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Logan Corbett coaches rodeo at New Mexico State University, but he explains a rider’s success on the back of a horse or a bull – or in any life situation – using a mathematical formula: C = PE + ST(2).
Translation: Confidence equals past experience plus self-thought, which is doubled, because positive thinking is so important to offset poor past experiences, Corbett said.
“The past doesn’t matter, and the future will take care of itself,” he said. “There’s only the present moment.”
Corbett put his own formula to work earlier this month when he sat atop a horse for the first time since last July when an elbow injury sidelined him from the pro rodeo circuit, in which he’s otherwise continued to compete throughout his four-year coaching career in Las Cruces.
“I’m excited to get back in the saddle,” he said.
In fact, Corbett will soon be returning to the pro circuit full time. His last day at NMSU is May 1. It was a tough decision, Corbett said, but at 31, he knows he has only a short window left as a professional bronc rider.
“Thirty five is old” in the sport, he said, adding that he’s even given up chewing tobacco to help save money for the career change.
In the meantime, Corbett said he’s looking forward to another outstanding rodeo season for the 50 young men and women in his program this semester. They will compete in six rodeos before Corbett leaves, starting with the first weekend in March at Central Arizona University in Casa Grande, Arizona. He’ll coach the NMSU team that Saturday and Sunday and compete in a professional rodeo in Scottsdale that night, and he’ll do the same thing the following weekend when the rodeo team travels to Tucson.
“I have the best team I’ve ever had,” Corbett said about this year’s rodeo students, and it’s the first time they’re all students he’s recruited. “We’ve got some great kids,” he said.
This year’s team is evenly divided between men and women, although the women are the more experienced, Corbett said, and are “super talented.” The men’s team is younger and less experienced, but still has a lot of ability.
“The team is really good,” Corbett said, despite numerous injuries, like his own, that have sidelined some rodeo athletes, like a broken wrist, a broken arm and a shoulder injury that will keep one young cowboy out of the saddle until this fall.
Other students keep riding and roping with rolled ankles and knee injuries, he said, sometimes making their way on crutches to mount a horse.
Dealing with injuries, he said, is a major part of rodeo life on both the college and the pro circuit, Corbett said. And that’s where his formula comes in. It takes “effort and attitude (to) come back from an injury,” he said, and to be better than you were before you got hurt.
That same outlook applies if you’re coming off a disappointing rodeo performance, Corbett said. An athlete may train for months for an eight-second ride on the back of a bull or a bronc, or two seconds roping a calf or a goat. The difference between first place and last place could be a half-second or less – and it could come down to mental toughness.
“We have the talent and the work ethic,” Corbett said about this year’s rodeo team. “Only time will tell if we have the mindset.”
Corbett said he has enjoyed his job as NMSU rodeo coach with a national championship team.
He and his wife, Lacy, came to Las Cruces in 2016 after having “sold whatever wouldn’t fit in a horse trailer,” he said. He’d never been to New Mexico before. Now, with a three-year-old daughter, an eight-month-old son and another baby on the way, the couple is ready to move on.
“We’re excited about it,” he said.