Training makes a difference

There are two things that stand out to me when it comes to Ryan Dirteater. One of the first things that sticks out, obviously, is his talent. The second thing that's really making a huge difference is his training.

We're talking about the only professional sport in the world that doesn't have coaches and trainers. It's almost something that is uniquely cool about our sport, because it all comes down to self-motivation.

I look at not only the program, but also the type of shape that Ryan and Austin Meier are getting into, and you can see they're training the right way. They're not in the gym trying to do curls for the girls. They're not trying to build up big biceps and all that.

They're in there training to be faster, more flexible and athletically  pound-for-pound  better. They're not in there to bulk up and look like two gym-bound meatheads.

They are training to specifically enhance their performance in their sport, and that's great to see.

This weekend showed the dividends  their training is paying off.

I'm blown away by guys who are professional bull riders for a living, who basically only have to work on Friday and Saturday night, and then they lay around all week, or all they do is goof off with their friends.

In a lot of ways you're talking about the easiest job  when I say "easy," I don't mean bull riding is easy, but there aren't many jobs where you only work 16 or 24 seconds a week  because five days a week you're at home.

The ones who are sitting on the couch and playing video games, or going to the bar, or hanging out at the lake, are not showing the same type of dedication as those who are going to the gym, and those guys are showing that they are going to beat them.

When you get to this level, everybody can ride, everybody's good and I'm sure Ryan Dirteater was the best in his area during high school and the best in his area during junior rodeos. But, when you get to this level, all the guys were the best from their high school and the junior rodeos in their area.

That's just how it is. Now you're around people from all over the world, who were also the best growing up.

That's how I felt about it when I was riding. I thought I wanted it more than other guys wanted it, and when I say "want," I don't mean, "Man, I really want it." I mean work it, do what it takes and get in the gym.

You don't think I caught heck for doing gymnastics? I didn't care, because I knew it was making me a better athlete, and I knew it would make me better at riding. I knew it would make every aspect of my game better.

Training in martial arts? Same thing.

When I was at my peak as far as my physical conditioning, that's when I was at my best riding. There's a direct correlation between the two.

I think that's huge for Ryan and Austin. That, and I think they're loving what they do. I know that sounds like a dumb thing if you just hear it on the surface, but loving what you do and doing it for the right reasons are huge factors in your success.

I don't care what walk of life you're talking about: If you see someone who wants to do something because of the money, the benefits, the fame or the social status, those are the wrong reasons. I don't care if you're talking about a brain surgeon, a plumber or a writer: If you take the people who are truly fascinated by their craft and truly, down in their heart, love their craft, those are the guys who are always going to be the best at it.

If you take a guy who wants to be a bull rider because his dad wishes he would, or because his girlfriend thinks it's cool, or whatever other reasons you come up with, those guys  I don't care about their talent level or any of that  they're not going to beat the guys who really love what they're doing.

When you feel that way about it, you think about it night and day without trying to. It's something that's just in you. You can't manufacture that. You can't make somebody feel that way about it. That's something where you're either eaten up with it and you love it, or you don't.

That's how I feel about those two. I think it shows in their dedication, I think it shows in their riding and the way they're attacking the sport.

As with any athlete, time is what tells the story.

Ryan seems to be a young guy with a lot of talent and a lot of dedication, and he looks very promising to me. He also seems like a great kid who has been raised well.

On top of all that I think his success is huge for Native Americans, because you're not going to find bigger rodeo and bull riding fans anywhere. They love the sport, and it's good for them to have an emerging, true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool hero.

That's great for everyone. It's great for the Native Americans, it's great for the sport, and it's great for Ryan Dirteater.

To read Ty's previous blog, click here: Dancing king