... but never take a polo lesson? (Robin Welker Sanchez)
Why are professional polo players the only professional athletes who do not have coaches? (Hugh Dawnay)
Why can I go on a tennis site (Tennis One) and find five hundred articles about the intricacies of my footwork while covering the distance between the baseline and the net but ... almost no one thinks about polo at this level of detail?
Golf the same way. How much strategy is there in golf? It is all mechanics. And yet an entire industry exists teaching people to play it. Every movement is analyzed to the nth degree with thirty different opinions on how to do it properly.
And they don't even have horses!
Would be curious to hear any reasoned discussion.
How timely your posting. Having been involved with many sports: tennis, squash, rugby, skiing, motor sports, and for many years polo, and I can say that in most other sports one always has access to detailed individual or group coaching and training in order to learn and improve one's skills. I at least have always made us of them in order to not only learn but to improve to a level where one becomes more competitive and really enjoys the sport. Yet polo is hugely lacking in the type of coaching that it requires to become proficient and skillful. Certainly, most federations promote, and individual clubs offer one or two day clinics, however, these clinics at best serve as basic instruction alone, and do not provide the level of detail and individual attention polo requires, where both horse and athlete combine into one. To my knowledge, there is one pioneering school that comes to mind that offers comprehensive immersion polo clinics, and it operates under the name of The Anglo Argentine Polo School, located in Argentina. A full 2 week immersion clinic there is very comparable to what can be achieved in a 2 week immersion tennis clinic in somewhere like Boca Raton. Indeed, the school in Argentina caters to beginners at all levels and has implemented a special program with university students in mind, and the results have been amazing, because theory and practice are taught under one program, and sessions are carried out with full professionals at all times. I firmly believe that the future of polo training and coaching is in full immersion clinics, and of course the widely accepted concept of practice, practice, practice..........to perfection?
maybe you would like to buy and read Hugh Dawnay's book - which has the mechanics you are looking for
Which one would you recommend? Playmaker Polo or Polo Vision?
Thought you might like to know we are weeks away from launching the PoloSkilz Network. Major Dawnay is one of our contributors, as are Luis Escobar, Adam Snow, Major Hugh Dawnay, Paul Wollenman, D.V.M., Nano Perez, Brandon Phillips, Sunny Hale, Julio Arellano, Ricardo Sanchez, Owen Rinehart, Steve Krueger, Jim Overdorf, Ricky Bostwick, Dave Barrons, Dale Smicklas and Steve Lane … and that is just for starters.
I flew the Major to Palm Beach and spent several days filming with him. His topics include, among others: What to Do When You Don't Have the Ball?, The Art of Receiving a Pass, Gaining Strategic Advantage On Attack, How to Win a Ride-Off, What's "Outside the Horse"?, How to Always Be in the Right Position, Defense: When to Go to the Next Play, I'm Running Out Of Field! Now What?, Playing #1 and What Shot From the Corner? plus three Quick Tip videos on Stopping, Avoiding a Foul and Taking the Man. He has also designed a special drill for PoloSkilz Network members that we think will be incredibly useful in improving the skills of those who practice it.
For more information on the PoloSkilz Network, you can either go to our Facebook Page and hit the "Like" button to make sure stay updated as we near launch. Or, you can go to poloskilz.com and pre-register. This reserves your spot should you choose to become a Founding Member when we launch late February.
It is all about installed base and organisation. Polo is now easy opening to a wider base. Also the continental europe has realized that polo is not prohibited anymore and that there would be time to get the sport to olympic level again. Tennis starts to be open somewhere at the end of 19th centaury, golf somewhere in the 50's, 60's and for sure in 80's with an invasion of semi public and public courses and a driving range at each bigger hotel. This is how you get people to the sports.. USGA and R&A (today known also as IGF) have setup a nice cooperation and started with a lot of competions - and it took them a long time to play golf on a wide base and get qualified for olympics.
Now Polo tries to go down the path. If we break it down to everyone with a horse can play, then the number of players will rise smooth, but stable. When we start to play 1 or 2 chakkas tournaments then it will be achieveble to a wider population and the schools will rise, certificates will to be required, basic experience will be demanded on the field.
But polo will still be very resource demanding sport, so we should not expect polo fields at every hotel.
But I think if FIP gets polo back to olympics as at plans a lot will change for the sports. There will be for sure more books, more schools, teachers/instructurs (also for grooms for instance) and the "PoloOne" webpage which is still parked at GoDaddy will be full of advices. ;-)
that obsession to change into something popular something unique....
the 21st century way...