Mental Game in the Rodeo World

Every little girl has an idol in their life. In my case I have many idols, some are famous and some are not famous. The one I am going to talk about today is becoming famous, very quickly. I fell honored to have had the privilege of growing up very close to her and knowing her. Throughout this project I am going to talk about many of my so called idols, because they are the ones that are the perfect image of the rodeo athlete that I want to become and that I can learn from.

Today I am going to talk about Dr. Kathy Korell-Rach. I have grown up around Kathy and have watched her since I was a little girl. She has had many great horses that have taken her huge places in the rodeo world. Growing up she had two mares named Tilly and Shine. Today shine is one of the top barrel horses in the world. Kathy and her father own the stud to many of her great horses and his name is Smokin’ Sparks. He is also becoming one of the leading barrel horse studs in the rodeo industry. I could go on and on about her, and honestly complete an independent learning project on her because she is that amazing, but this project is on becoming a better rodeo athlete so I better get to it.

My research for this week is the mental game in the rodeo world. One thing that I struggle with that really affects my ability and my performance is mental game. I get so nervous before my runs I shake, I get nauseous, I can’t breath, and my vision gets blurry. This makes me not perform to the best of my ability, it is actually a snow ball effect, my confidence levels drop for my next runs and I begin to doubt myself.

Kathy is one of the best of the best when it comes to confidence and conquering her mental game. I have researched her articles.  Any smart competitor recognizes that they have certain strengths and weaknesses. Often, we devote a great deal of attention to our problem areas, particularly if we are experiencing a slump. Of course, we do this in order to get rid of the glitch that is keeping us away from the pay window. (Getting paid to win barrel races). Kathy writes in her article that if we are thinking “do not knock the barrel down” then we are literally thinking about actually knocking the barrel down. You automatically conjure up all of the things  you do that make you knock the barrel, including thoughts, emotions, and behaviors associated with downing it. Kathy includes a diagram of what happens when you let your mental game down in her article: achilles heel graphics web

Rather than focusing on the barrel, try focusing on all of the things you do to have a clean run. Take a look at the diagram again, and let’s replace “Don’t hit the barrel!” with “Have a clean run.” There is a lot of information in this article that is very helpful for me. I will attach the link to the article at the end of this blog in case you are interested in reading more. She has so many good points that I have learned about that I will take to the arena with me in order to help myself with my mental game. Below is a picture of Kathy and her horse Shine.

Photo credits to, I actually retrieved this photo from her online profile after asking her, but takes the photo credit for the photo.

Here is the link to her mental game article:



4 thoughts on “Mental Game in the Rodeo World

  1. I love this blog post! Softball and rodeo seem to be very similar when talking about the mental aspect. I struggle with this as well and always find myself thinking “Don’t strike out” when I am up to bat instead of thinking “Get a base hit.” I loved how you shared the article! Kathy sounds like an amazing person and I think it is so cool that you consider her one of your idols.


  2. It is very honorable of you to pay respects to the ones that inspire you. No one can get to where they want to be without help from friends and family. Rather than be close-minded and stubborn you have chosen to learn through yourself and others. Good post


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