Down The Line


with Stran Smith

Everybody who wants to be an elite roper has a goal to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo. That goal is hard to attain for any young rodeo athlete, much less a young man that wasn’t born and raised in North America. I couldn’t be more proud of my “adopted son” Marcos Costa. Marcos came to the United States from Brazil, didn’t know our culture, didn’t know our language, and didn’t know anything about Pro Rodeo other than what he had seen on TV. 

In organized sports there are a lot of benefits of having a coach, but there are some negatives also. One, some coaches can’t see the potential you have. Two, they can’t measure your heart or your try. Three, if you’re not careful they can hinder your dreams. 

When you rodeo it’s just the opposite of organized sports. You are your own coach usually. You control how you prepare, how you practice, and how you perform. And if you’ve ever been to one of my schools or spoken to me about this to any extent, you know my stance on this. There is a big difference between practice and simply roping. Most people go to the practice pen and they just rope. When you ask them at the end of their session they would probably say they were practicing when actually they were just simply roping. 

I remember when I was a little boy I had a friend that I always played with. When we would be playing something and he wasn’t winning he wanted to quit or change the rules or play a different game. As a society we are obsessed with winning. How often do we think about winning? Look at how fanatical people get with sports teams, or athletes, or game shows, you can go as far as different politicians. Sometimes success isn’t always about the win. Sometimes the actual win is failure, because it will cause you to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to be better. For me, it is very important whenever I start something I do a lot of soul searching, a lot of talking with people in my family, and talk with my friends about whatever it is I’m planning on doing before I jump in. I don’t want to be someone who gets in the middle of something and at the first sign of adversity or tough times I quit or want to pull the plug. 

In Isaiah 30 God says, “He will send the rain,” and rain He has sent! Before anybody misunderstands me and thinks that there is one ounce of me that is complaining about the rain, I’m not. I am ecstatic. But I am in a position that I have never been in before. I have never seen it rain this much, this long, this consistent. Along with the large amounts of rain brings challenges we don’t normally deal with.