When reigning two-time world all-around champion Trevor Brazile needs a pep talk, he looks in the mirror.
That was the case following RodeoHouston, when the much-heralded cowboy from Decatur, Texas, missed his Tour round calf in tie-down roping and stumbled during the team roping.
"I raised my voice to myself," said Brazile, 27. "I was really disappointed with my performance there. I had it sitting there on my lap and it was mine to lose or to win. It was just one of those days. I tell people everybody has bad days. I just hate to have my bad days on big days. But it happens.
"Dealing with it and how you deal with it is the difference in a champion."
Brazile deals with adversity by heading to the practice pen. That's what he did after RodeoHouston and the hard work paid off last week at Rodeo Austin, where he emerged with the Tour round title in tie-down roping.
His run of 8.0 seconds sealed the deal and earned Brazile 12 much-needed Tour points.
Still, he wasn't completely satisfied.
"I should have tied that calf faster," Brazile said. "It was a great calf and I bobbled the string when I was stringing him, and he had to be strung twice. I definitely missed a chance to be 7.8. People say what's two-tenths? Don't beat yourself up over that. In hindsight, it ended up costing me the aggregate title and it shouldn't have happened."
Brazile, who won $3,778 in Austin, lost the aggregate title by one-tenth of a second to Monty Lewis (Hereford, Texas).
The Tour win, though, was key for Brazile, with only five stops left before the Pace Picante ProRodeo Chute-out.
"I have kind of taken it for granted," he said. "I looked up and thought, 'Wow, I have already been to six Tour events and I don't have near the points I need to have.' It was definitely a wake-up call, especially after I didn't do well in Houston. I needed to pull through."
The Tour round win moves Brazile up to 13th in the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour standings. The top 12 contestants in each event at the end of the 12-city tour qualify for the $500,000 Pace Picante ProRodeo Chute-out (May 13-15) in Las Vegas.
This year's event will be held in the brand new Orleans Arena.
"Tour rodeos are weighed a lot on points," Brazile said. "The money is great, but with these Tour rodeos, the money is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."
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