There’s nothing like the morning when the animals wake up and you hear the birds come alive, and everything starts to move around,” says Clayton […]
The Passion of Competition
Written by: C.J. Aragon< Back to Articles
This is one of my favorite times of the year. The College National Finals Rodeo and State High School Finals Rodeos going on across the country. What more can a college rodeo coach as for?
It is always interesting to me to watch the growth and maturity of rodeo students in the years that we get to watch them. I, like many coaches, have watched some student’s progress from high school rodeo, through college rodeo and on to win World Championships.
Some of the most talented students in high school that were highly recruited never make the jump to be competitive at the collegiate level. Others who were overlooked in high school go on to be outstanding college competitors. It is very interesting to watch and learn from. I know that in the past I have missed and recruited the very successful high school student and later had them underachieve in college. I have also regretted not recruiting many high school students.
Over the course of the past ten years I have had the chance to visit with any current and future champions of our sport. At an early age you could tell that they were destined for great things by what they did in the arena.
I think back to getting to visit with some current champions, many of them while they were still in high school. Most all of them were exciting to talk to because of the passion they had for competition. Winning titles didn’t motivate them every day, the love of competition motivated them.
I think this is very important because many physically talented students are motivated by winning and at an early age winning is easy because of their physical skills. In many cases in rodeo these students do not learn or work on the fundamentals of their chosen event, they simply rely on their god given skills. For the physically gifted they don’t learn to compete, many simply just learned to win without much effort, and I don’t believe this is a good thing.
The students who learn to love competition learn to work their way to a higher level. The drive that it takes to be successful, will then help elevate them as a competitor. These are the late bloomers. Their passion for competition will help them continue to improve. They may not have been that competitive when we watched them coming through high school, but they were always improving. In college they may have gone unnoticed for a while, but the late bloomers always have a way of eventually finding their way to the top.
Those who love to compete will work to be better. They will find ways to improve and develop their skills on a daily basis. They will be willing to grind every day to be ready for their next opportunity to compete. They are not afraid of competition.
Passion for competition is a great indicator for future success.
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.