Don't forget to RIDE YOUR HORSE! As set up for your back shot your weight and rein hand tend to tell your pony to turn over the ball. Trained ponies know that is not right! Don't believe me? Check out Aida as I ask her to turn the wrong direction! Her face and behavior tells it all!
It's always good to listen to your horse, a great pony will always make you look good. But bad riding can ruin even the best horse. Master your basics and ride your horse well and the rest will follow.
We know you have it, we watch your stroke. And no it's not normal, you're doing something wrong!
SNAP! You need to develop the wrist snap! Not that kind of snap^^^ but the snap of your wrist that comes with allowing the momentum of the stroke flow through your arm. That little snap is the key to curing your wrist pain and unlocking your power.
A Poem By a Frustrated Polo Player
There's no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going
There's no knowing where the stroke is stopping
Or which way the a ball's a going
Is it shanking? Is it stalling?
Is a hurricane a-blowing?
Not a speck of white is showing
So the opponents must be nearing
Because my balls keep disappearing
Yes, our foes they must be gleaming
Oh which direction am I aiming?
'Cause the balls they keep on shanking
And they're certainly not showing
Any signs I will be scoring
Ever wonder how the pros manage to do what they do so well?
Practice. Practice. Perfect Practice. They perfected it at the walk, the trot, the canter and then a gallop. They worked hard every chance to make sure they could carry the ball in circles around... you!
So take this tip out to the stick and ball field or your arena and develop your perfect tap shot!
If games were played with easy offside fore shots we'd all be rates 10 goals but sometimes you need to pull out those tricky shots to put the ball between the uprights.
Sometimes you have to put yourself out there... I mean REALLY out there to achieve your goals.
Anyone ever feel like mastering polo is mastering the keys to being successful in life off the field. Don't forget to put yourself out there to get what you want!
Once you think you've finally got the hang of things it's time to change things up...
While players often hit the back shot at the same point as the foreshot, in line with the horse's shoulder, the proper point is far later. If you've ever found your backshot hitting the ground or even burrying the ball into the turf, this tip is for you!
The key? Start your stroke as the ball passes the point of the horse's shoulder and make contact with the ball at the bottom of your stroke's swing into to maximize your power and accuracy and will be easier on your arm!
Are you one of those people who finds themselves doing so many things you’re constantly running behind? Does that follow you on to the polo field?
Are you the type of person who always waits for the time to be right and sometimes finds yourself behind the eight ball?
Do you find your wrist or arm hurts a lot after you play polo?
This weeks tip will help you find the key to solving those problems... on the polo field.
It’s all about finding the right timing...
Do you find your shots don’t go the direction you wanted?
Is the ball going too far to the left?
Do you find yourself switching from offside to near side unintentionally as you carry the ball?
The first step in improving your aim is giving the ball space. We all have a tendency to ride too close, or let our horses drift too close, to the ball.
Instead increase the distance between your horse and the ball and give yourself room to get around and take a proper stroke.
This will allow the ball to travel straight forward. Or better yet, open to the right, and allow you to carry the ball easily down the field.
Get on the field and get to work!
Do you find your neck shots never go where you aim? Are they not angled enough? Ball hitting your horse’s feet?
Don’t worry we’ve all been there.
In my decades of coaching I’ve found that even confident riders struggle at first to get far enough forward to achieve a successful neck shot.
First attempts at neck shots usually result in cut shots, instead of the mallet following through on the opposite side of the horse it stays on the off side and the resulting shot fails to achieve the desired 90 degree angle.
Once players start try neck shots under the horses neck they are often frustrated by sending balls directly at their horse’s feet and bouncing off towards the opposing team.
The key? Get out of your comfort zone.
Shift forward and out of the saddle. The mallet should follow through under the throat latch of the horse. From there you’ll have plenty of room to sink the ball in goal.
Get out there and try it!
Do you find that during the action of a chukker you miss more balls than you do in practice? Watch this week's tip and find out the key to making contact with the ball everytime, no matter if it's stick and ball, practice or a tournament!
We all tend to get distracted by the action of the chukker and take our eyes of the ball. Be that to look for our teammates, check if an opponent is coming to make a play or to see where the ball we hit is going. But the key to being a successful player on the field is to first make consistent contact with the ball. In order to do that, you must keep your eye on the ball until you see the mallet make contact. Then and only then do you look up to see what play to make next.
Good luck out there!
Coach David Eldredge CPI
Our Coach David Eldredge has over five decades of polo experience and National titles to prove his coaching will bring you success. He is also an honary certified polo instructor for assisting the USPA in developing the instructor program and is a USPA certified Umpire. After retiring from collegiate coaching with close to 1000 wins, Coach Eldredge helped to found Team Resolute to keep the sport of polo alive and bring young adults back on the polo field. He currently still plays professionally in the East Coast Circuit - Florida in the winter and the Northeast in the Summer.