No ‘I’ in Polo Team.
We often talk about what makes a good polo player, admiring the skills of the top players.
Consequently we take lessons to improve ourselves as an individual. We work on our physical fitness, strength, flexibility, riding skills, nerve, anticipation and keeping a cool head under pressure, alongside ball and hitting skill. All of the aforementioned are of course characteristics of good players, however team play is frequently overlooked when we work on improving ourselves as polo players. Most of the time as players we are focussed more on individual skill rather than positive overall characteristics of the team.
Top coaches believe that a positive training environment and a “squad mentality” are imperative in developing a good team outlook and achieving optimum performance. Developing not just as individuals but also as a team are crucial in achieving consistent good results. In training as a polo team, we develop a better awareness and understanding of the way our team mates play. Things as basic as reading the path of a shot from body position of the person playing the shot come from time spent on the practice ground. Observing, learning and understanding the way our team mates play will enhance our understanding and ability to read the game, and aid our ability to communicate without speaking.
Instead of trying to make a good polo player we should be making a good polo team.
Ryan offers team coaching through his academy. This high level intensive lesson or series of lessons involves an assessment followed by coaching. It gives you an opportunity to improve the performance of individual players within your team and your team as a whole. If you are serious about giving your team the competitive edge over your opponents you will find having set plays, coaching on winning the line out, and playing to each others abilities, to name but a few, invaluable in winning the game.