Going old school

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I had a wonderful visit with one of bull riding’s greats on Saturday, and I learned many things from Cody Custer in the process.

In talking about the importance of fundamentals, Custer revealed a lesson he learned from ProRodeo Hall of Famer Denny Flynn, who prepared for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo by going back to the basics. In fact, Custer said, Flynn purchased two pasture bulls, not animals that were bred to be rodeo bulls.

And for 30 days prior to the NFR, Flynn rodeo both those bulls. Not once in 60 tries did Flynn get bucked off. But he didn’t expect to get knocked into the dirt by a couple of pasture bulls. He was just working on technique, getting his rhythm, preparing his mind and building his confidence. That year, he rode nine of 10 bulls at the NFR.

Fast-forward to 2010. Corey Navarre of Weatherford, Okla., took the same approach. When he got to Las Vegas this past December, he rode six bulls at the NFR, finished second in the average, won nearly $70,000 and finished fourth in the final world standings with $146,120.

Going back to the basics was a good move for Flynn and Navarre. Maybe more bull riders should consider that lesson.


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