Hart knows fitness is key as he prepares to build Kansas City’s outlaw roster

From: Darci Miller

PUEBLO, Colo. – JW Hart is one of the PBR’s all-time greats.

Hart earned the nickname “Iron Man” when he competed in 197 consecutive Series One events. He racked up over 200 races on the first series, posted 10 PBR World Finals qualifications and was inducted into the PBR Ring of Honor in 2009.

He also knows that he could have been much better.

“I look back on my career and I wish I had trained better and done things differently” Hart told Cowboy Channel last month. “I know for a fact that I would have been a better bull rider.”

It’s a lesson he learned the hard way when he rode his last bull in 2015 after retiring in 2008 at a special one-night pay-per-view event called Unfinished Business at his PBR event. in Decatur, Texas. Hart tied with two-time PBR world champion Chris Shivers for the win despite being knocked out on the whistle.

“I had to train for four months,” Hart said. “I had to lose 25 pounds to try and ride that bull. I was out of shape. And that taught me what a really fit guy was, how much better he could be.

Hart, the Kansas City Outlaws head coach for the next series of PBR teams, is now a big proponent of the more athletic turn to bull riding. He and the coaching staff of the other seven teams were in Pueblo, Colorado, last month for the inaugural PBR Team Series Combine, where more than 50 riders were on hand to prove their mettle.

The first ever PBR Team Series Draft, presented by ZipRecruiter, will take place May 23 at Texas Live! in Arlington, Texas. The Outlaws have the fourth overall pick and have already generated excitement among hometown fans. On Thursday, Council Member Kevin O’Neill introduced an ordinance honoring and welcoming outlaws to Kansas City.

At the combine, riders rode practice bulls and were put through various exercises, but it went far beyond that.

“They’re going to look at their diet and what they’re eating, and I hear they’re going to look at their bone density and their body fat, things like that,” Hart said. “The frame and the statures and how fast they can run, how fast they can’t run, and doing all these measurements, maybe not so much even for this year’s draft, but to get this information these years- there in research we may be able to put two and two together to say “Hey, this guy is better than this guy” or “This guy with this feature is better than this one or not as good as this.”

“They put in a lot of research, a lot of time, and really put the science behind them too.”

Antwon Burton, former NFL defensive tackle and executive director of the PBR Sport Performance Center, led runners through drills encompassing grip strength, hip/groin strength, balance and stability, explosive ability and core strength/flexibility.

The runners also underwent cognitive testing through Ryzer’s TAP (Troutwine Athletic Profile) technology and underwent body composition testing (height, weight, and BMI).

TAP bills itself as a “Sports Spirit Assessment”. It was created by Dr. Robert Troutwine, a psychologist trusted by major professional sports clubs, including Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, for nearly four decades to help them understand what drives players.

That’s a far cry from how things were during Hart’s career and earlier, when legends like Wacey Cathey avoided all other physical activity.

“He said he didn’t have to stretch,” Hart said of Cathey. “He said that’s what the first jump was for. And a guy’s workout might have been to go haul hay or go to the bar and party all night. Times have changed, that’s for sure.

“Guys today are athletes. There are cowboys in there, but even those who are cowboys are athletes because they work there.

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