So there is a rudimentary way to tell if someone is a brand spanking new player or if they have been playing for a good long while (pro tip: it’s how much they savor the taste of the first PBR on a hot day) – but it’s also how quickly they try to recover the ball after missing the pass/shot/general handling mistake.
A new player (and, to be fair, even a more experienced player who just never learned this lesson) will try for a shot, miss, and then kinda give up. Even moreso, you’ll see players who miss the pass and then keep going in the same direction they were before (instead of trying to dash for the ball).
Lemme tell you: unless you have a team-mate who is shadowing you or is in a position to recover, you should be the person going for that errant ball.
“But Crusher,” I hear you say “The guy on the other team is already facing the right way and going after the pass I flubbed, wah wah wah wah.”
You might not be able to get the ball back in control, but you’ll be a fine sight better when it comes to disrupting the upcoming play than you will be if you just keep heading down court whilst gently nudging your handlebar to turn back into the play. Bike polo is great in a lot of ways, and one way that it’s great is simply that it doesn’t allow for pity-parties.
So you missed the shot and the ball careened off of your spokes – great, go get that ball, or at least frustrate the guy or gal who is trying to recover it for themselves.
By trying to recover, you’re stopping a “bad” thing from getting worse. Moreover, you’re giving the rest of your team time to reset (into either a defensive position or into a better one to gain possession of the ball).