Becoming proficient in professional bull riding requires a great deal of determination and endurance. But that alone, may not be enough to grant success in such a demanding sporting event. To be a successful rodeo contender, there are several things you should keep in mind that will help keep you safe and possibly put you at the head of the game.

1. WEAR PROTECTIVE GEAR. It has always been a tradition for a cowboy to wear his cowboy hat. Perhaps it’s one of the most vivid icons of a cowboy, setting the tone for the modern West. Safety helmets have been designed to protect the cowboy against head injuries. In addition to helmets, protective vests were also created to prevent life-threatening chest afflictions. Professional bull riders are more at risk of injury or death than any other athlete. A cowboy wearing a helmet or a quilted vest (the flak jacket) may destroy a little bit of the Western appeal, yet it may preserve his career several years longer or even save his life. Nevertheless, many tough cowboys refuse to let the helmets and padded vests ruin their image, and so they ride unprotected. Between 1989 and 2009, 49 fatal injuries occurred at rodeos which resulted in 21 deaths. Presently, more and more professional bull riders are falling into the trend of wearing protective gear and believe that it has prolonged their career and health.

2. PHYSICAL HEALTH. Staying healthy requires great effort, including consistent exercise and proper rest. It is especially important to build your core strength, which is a key factor in professional bull riding. Some professional cowboys workout six days a week to keep in good physical shape. Balance is a crucial element in professional bull riding and can be improved with yoga and strength training. Metabolic conditioning is another critical skill for bull riders. Resistance exercises such as full body dead-lifts and squats will help train your metabolic system for competition. Also, short sprints several times in a row, 20, 30 or 40 yards, will help you to stay on the bull longer and also prevent injury.

3. PERFECT YOUR TECHNIQUE. Training requires an investment of time and money, but it is something that will define your performance as a professional bull rider. The technique is one of the most important aspects of professional bull riding.Training with a good coach at a reputable school is a good way to learn to perfect your technique. At a bull riding training school, you will learn drills to enhance your skills, workout with certain exercises, and have professional trainers analyze your rides. Your technique may be the difference between a losing and a winning score.

Truly, professional bull riding requires extreme courage and mental toughness. In addition to wearing the proper gear and engaging in habits that will put you in optimal health, it is important to perfect your technique to prevent possible perilous injuries and improve your skill. Certainly, bull riding is nothing to horse around with and should be taken seriously. By using protective gear, keeping in top health, and getting proper training, you may find yourself at the top of rodeo contender standings and possibly in the money.

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