Down The Line

with Stran Smith

I really don’t like New Year’s resolutions because to me it’s just a fad and people nearly always break their resolutions. Every year my routine is to set aside a little bit of time to reflect on the past year and review and grade things that I’ve tried to accomplish in the previous year. 

This is always a hectic time of the year for me. I used to think it was because I was trying to get ready to rope at the NFR. In fact, that was probably the simplest time of getting ready, because all I did was focusing on roping at the finals. And now I’ve got two boys that are playing basketball. I’m calving my commercial heifers out. We are AI’ing my registered cows. I’m shipping my commercial calves. I’m helping Marcos get ready to rope at his first NFR. I’m trying to line guests up for the NFR Countdown Show Jennifer and I do every night at the MGM before the rodeo. I’m serving on the Elevation Sunday team. And trying to inventory six different STS Ranchwear retail booths during the NFR. I didn’t know how good I had it when all I had to worry about was roping one calf a night. 

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.