In his own words – Monty Phillips

In addition to the Back on Track B.C. Little Britches Rodeo Report, Back on Track has teamed up with bullfighter Monty Phillips. Phillips tells the beginning of his bullfighting story here on Everything Cowboy with more stories to come from throughout his unique career. 

For this portion of the in depth look into my upcoming in my bullfighting career I will be telling you fine humans about how my mindset has changed over the years.

As a young reckless child I obviously looked at bullfighting as a job that needed to be done no matter how bad it hurt or how mean a bull was. My first few years fighting bulls all I tried to do was slow it down. Speed was never something I lacked. The ability to get where I needed to be wasn’t a problem. The timing of being in the correct position to make that pick was.

My brain was always moving faster than my feet. This frustrated me greatly. Lucky for me I had Rick Hodgson teaching me the ways of the trade. I followed him like a dog. I studied him constantly. I bought the 1988-90 NFR Wrangler Bullfights and watched them every day from age 13-18. I’m pretty sure, I chose styles from freestyle bullfighters that I thought would fit my speed and athletic abilities and began to teach myself to move as they did.

It was something I thought about everyday all day. When the rodeo weekends came up I took what I had learned at home and tried to apply it immediately. I went over the bull riding performance with Rick or Raymond Goodman who I also looked up to growing up. I was too busy with rodeo and training horses to play school sports. But I did train with the track/basketball/volleyball teams to stay in shape during the winter and spring months.

Staying in a positive mindset is key me. Starting from the bottom and making a name for myself is difficult.

Finding your style and moulding it with your team mates comes with much experience. But when you become a professional in this sport at what you do it’s your job to figure these things out on the fly with a 1,500lb aggressive animal in front of you and a many lives to protect.

Nobody is harder on me than myself. If I make one wrong move and everything still goes smooth, I will be upset with myself and fix it for next time. I demand near perfection from my performance.

Hearing feedback from my peers always helps me. If I don’t hear anything I think I went unnoticed which, in a wreck free event, is a good thing. I look forward always and try to get better every time I step into the arena.

I like to practice and help young bullfighters learn as quickly as possible. Starting in Saskatchewan it was tough to fight Bulls in the winter starting out. Moving to Alberta was what I needed to do, so I did. And here I am living a life I wrote about in school and then some!

Keeping my body from being sore all time is also a task in itself. Using BOT products have helped me stay sound. I use the knee sleeves when I sleep, the bed comforter is my favourite. I roll around less now. Wearing long sleeve long john shirt and pants while out riding colts or working Bulls. Bruising and sore muscles is something I deal with constantly but with products like these help me get through the days easier!

Stay positive, strive to better yourself, walk a path that suits you the best, be the beat to your own drum. These are things I try to follow everyday.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

Monty Phillips

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