Often considered as the ‘King of Games’, Polo is one sport where people tend to stereotype the image of what a Polo player looks like as well as his qualities. Often their assumptions are wrong. Below, I’m presenting the key skills to be a great Polo player.
Horse Riding Supremacy
We’re not talking about Water Polo skills needed here! For the regular Horse Polo, do you know 90% or more of the sport is spent not on the ball but rather keeping the pony engaged effectively?
Even though Polo ponies are extremely well trained, responding to taught commands over years of training, a bad rider can confuse them.
So, if you aspire to be a top Polo player, first endeavor to be the top-level horse rider!
The Ability to pick the Perfect Pony
What I mean by ‘perfect pony’ is that you should choose your pony based on your level of expertise in the sport. A beginner or intermediate level player should not itch to pick a 10-goal pony. Instead, you would want to ride one which is steadier.
Indeed, as many professionals agree, a pony’s involvement is almost three-quarters in a Polo game, with the players’ contribution as such amounting to around one-quarter. This makes the ability to select your perfect pony extremely crucial for success in the game.
A Temperament cool as a Cucumber
It’s very easy to be tempted to aggression against other players as well as your own pony as Polo is a fast-paced contact sport. However, to be successful in the sport, you need to maintain a cool head. This would also help you in keeping pace with your team players and in coordination to score goals effectively.
Peak Physical Fitness
A few common features amongst the top Polo players in the world you would notice instantly are that they all are slim and athletic and in peak physical form. This makes gym and yoga training crucial, besides paying as much attention to your diet and avoiding bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking.
Teams have physical trainers and physiotherapists to ensure their players maintain a physical form.
A Competitive Sportsmanship Spirit
Don’t confuse competitiveness with aggression. As this sport involves interacting with players of varying egos and personalities you need to be very competitive both on and off the field. A laid back, casual approach to this sport won’t do if you truly wish to be a successful Polo player.