By: Justin Felisko
CHICAGO – Goal-setting and mentally visualizing future success are two important tasks for Ryan Dirteater every time a new PBR season rolls around.
The ultimate goal for Dirteater, of course, is the same as every other rider that ties his hand into his bull rope.
“A gold buckle has always been my goal,” Dirteater said after winning Round 2 of the Chicago Invitational on Sunday afternoon with 87.75 points on Buffalo Scott. “Or else I wouldn’t be here.”
Dirteater understands that to achieve that illustrious gold buckle he so badly wants, he has to set other goals along the way. Small goals help achieve larger goals. Those building blocks are necessary to complete the overall objective.
“At the beginning of the year, I think about the big picture, everything,” Dirteater said. “I’ve got my main goal. I’ve got my goals throughout the season. My weekend goals. I think about everything. I’m the type that likes to think about it. Think about my stats, look at that, and then prepare myself for each and every weekend. It’s just something I’ve always done. It’s not something I’ve just started. I’ve done that for years.
“I’ve been up here for a reason, and I never changed it. Keep doing the same thing.”
So what are some of those smaller goals for Dirteater as he embarks upon his 13th season?
“I’ve always wanted to make a career out of bull riding,” Dirteater said. “I’m doing that. I always wanted to qualify 10 times for the PBR World Finals. I qualified for 11 already. I always wanted to win 10 UTB events, and I’m at nine right now in my career. If I hit 10, I’d like to go for more. I’d like to extend my career winnings over $2 million. I’m getting close.
“And, of course, that ultimate goal.”
Dirteater’s Round 2 victory at the Chicago Invitational propelled him to an eighth-place finish overall (25 world points) inside Allstate Arena.
The 30-year-old was 1-for-3 after Shownuff bucked him off in 1.24 seconds in the championship round.
Dirteater will head into next weekend’s Manchester Invitational 11th in the world standings, 160.5 points behind new world leader Kaique Pacheco.
Fans can watch Round 1 exclusively on RidePass beginning at 6:45 p.m. ET.
There is a delicate balance when it comes to the multitude of goals, says Dirteater.
Just because a gold buckle is the primary does not diminish the necessity to finish the job every single weekend.
“Every event is a must-win,” Dirteater said. “Majors are a lot more points. It’s always been one to win. I’m here to win. And stay on your bulls. You stay on your bulls, you’re going to do something great. There’s a lot of good bull riders out there, and every bull rider that’s here is great that’s in the Top 35. We’ve all got talent. It’s just about putting it all together, and believing in yourself.”
The next PBR Major is Iron Cowboy, presented by Ariat, in Los Angeles, on Feb. 7-8, but Dirteater knows he cannot think too far in advance.
It is one bull at a time. One goal at a time.
Goal-setting and mental visualization is something Team USA Wolves coach Ted Nuce preaches to his team, and it is no surprise that the veteran rider shares the same mindset as his coach.
Dirteater was one of seven riders selected to the Wolves squad by Nuce for the 202 WinStar World Casino and Resort Global Cup USA, presented by Monster Energy, on Feb. 15-16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The Wolves final roster consists of Dirteater, Stetson Lawrence, Colten Jesse, Keyshawn Whitehorse, Cannon Cravens, Cody Jesus, and alternate Wyatt Rogers.
A Global Cup victory is certainly on Dirteater’s bucket list of 2020 goals.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Dirteater said. “I’m looking forward to Global Cup. It’s fun. Bull riding is an individual sport, and it’s been like that since day one. And being at Global Cup on a team, it’s a different atmosphere. You don’t want to let your team down, so you’re having to ride for yourself, and them too, and your country.
“We’re excited and pumped up. It’s a game-changer for the sport. Global Cup broke ground for the future, I believe.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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