5 Thomas & Mack Mental Game Tips From Shad Mayfield
World Champion Calf Roper Shad Mayfield shares 5 ways to keep your cool even in high-pressure rodeo setups like the Thomas & Mack.
Shad Mayfield
World Champion Calf Roper Shad Mayfield celebrates his Round 6 win and arena record aboard his horse, Platinum, at the 2022 NFR. | Ric Andersen/C Bar C

When the stakes are high and the pressure is on, even the most seasoned ropers can falter in their mental game. World champion tie-down roper Shad Mayfield shares the lessons he’s learned about staying calm, cool and focused during his five trips to the big show at the Thomas & Mack.

Watch the full video on Roping.com.

1. “It’s just another roping.”

“My problem is I just want to succeed so much that I make it out to be more than it actually is. At the end of the day, it’s just another roping. Whenever I get ready for the Thomas and Mack, I feel like I change up my practices; I change everything up and that’s what I need to stop doing.”

2. Don’t rush.

“I’ve missed a couple calves there because I get in a hurry. Instead of just being patient, looking for my throw, I’m always trying to rush.”

3. Block out the negative noise.

“The NFR can be exhausting and it can be fun—it just depends how you handle it. There’s be a lot of people talking in your ear at the Finals saying a lot of different things. You just got to block them out and learn to have fun out there.”

4. Stay positive.

“I try to look at the good. Look at the kids who look up to you, who want to get a picture with you, versus all the people who are talking behind you.”

5. Make peace with losing and mistakes.

“I’ve always struggled with losing. I get down on myself pretty hard. I’ve tried to get better at that over the years, knowing that there are going to be times when you’ll lose. If I have a bad second round or calf kicks me or something happens, I gotta be able to overcome that and not let the past get to me.”

For more advice from Shad Mayfield on improving your mental game in high-pressure situations, watch the full video on Roping.com.

More calf roping videos from Shad Mayfield on Roping.com:

Whether you’re a novice looking to establish a solid foundation or an experienced roper aiming to refine your technique, Roping.com has you covered with its extensive collection of instructional videos, each focusing on different aspects of calf roping. Visit the video library here.