I’m shamelessly self involved, self absorbed and self worshipping.
And I’m aware of that.
I want to play serious polo at all hours of the day, with all of the rules, with refs, with whistles, with no countdown, etc. In my club, and I imagine most clubs, I’m the minority. The guy everyone secretly or not so secretly hates because sometimes my seriousness sucks the fun right out of your veins.
I get that. I’ve accepted that.
I get that not everyone wants to play serious, tourney polo at every pickup day. That’s why we throw A games and get our serious ones in every so often, to purge the need. But just how unserious should you take it when it’s not that competitive A game? I think there’s got to be a limit (are you surprised?).
Here’s my angle: We’re all leaving our homes to meet up at this place where we can play this sport, to some degree or another. We’re cutting out of work early, leaving the wife and kids behind, and shuffling obligations to make it out. We’re doing work, so that we can play. In my mind, those people doing that work deserve some quality play. That doesn’t mean reffed pickup games, and super-dooper seriousness, but it does mean not being super surprised when your thrown in a game and taking 10 minutes to get ready and out on the court. It does mean if you’re going to put your mallet in the pile, to actually play the game with some sort of effort. It does mean not robbing the other 5 guys of their good time for the sake of your “good time.”
Now, I’m not saying don’t come to polo. Saying something like that is a really good way to get your clubs numbers down in a hurry. But I am saying to consider the 5 other people on the court with you. They might actually want to play something resembling a game, and just rolling around uninvolved/disinterested is robbing them of that chance. There are beers on the bench for that reason, feel free, they’re there to share. If you just want to get shitfaced and heckle, awesome. If you just want to ride around carelessly then I promise you the parking lot won’t complain.
Why is this important? Well, for the newbie players. Yes, they suck right now. They’re not fast, their shots aren’t accurate, and they don’t really have any flow, but you throwing any shits-given to the wind and just watching the clock tick down isn’t helping them get any better, and chances are if they’re still showing up, they have some sort of aspiration to do more than be sub-par players. It’s also not going to get them coming back. Why should they go through all the effort to get there if games resemble the 4th hour of a frat party?
So how do we change this? Well, we can’t. We can’t point at someone and say “you’re not serious enough, don’t play this game.” But we can hope that you’re at least cognizant of your reasons for coming, and if they aren’t the reasons the other people are there, and act accordingly.
I dunno. What have you guys done to deal with this problem?
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