Mental Drain

Hi, my name is Beau . Lately I've been having a hard time or thinking to much about my steer wrestling event. basically I am getting scared of getting on my horse an jumping on to the steer. I been thinking and thinking or just running pictures in my mind and doing good at it. When comes time to practice i get scared and sometimes i do good and not so good. I had some bad crashes. I don't know if you know the sport of rodeo and the steer wrestling event. I loved this sport deep down. I watch tapes of the professionals of the PRCA, i watch my tapes. I am trying to learn more of mental toughness I guess. any suggestions? Thank you very much.

Mental Drain Good Morning, Beau -

I know a little about Rodeos since I have a daughter who was a wrangler at a ranch in Colorado...but the question you pose really has to do with all sports...what I have found since I've been working with athletes such as yourself is that when you withhold your feelings (keep them bottled up) or if there is an issue in your life (or issues) that you are not addressing, both will affect your feelings of self worth...(withholding is a form of lying)...and if you have low self-esteem, you begin to see your world around you from a negative perspective (We see things as we are...not as they are, but as we are...) This translates into having negative feelings about your ability to successfully wrestle a steer. So if you want to rid yourself of your negative feelings, you must first resolve (or begin the process of resolving) issues in your life that, up to now, you may have chosen not to deal with...and above all, unload any feelings about specific issues you may be carrying around with you. You didn't say how old you were or what your marital status is, but if you have a girlfriend with whom you're not getting along with, that could be a cause of your not doing well in your event. And if this is so, you need to discuss with her whatever issues exist between the two of you and resolve them. If she isn't willing to do so, then as painful as it may seem, you need to find another girlfriend (assuming I'm correct in my assumption.) As for your watching tapes of yourself and others, that's an excellent idea; but keep in mind that the technique you describe will not work (it's a form of "visualization") if you are loaded down with psychological baggage such as I've discussed above.

If you have any further questions, be sure to let me know. Good luck with your steer wrestling...


Marv Fremerman

Thanks for responding back. I am married and have a great relationship with my wife. I have a 9 month old daughter and 3 boys. I agree of what you said about me having low self esteem about my self. One time i could not hold this any more and i call my cousin and i confess to him about how i felt about my self and what i was going through with my steer wrestling. He was very kind and he just listen and gave me advise to slow down there always going to be rodeos down the road, maybe i just need to start practicing off the dummy steer and work on my dismounting.

He use to be a steer wrestler. his son is very good in steer wrestling. I practice with them and keep my horses at their place. he also advise me to slow down, he thinks I go to hard sometimes. I think iam very stress out at work. I work as a substance abuse counselor on the Navajo reservation. I am 37 year old navajo male. sometimes when i want to go to practice i just feel mentally drain out. I never use to feel like that. I would be fired up to go to practice and after i would finished practice wether i did good or not I still would feel good about myself and at least i know i gave it my best. Presently i would feel tired by 9:00 am in the morning. I want to start running or doing some things physically to get back into shape. Well that's about i have to cover this morning and again thankyou for giving me some suggestions and if you have any more please feel write back to me. Laters

Beau Morgan

Dear Beau,

I think it's great that you are working with other Native Americans as a substance abuse counselor. In the past, I've worked with Native-American cross country runners while living in Phoenix...I used to visit the reservation and conduct mini-workshops with them and discuss their "self-limiting beliefs." I also introduced them to "positive visualization."

One belief they had was that they would become alcoholics because their parents and grandparents were alcoholics. I explained to them that, if they believed they were going to become alcoholics, they would become alcoholics. Even though they may have been genetically pre-disposed toward alcoholism, they can make course corrections in their lives so that their expectations did not become self-fulfilling prophesies. (As I'm sure you know, low self-esteem is transferable from generation to generation the same as genes might be.) I also explained to them that if you took 1000 whites and placed them on their reservation without any tangible hope of entering mainstream America, it's very likely they, too, would become alcoholics.

In order to help those you are counseling, here are a couple of suggestions you may want to implement:

    1. Create small support groups (which you may already be doing) providing participants with an opportunity to discuss their personal issues with each other. As they do this, and release any bottled up feelings and emotions they might have, they will begin to feel better about themselves.
    2. Encourage participants to resolve (or begin the process of resolving) any issues they may have that are hovering above them like a dark cloud. This, also, will enhance their feelings of self worth.
    3. Encourage participants not to lie or tell a half-truth (because even a half truth is a whole lie.)
    4. Encourage participants to help other less fortunate than themselves on a volunteer basis (something you are presently doing)
    5. And once they have followed the above four steps, they should then begin a program of "positive visualization," visualizing themselves being successful and achieving goals that they set for themselves (and these goals should be written down on paper and discussed among their support group.)

You might want to get a copy my book, "Gaining The Mental Edge Through High Self-Esteem." I believe it's now available on the internet (or soon will be) through the National Association for Self-Esteem (NASE.) You might check them out...and as I said, it may be a bit too early...but JD Hawkins who runs the website is a friend of mine and can bring you up to date on it...

Good luck. Keep up the good work...if I can be of further help, be sure to let me know.


Marv Fremerman

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