make progress in the future.
High school championships are great, but the majority of the future PRCA champions will have faced adversity at the high school level. Not many of them will have won a high school national championship, but their experiences at the high school finals have helped them become the champions they are today.
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.