FORT WORTH -- Most people might not think ballet would help condition and train a bull rider.
But according to professional bull rider Tate Stratton, ballet actually helps with strength and balance.
Stratton, a two-time bull rider in the PRCA World Championship, shared such advice along with bull riding techniques Sunday with a group of kids during a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Championship Rodeo Camp at the Fort Worth Stock Show.
Stratton's preference, however, is yoga, which also trains him to be calm during intense situations.
"I do yoga; it's calming and helps with balance. ... Nerves will get to you," Stratton told the kids. "You have to calm yourself down, relax and not worry about what's about to happen. Then you'll have a better shot at success."
Stratton also told the group to never, ever give up.
"Nothing is impossible if you desire it enough. It's been proven," he said. "As long as my hand is still in that rope, I still have a chance."
Other advice included tips about setting goals and eating healthy.
"There's no management in rodeo; you manage yourself," he said. "Working out, eating habits, it's all up to you. You are a team of one."
Charlie Cain of Mansfield said he appreciated hearing tips from the pros and felt that the event helped his son, Tanner, 14, who competes with the North Texas High School Rodeo Association.
"You get a lot of advice from a lot of people, but it's nice to get advice from people who've won," Cain said.
Allen Evans of Boyd brought his sons, Hadley, 10, and Seth, 16.
"I'd rather they didn't ride bareback at all, but since they want to so bad, I want them to learn all they can," Evans said. "Not just to do the best they can, but to do it as safe as they can."
Seth Evans said he appreciates the time that a pro would take out of his own day to help others.
"These guys are so good to help us out," he said. "They could be home watching TV right now, but they're out here helping us."
PRCA bareback rider Matt Bright, 28, of Azle, said he hopes events like this will help with technique and help get kids excited about bareback riding.
"Bareback riding is a dying breed and has the fewest entries of all the rodeo events," Bright said.
Julie Jutten, manager of industry outreach with PRCA, said the event, now in its third year in Fort Worth, is part of about a dozen free camps held across the United States annually.
Susan McFarland, 817-390-7684