How to Make Friends and Influence People…In your Polo Club


I don’t like leading things, but I do like having my say every once and a while. In our club, Horse is generally the Do-er because 1. he likes being the Mayor of bike polo (or Mare, if you like) and 2. nobody else wants to do it. 

And that’s great, because I generally am in his council when he’s trying to work something out, and that’s when I get to act like the power behind the throne, if you will. It affords me the ability to know what’s going on and what the thought processes are behind it – as well as the chance to put my two cents into the mix.

king's council

So let’s say you want to be involved in your club but you don’t want to be a city rep and you don’t want to be directly responsible for the burning, crashing mistakes that will inevitably happen (and you know they will, friend). Here are a few ways you can still be active without being a “leader”:

1. Ask what’s going on: yeah, really. Just ask your city rep or your club’s “council” what is going on and give your input. Either they’ll take it or they won’t, but at least you’ll have more information than what you do now. I suspect this isn’t a problem for a lot of clubs, but we have players scattered over two counties, and that makes communication between the deciding group and the playing group kinda hard.

2. Help your club/increase your presence: so you don’t want to be a club rep: I don’t necessarily blame you. But you do want to be an important member of the group. The best way to do this is to make yourself useful. Help new players, offer up suggestions for problem solving and go to tourneys to get your face out into the world. Chances are your club will begin seeing you as a patched-in member of the club and will come to you for your opinion and advice.

3. Be a contrarian: Whenever too many people are agreeing with me on something, I go to Ted. He, generally, takes the opposite side of whatever group opinion is and offers up intelligent and challenging questions to make sure that you know what you’re doing. While I sometimes find it frustrating, I realize that his contrary opinion helps me better cement my own reasons for doing something (or it lets me see that my arguments aren’t very strong).

cone of shame4. Leave yourself open to be wrong: Admitting that you were wrong about something is hard, except that it’s not at all. If you want to be a member of the decision making group in your club, leave room for doubt and the possibility of being wrong in your suggestions. People aren’t likely to listen to the advice of someone who never sees themselves as wrong. Keep yourself human and you’ll do fine (unless, in fact, you’re a robot, in which case we won’t trust you anyway).


Whether you are looking to be a sneaky little sneaker and influence club decisions without ever showing your hand or you just want to be more involved without taking on larger responsibility, try out these tips. I think you’ll find them beneficial.

Or maybe you won’t. I could be wrong.

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