A Roper’s Big-Picture Mentality: Prioritizing Your Own Energy, Nutrition and Practice
Taking time to take care of yourself can change your roping. For NFR standout Tyler Wade, self-care has helped him level up with his heading.

I’ve worked on everything to do with my roping—my reaching, my consistency, my horses and everything else you can think of. But lately, I’ve been working on myself more than anything. I’ve been making sure I’m feeling good, and that my practices and my routines are setting me up for success.

Managing Energy

I don’t want to get to a rodeo or jackpot and feel sluggish. I want to show up feeling like an athlete. I rodeo for a living, and I have a 3-year-old, too. Sometimes, I get a lot of sleep. Sometimes, I don’t get any sleep. But taking that out, I want to be doing all I can do to feel good. I do know that when I feel better, I rope better.

Managing Nutrition

I’m not working out, but I’m eating better and doing better about eating at better times. I’m not drinking as much beer, and I’m trying to drink a lot of water. It’s so hard to eat right when you’re traveling and aren’t going to the grocery store, but I’ve had enough meat sticks and cheese sticks to last me a lifetime this year. Instead of Red Bull, I’m grabbing healthier energy drinks or water. These days, I’m mature enough now to know what works and what doesn’t and what needs to be done. I love having a good time and hanging out with my friends, but I know that I am not at my best hungover and running late.

Managing Practice

Full disclosure: I could go out there and have the worst Finals I’ve ever had, but the little details matter and I’m focusing on taking care of them. I’m going to rope less, but every steer I run is going to be important and on a horse that gives me a quality throw. When I started, I wouldn’t have done that. I don’t think I’m going to practice as hard as previous years. The most I’m going to run for the NFR is going to be 40, at most, a day. And I have two sets of 15 head that I’m going to rope one set one day and one the next day. They’re really big, and really tricky. I used to run 100 and then I’d have a horse that wasn’t very good, and it was unrealistic. I want to go with quality practice and taking care of myself better. There’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve done all you can do to prepare to win. TRJ

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