Those are the very best mallets you’ve every seen in a graphic and you know it, don’t you.
There are lots of ways to describe bike polo players and the styles that they embrace to play the sport, and I for one am all about being creative in those definitions. So in my weird noodley brain I came up with this little comparison when it comes to play styles: cobra players and elephant players.
The cobra (in bike polo) is the player who can be completely still in one moment and stealing the ball from you in the next. They are the player who actually leaves the ball for you to try and take – but at the last minute uses your reaching mallet and poor position to shoot past you and make a goal. The cobra is completely deliberate in his or her movements – subtle in intentions but powerful in action. They aren’t, perhaps, the most visually stunning in their play style, but when the chips are down, the cobra player is able to strike – and strike fast.
The elephant (again, in polo), is a player who uses raw force to get the job done. They are predictable but still, for the most part, effective. You know when they are going to swing (for God’s sake, they hold their
trunk mallet in the air before every shot). You know they are going to pass (stop looking at your team mate and mouthing get open over and over)! In short – they aren’t what you’d call subtle. But they have their place: if you want some power to lay down on the court, get yourself an elephant on the team.
Why Cobra over Elephant?
In my opinion, players who depend on strength and fearlessness are great – but they also aren’t reliable. If you put a “technique” player against a “power” player, the technique player will win most times, I believe. Reason being that it takes a touch more luck as a power player for things to go right, whereas a skills player can actualize more often and more successfully.
I’m not saying that power players should flop their giant elephant ears in shame or anything, nor do I think that technique players should…uh…slither…in…in pride?…
Whatever. I think the metaphor has jumped the shark.
Anyway – what do you guys think? Are teams stronger with a higher technique to power ratio or the opposite?