Wrong-handed, sinister, southpaw. The lefty players of the world (your humble editor included) are subjected to a slew of pejorative terms from the larger right-handed masses. And while we struggle to use scissors or to avoid ink marks on our pinkies, we have our secret benefits as well.
For instance, did you know left-handers typically die earlier than right handers do?
A recent thread on LoBP (ALL HAIL) asked what the future of left handers was in bike polo. The last time I looked, the general consensus was that there should be a lefty army tournament, which would be really fun.
But the sentiment is clear: left handers are a misunderstood bunch, with their plays often accompanied by a growled “lefty bullshit” from a goalie or shouted by some right handed plebeian on the sidelines.
Furthermore there are players out there who simply don’t know how to play with a left handed player (or are rusty when the opportunity comes up). Fear not! I will give you a few helpful hints.
How to Train Your Lefty
To start with, it’s important to realize that your lefty eats and drinks and sleeps just like you do. Mostly. But on the court you can count on them to seem confused and hopelessly out of position–unless you realize that they’re just playing in the opposite of what most right-handers would.
For instance, you can pretty much count on your left to be on your right hand side when you’re moving down the court–and probably depend on them to be undefended. Right hand players don’t like covering lefties as it puts their non-mallet side away from the goal (if both are facing the same direction), so they either face the opposite way (allowing your lefty to get past them) or face the same way (removing their mallet from getting close to yours).
Also, passing between yourself and a lefty is a magical thing, and can be done as rapidly as a table-tennis match. Lefties love to play this game, and you may notice they begin giggling while rolling up the court.
It’s okay to give your lefty a treat after each successful assist on a goal achieved in this fashion. Bits of uncooked steak or tofu work best.
Lefties also make great goalies simply on the virtue that opposing players are used to the goalie facing the opposite way. This effect can be enhanced by rotating between right handed and left handed goalies throughout the game.
Lastly, realized that your lefty is likely mirroring the movements you’ve come to expect from the right handed majority. It’s not your business to actively think of this while playing, of course, but you should try to use it for your advantage. Passes that seem weird to you will likely fall into the lap of the left handed player, so allow yourself to be a bit more daring with that fast-paced/sloppy passing.
Left handed players learn to cope with swimming upstream with all those right handed salmon swimming down–learning to utilize them will not only make their game stronger, but also make your team have that secret weapon that leads to lefty brilliance.