For many when thinking of what makes a great polo player, images of long-haired champagne drinkers that happen to look great in tight white jeans come to mind. However, as reality would have it, much more than these traits will be needed to achieve greatness in the game of polo.
Most professional polo players share a love for horses as well as the competitive aspects of polo play. And for the novice player looking to improve as a polo player, the following points will definitely prove helpful.
Improve Horse Riding Ability
Generally speaking, 95% of polo play is spent off-ball. This means the ability to ride and properly command a horse is central to becoming a good polo player. This can easily be discerned when comparing polo players that enter the game with prior advanced horse riding ability to those new polo players who are also relatively inexperienced as horse riders.
Polo ponies are highly trained athletes that respond best when ridden by skilled riders that are able to properly command the pony. A poor rider will only confuse the animal. So step number one to becoming a great polo player is to master the art of horse riding.
Choosing The Right Pony
Most experts will readily admit that the pony is the most important athlete on the field. Beginning polo players should choose a pony that matches their own skill level and style of play. As the player progresses as a polo player so should the abilities of the chosen pony increase. Players should not become preoccupied with having the most impressive horse on the field but should instead concentrate on matching the level of their pony to their own level of riding.
Poise And Control
Polo can be an emotional game. The ability to maintain an inner calm while participating in hotly contested play will greatly benefit the polo player. Awareness of the field location of other players, the ability to manage quick pony changes, and effective communications with teammates are all things that can only be accomplished with a clear head.
There is no way around the fact that a measurable degree of physical ability is needed in order to become a great polo player. Getting your body into top shape with good strength at the body’s core will result in better polo play and provide much relief to your pony. For the polo player seeking greatness, time in the gym is essential.
The world of polo play is a highly competitive environment with many strong egos and personality types. To navigate this environment and emerge as a top participant will mean being a highly competitive individual.
The road to being a great polo player takes passion and commitment. The five tips in this article provide a relevant roadmap that if followed the beginning polo player will be well on their way.