Managing 8 Seconds

By Bill Nordgren
Updated on Apr 3, 2020, originally posted on Aug 18, 2016

How long is eight seconds? That depends on what happens during those eight seconds. When it comes to professional bull riding, eight seconds make all the difference in the world.

In today’s Professional Bull Riders (PBR) circuit, a cowboy spends a great deal of time preparing to manage just eight seconds. It’s the amount of time a bull rider must stay on the bull to receive a score. For eight frantic seconds, the bull riders can’t touch their free hand to the bull or to themselves. In the course of a weekend event, a cowboy may have 3 to 4 opportunities to ride if they advanced to the final round.

Depending on the size of the event and the number of riders, average winnings can range from $30,000 to $80,000. A million-dollar bounty is awarded to the top cowboy in the championship event each year. That makes a nice payout for managing just 32 intense seconds.

The downside is that if you only ride one bull your take may only be $1,500. Two bulls can get you $5,000 to $10,000. The bottom line is this: you have to ride if you want to make enough money to survive.

One tough bull rider

Tony Mendes, Bull Rider

Tony Mendes is one of the toughest cowboys alive, and in his prime he was one of the best bull riders in the PBR. FlexSim was actually one of Tony’s sponsors several years back, in large part because he represents the qualities that we admire. He is a fearless, tough competitor and strives to be the best at what he does. He spends a lot of time preparing for a PBR event, rising early each day to train and hit the gym. But physical strength alone is not enough – you’ve also got to be mentally tough. You have to know you can beat the bull.

Strapping yourself to 2000 pounds of ferocious, muscle throbbing, red-eyed bull takes guts. It wants nothing more than to buck you off and then stomp you into the ground. You have to balance your body with nothing more than one hand holding onto a bull rope wrapped around a heaving animal that’s out to get you. You have to be able to visualize the ride, the twists and turns. The mental ability is just as important as the physical ability when it comes to bull riding.

In addition, you have to know the proper technique for preparing yourself in the chute. You have to get on the bull, maintain balance, and be ready to anticipate that first move by the bull as it explodes from the gate. What’s more important, you need to know how to get off. The last thing a rider wants to do is get hung up and not be able to free their hand from the bull rope. When this happens the results can be disastrous.

Without proper preparation, you’ll have bigger worries than how to manage the eight seconds. Your biggest concern becomes survival, a successful exit strategy, and the prospects of next week. There are many variables you have to control for a successful ride. There is no greater adrenaline rush than managing those eight seconds to perfection.

The simulation correlation

Bull rider leaving the chute

There are many correlations between bull riding and managing your facility. In most production facilities you have a complex set of variables to manage in order to ensure a profitable outcome. If these variables are managed poorly, costs are incurred, waste increases, and profitability is lost. In bull riding the cowboy has to be able to visualize the entire riding process. They have to anticipate and react quickly to a rapidly changing environment. The same holds true in any business environment. Just as physical and mental preparation is needed to perfect the eight seconds, companies need to combine the power of visualization and optimization to ensure corporate success.

Fortunately, in business you have the ability to visualize your systems and processes to ensure profitability. FlexSim is one of the most powerful tools on the market to help your company reap the benefits of a properly planned and executed supply chain, manufacturing process, warehouse and distribution system, or virtually any type of system. Unless you own a crystal ball, there is no better way to predict the complex interactions and variables that exist in today’s business environment.

How to make simulation a success

What are your critical eight seconds? Do you know how to react to the unexpected changes that affect your business? Are your processes, planning, and customer deliveries working as planned? Or are you falling short and losing profits, customers, and market share because you don’t have a handle on your processes? FlexSim can help you assure that your business can perform during that critical time when everything matters. Contact FlexSim and let us help you visualize your business like never before. We have helped hundreds of companies save millions of dollars.

Want to learn more?

If you have simulation needs that are not being addressed, please contact us to get a quote on software or consulting services. You might be surprised just how affordable and informative a simulation project can be.

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