It’s easy to lose your cool when playing bike polo. You’ve got five other people on the court, all of them expecting or hoping you to do something. When you get the ball (especially when you’re new), the first impulse is to immediately do something to it–shoot, knock it away, etc.
I’m here to give you the calm, easy-going, Bob Ross reminder that you have plenty of time, my little polokin, to take in the world around you once you get that ball.
Instead of immediately clearing the ball via a swiping motion forward or backward, why not take a little peek around and see where your team-mates and opponents are. See where the goal is and if you have a good line to it (for moving or shooting). It won’t take but a moment, and chances are that you have about a moment before someone is bearing down on you.
Let’s not be silly, though: there are times when the ball comes into your possession and you’re instantly challenged by an opponent: in this case, naturally you’re not going to be as situationally aware of the other players around you–but you can still keep and ear open for communication by your team-mates and the communication opponents are laying out as well.
I get the impulse: all of us have it: you want to do something with that ball–anything, and you want to do it quickly. But resist that urge as well as you resist the urge to eat with your hands or rub pizza all over your body as soon as it is delivered.
Is that just me? Oh…
But you’re not doing any favors by clearing the ball out of play or, if you habitually do this, into the mallet of an opposing player (who by now knows how to read you like a book about people who rub pizza all over their bodies).
So, instead, as soon as you gain control of the ball, pop your head up and look around–even if all you see is that you don’t have any open options, you’ll at least know it instead of playing blind.