Sims Reflects on 2014

PUEBLO, Colo. – Brady Sims sat down with for a few questions following his rookie season on the Built Ford Tough Series and his first Built Ford Tough World Finals appearance. Sims finished the year 24th in the world standings by posting a 32.76 percent riding average, while also placing in the Top-5 at three events and inside the Top-10 at seven events.

JF: Now that your first season is under your belt, have you had a chance to sit back and take it all in some after finishing 2-for-6 at the World Finals?

SIMS: This year, it was awesome that I got to go to 20 events. That and the World Finals was pretty good. It was a lifelong dream. Granted, I didn’t win the rookie of the year, but it is pretty hard to beat out J.W. (Harris) and them (Gage Gay and Tanner Byrne).

I just wish I rode one more at Finals, whether it had been (Mississippi) Hippy, Hang Time or whoever – Bushwacker, of course. Then I would have been super happy with it, and I would have been in the Top 10 at the Finals. You can’t be too hard on yourself, but at the same time you always want more.

JF: Beyond Finals, what was the best part of this year?

SIMS: Being where I always wanted to be. It was neat finally being up there. I have been watching it for years on TV and to be there and have other people watching me and telling me that was great even if I got (bucked off). They would all be Facebook messaging me, ‘Man that was awesome.’

And the free tape. Free tape goes a long ways. Nobody ever realizes the small things in life, but free tape was awesome.

JF: Speaking of fans, I’m sure the BFTS event in Kansas City, Missouri, had to be a special one for you. It is pretty close to your hometown in Holt, Missouri.

SIMS: I would have to say Kansas City was by far my favorite (event). It is 30 miles from home. I wish I could have rode that damn short-round bull, but it is pretty tough when you get to the short round.

JF: Is that part of the maturing process for you as a bull rider on the BFTS? The short round bulls gave all the rookies trouble at some point this season.

SIMS: It is no secret that the short-rounders are the ones you need to conquer to be a great. I hate picking bulls. I can’t stand it. In my head, I feel like it is a fool-proof plan, and then whenever I get on him and I am done I am like, ‘Are you serious? Why couldn’t you ride that bull?’ That is what I hate because whenever I go to pick one – you pick one you think you can ride, obviously – well, in my head I already (think) I can ride him and think, ‘Oh I don’t have to do anything, he is going to be great.’ It is not that I don’t try as hard; I should have just done more. It is just stuff doesn’t work out. I over-think and I ride him 5 million times in my head and then he will take one more jump and I will dive off.

JF: So then are you a bigger fan of the random draw then?

SIMS: Whenever I draw one, I never even look at what I have until I show up because I don’t want to think about it. I just want to jump on him and go. I don’t want to know anything. That is why in Vegas I hated doing that draw deal because you knew what you had and you had all night and all day to think about it. Oh well, that is part of bull riding. Next year, those short-rounders, I will finally figure them out.

JF: Was the bull power the hardest thing you had to adjust to on the BFTS, or what was the biggest thing you learned?

SIMS: It is hard. It is not near as easy everybody thinks it is. Everybody is like, ‘Heck, you get up on tour and you don’t have to do nothing.’ That is a lie. You are going against the top guys every single weekend. You can’t have a weekend off anywhere. You have to keep going and keep on trying hard. You have to train and do everything you got to do to get them bulls rode. Those bulls aren’t no slouches either. I have gotten on rejects of the Built Ford Tough Series that are still damn honky.

JF: What about the travel schedule? Did that ever wear you down?

SIMS:  Yeah, you get wore out. I think everybody feels it. You are just worn out. Sometimes you will go and you get on that plane and you are like, ‘Oh, another plane ride.’ Then you get to the hotel and you are like, ‘Another hotel.’ The first half of the season was way worse for me because there were a lot of those three-day weekends. That is a damn marathon. It is never-ending. You feel like you are never going to get out of there and on your bulls. After the first half I was just drained – mentally, physically, everything. Taking those six weeks off to let my groin heal in the summer was the best thing I could’ve done. It gave me rest and it let my groin heal. When the second half started up I was ready and wanting to go.

JF: Before you know it, you will be in Baltimore for the 2015 BFTS season-opener. What do you have to do to build off 2014 and not fall into a sophomore slump?

SIMS: Just determination. You just have to want to be better than you were the year before. I don’t have that gold buckle, so I still have to work toward something.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.

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