It’s an easy thing to become a hermit in a hermit bike polo club. You have your best buds–your BFFs forever–in your city, so why go out into the great wide world of polo and meet new people?
But I’m afraid that’s no way to fully participate in what this sport has to offer. Traveling around is perhaps one of the greatest ways to accelerate your skill level and learn about what’s upcoming (tourneys/events/new products/techniques, etc.).
Traveling also lends itself to the discovery of where you fit in the overall alphabet system of bike polo players. Sure, you might be an A player in your club, but you might only be a B player everywhere else–and knowing that can put a sharp focus on how much more work you need to get done in order to compete in tourneys.
And speaking of tourneys: if you have any hope at all of being a force in your next one, you’ll want to travel around and play with other clubs. Not only is this a great way to get your name out there as a potential tourney team-mate, but it also gives you a not-so-sneaky chance to eye up your potential competition. At the very least you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that a player can scoop pass to himself or some other such nonsense.
Finally, traveling also allows you to breath new life into a sport that can sometimes be a touch too repetitive. Your club is great–but you can pretty much always expect the same type of plays after a while. Going to a different club for pickup every once and a while can make polo seem new and surprising again (and if you were to replace some of the words in this paragraph, you’d have the beginning chapter of any 1970′s “Open Marriage” book, btw).
So get out from the cave that is your little section of the polo-sphere and go see what’s out there. More often than not clubs are excited to have visitors, I know we are.