Ask the Pros–The Mental Game

Dear Clay,
I’m a No. 6 heeler and very consistent at catching two feet and getting a good call back position, but in the short round I tend to pressure up and leg up or miss my steer. As a pro, how do you maintain your composure in a high-pressure situation?

Choke Artist, Las Cruces, N.M.

Dear Choke Artist,
I believe that you have to try to set up scenarios in the practice pen so that you can practice that type of situation. Either by matching somebody, practicing with them and matching them, or making some type of make-believe situation that challenges you to catch four or five in a row. On the other side of that, you also need to be able to do the basic fundamentals as far as your position, your swing, your timing and delivery, concentrating on the things that it takes just to catch the steer. If you’re thinking of those things, you’re not thinking about the short round or what steer it is. There are different ways of going about it, but it’s really no different. You just have an opportunity to capitalize on your hard work.

Clay O’Brien Cooper

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