Breaking It Down


Speed Williams

By Speed Williams
speedroping.com

Recently I’ve started teaching a 14-year-old girl to head, who’s never roped before. She’s competed in barrel and poles and wants to learn to rope. It’s a little easier to teach her to ride and swing her rope since she’s an experienced rider. As a teacher, I don’t stress much about the cosmetics of the swing. For kids and total beginners, it’s important to get them where they can catch, turn steers, and have a chance to win something for it to be fun. If you make it too detail oriented in the beginning and force them to be technically correct, they can become easily frustrated and not enjoy it. Go to a team roping anywhere in the US and watch a #8, #9, or #10 roping and you will see many different types and styles of swings that win money. Basically, you have to get it around your head and on the horns. I’ve seen many styles with a lot of wasted motion but they’ve learned to adapt and make it work for them.

By Speed Williams
speedroping.com

The explosion of breakaway roping has been phenomenal. This growth is very exciting for the girls and I really don’t see it stopping in the near future. When my daughter, Hali, was young she didn’t really want to breakaway rope, she was a team roper. Once in junior high rodeo she realized she needed to. Because she learned to rope right to left and the emphasis had been on catching every cow, it was a major transition learning to rope calves.

By Speed Williams
speedroping.com

This month I want to talk about my daughter and being a #6 has changed our training and drills. Hali roped at her first USTRC Finals as a #3 when she was 12. In teaching her, the most important thing was safety, and then to have a high catch percentage. When she first started, I cut her rope off so she only had one coil. The object was to leave the box, ride across the line, swing and be ready to rope when she got there. And she was roping horns right to left.

By Speed Williams
speedroping.com

When my son was very young we discovered he was unique in that his arms would not rotate. His elbows each are one bone, which keeps him from turning his palms to the sky. His thumbs can point upward, but his palms cannot. As a father it really upset me for a few months until one day when we took him to Cook’s Children’s Hospital for a checkup. Visiting that hospital was an eye opener as to what some children have to deal with. I left there feeling very fortunate and with a new outlook on my son’s condition. So far it has not affected his roping with the exception of trick roping and dallying can be difficult.