South Dakotan Chance Schott wins Rapid City Xtreme Bulls
Chance Schott of McLaughlin, South Dakota, won the Xtreme Bulls Rapid City event held Jan. 27, 2023. This, along with his Badlands Circuit Finals win in October, has kickstarted his standings early in the 2023 season. He currently sits third in the world, with just under $35,000 won.
To win an event so close to home “meant a lot” to Schott. Seeing friends and family there to support him at a great event made the win all the more special.
At a glance, this early season success hints at the possibility of Schott qualifying to his first National Finals Rodeo in December. Yet, Schott has decided to keep his focus in the daily process of riding bulls. He finished 25th in the world in 2021, and in the top 35 last year. “In the past, I’ve put too much pressure on myself to make money and get down the road and worrying about other rodeos and the NFR instead of just worrying about the rodeo I was at. My mental game started going bad. This year, I’m just taking each bull jump for jump,” he says.
In his fourth season of professional rodeo, Schott has learned many lessons that are shaping his game plan for 2023. “How to travel and take care of myself is very important, and who you travel with. Champions go with champions,” he says. “Learn to surround yourself with good people and go to good rodeos. It’s a lot more fun and creates a lot more success that way.”
Additionally, Schott has made changes to his physical preparation this year by being remotely coached by former professional rodeo athlete, Doug Champion of Champion Living Fitness. “After last season, I realized I needed to make some changes with myself,” Schott says. He receives a daily workout which varies on days off and riding days, as well as nutritional plans. This program offers stability while on the road. At time of writing, for example, Schott was in between rounds at San Antonio and going to the gym. “That’s been key to my success this year. I’ve dealt with injuries in the past. Now, my body feels ready, so my mental game is ready as well. It skyrocketed. I feel amazing right now, and feel like it’s going to be a great year,” he says.
Injuries are not something that can be avoided in the sport of bull riding, Schott says, “but the better shape a guy is in, the easier it is for him to recover and bounce back and get ready for the next one.” He says at least half of professional rodeo athletes are doing a similar program to his. “It’s not just cowboys going out to the bar anymore,” he laughs. “These are athletes. These guys are in the gym every day and it’s a full time job to stay physically and mentally sharp while rodeoing.”
Schott thanks his family, girlfriend, his hometown of McLaughlin, and the community of McIntosh where he attended high school, for their unending support in his rodeo career. After San Antonio, Schott is entered in RodeoHouston; Grand Island, Nebraska; and Rodeo Austin. “There’s quite a few great winter rodeos down here [in Texas]. I’m excited to be down here. I’m going to take full advantage of it,” says Schott.