Teaching To Teach

“Teachers who love teaching teach students to love learning.” -Robert John Meehan

Growing up, I was really lucky to have my dad as a team roping coach and teacher.  While at times he could be a little hard on me for making careless mistakes, he was always quick to praise the things that I was doing right and that kept me interested and passionate about my roping.

When he passed away, I struggled to improve without his constant guidance in the arena.  The team ropings were getting better and better, meanwhile, my roping was getting worse and worse.  I felt like I was washing my money down the drain every time I entered a jackpot.

I began to seek out a coach that could help me to improve.  I went to several different clinics, and while I learned a lot from each coach, there were certain coaches that I really struggled to understand.  It wasn’t that they didn’t know what they were doing…they just didn’t know how to teach what they were doing in a way that was easy for me to understand.

Everyone learns differently.  Some people are very visual learners.  Others are technical learners.  Some people respond well to critical teaching, while others require a little softer approach.  A good teacher and coach knows how to adapt their coaching to each individual student while still making it fun and exciting.

There are a lot of very talented ropers out there, but a good team roping coach needs to have more than just ability.  A good team roping coach needs to be passionate, not just about team roping itself, but also about helping their students improve.  A good team roping coach needs to know HOW TO TEACH!

One of the best team roping coaches and mentors I have found over the years is Rickey Green.  I have found that Rickey has developed a way of teaching that not only suits every level of roper, but also suits every type of learner.  I have attended many of his clinics and schools and sat and watched as he adapted his teaching style from one student to the next.

After getting to know Rickey and practically becoming part of his family, I noticed that he is the kind of man who is never satisfied with what he knows.  He is always striving to know more, learn more, and find a better way to do things.  He is also probably the most inventive person that I have ever met.

At one of his schools, a student showed up with a horse that hadn’t been ridden in a while.  He had sent the horse to the swimmers, not realizing that the horse was still fresh and now really strong.  On the first day of the school, his horse swallowed his head and ended up bucking the guy off.  Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt too bad, but while attempting to stay aboard, he ended up pulling his groin.  He tried to ride several times but the pain was too much for him to bear and he ended up sitting out the first day.  The next day, he made another attempt and grimaced in pain every time his horse tried to leave the box.  I watched from the sidelines as Rickey fashioned up a solution.  With a piece of inner tube and a couple of snaps, Rickey had created a device that wrapped around the guy’s leg and held his groin into place while he roped.  Problem solved!  The guy was able to participate in the clinic and definitely got his money’s worth.

I have had the opportunity to sit at the dinner table with Rickey multiple times, where we read team roping instructional articles together and looked through his binder of photos that he had collected from magazines over the years.  He likes to use still photos a lot in his schools, clinics, and through his virtual coaching with Power Team Roping and Roping.com to show proper technique.  It was there at his table, drinking tea every morning, that I learned the most.  It was also there that I learned that some of the instructors that I have had over the years had taught me to do things incorrectly simply because they were teaching what they were taught and not actually teaching what they do.

A good example of this is the hundreds of times I have heard heeling coaches tell their students to shake hands with the dummy in the delivery.  It sounds good in theory, but when you actually see still photographs of the best heelers in the world delivering their rope, their hand is actually turned over the opposite direction of a handshake!

Another example of this is the header’s body position while leaving the box.  I was always taught growing up to sit straight in the saddle and keep my body weight forward as to not get rocked back while leaving the box.  But after looking trough multiple still photos, I saw that the pros all have their body weight not only shifted forward slightly to stay over the saddle, but also their bodies are set in an athletic stance, with their hips shifted and their shoulders opened up towards the steer.

These minor adjustments may not seem like much, but they really do make all the difference in your roping.

I recently caught up with Rickey, who is thrilled to put on the FIRST EVER Team Roping Teach To Teach clinics starting in August of this year.

“I am really excited to take clinics to a whole new level by using private tutors to teach the Power Team Roping method!  Student teachers that attend the Teach To Teach clinics should develop skills like never before!”

His first clinic will be held in Ogden, Utah, and will consist of an intensive 5 days of learning and instruction.  During these 5 days, each student will become a “private tutor” who will be able to conduct private lessons to beginner ropers under the supervision of Rickey himself.  The first 3 days of the clinic will provide the student teacher with thorough instruction.  This is where the student will learn all the necessary team roping skills and mechanics.  On the last 2 days, the student teacher will learn how to teach team roping to others and will then earn the title of “Private Tutor”.

These clinics are not just for professional team ropers, but for anyone who is interested in teaching team roping!  Perhaps you are a parent with kids who are participating in junior and high school rodeos.  These clinics are for you!  Junior rodeo and high school rodeo competitors are getting tougher and tougher.  Learn the best ways to coach your kids so that they can back in the box with confidence and the skills necessary to be competitive.

Perhaps you are passionate about helping people and you would like to give a few roping lessons in your area.  Being a part of Roping.com for so long, I know that there are people living in parts of the country that can’t find a clinic or coach anywhere near them.  Become a private tutor and give your students the best experience possible by learning from the man who has hosted thousands of clinics and schools over the last 30 years.

The possibilities are endless for those who choose to attend the Teach To Teach clinics!

For more information or to sign up for the first clinic in Ogden, Utah, please contact Julie or Kurt Campbell at (801) 388-6732 or (801) 391-2891.  You can also email Kurt at kurt.campbell3327@gmail.com.

Lacey Maddalena

Lacey grew up on a cattle ranch in Northern California where she learned to ride and rope at a very young age. Her dad was an avid team roper, and unlike most little girls who dreamed of the adrenaline of chasing barrels, Lacey dreamed of being a team roper just like her dad. She won her first jackpot at just 13 and has been hooked ever since. She is not only a passionate team roper and a writer, but also an artist and an outdoorsman. When she is not in the arena, she enjoys painting, archery, fishing, hiking, and traveling the world.

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