Tag Archive for hardcourt bike polo tips

What to do when you are slower than everyone else

Let’s just cut to the chase: you’re horrible at chasing.

Or escaping.

Or generally seeming like you’re even really trying that hard to go faster than a fly in molasses (or treacle for my British friends out there).

But much as your mother told you when you left for your first big date, it’s ok to take things slow. She’s right – and her concerned passive suggestion holds just as true in bike polo – you can be a contender without being a rocket; it just takes some intelligent maneuvering and foresight.

I know this because I am, I think it’s safe to say, the thunder thighed, blunderbussed, Snorlax of my bike polo club. I’m speaking from direct experience, unlike every other article I write for this blog which is strictly hearsay and lies.

So let’s say that you aren’t the wild colt of your club – the first thing you want to do is learn keep moving. This is probably the easiest way to get a head start on a jackrabbit player, as they might need to ramp up their speed from a stopped or slowed position. Keep pedaling around as much as possible and you’ll have a better shot at being on the move when faster players are just starting to get their gears in motion.

Next, learn to predict the play. What I mean is, learn to see where the play might be heading and get yourself in a position to be in the play after the current action. While you may not have made it into the first fight for the ball, you may be able to set yourself up to get the pass or to recover an errant shot. Read more

We Are All Teachers in Polo.

We have a newer player on our team who is probably one of the most passionate guys that plays with Lancaster United at this point. He’s always willing to chip in time, money, or manpower when needed – actively seeks out ways to improve and never gives up.

And he’s still learning the ropes, which means he falls a lot/crashes alot/misses shots that more experienced players would make (maybe – we are all goons). However, he doesn’t let it get under his skin.

After pickup last night, we as a club brought up how well he’s progressing – and he brought up how we’re all doing a great job teaching him – and that didn’t occur to me.

We are coaching him through – we’re patient when he makes mistakes (more patient than what we are with a player who’s been on the court for a year and just makes a dumb dumb move), ecstatic when he makes goals or clever plays, and overall want him to succeed.

It’s easy to forget, but we are all teachers to a new player. Sure, you came to pickup to play the game – but if there’s a new guy there, you’re also there to get that person up to a level where they are no longer worried about the most basic elements of the sport and are able to feel confident enough to completely enjoy themselves.

So if you’ve got a new guy or gal in your club, just be aware that you’re the one who’s teaching them. You are responsible, in part, for the success or failure of that player. You don’t have to put them down in front of a blackboard and review tape (though that would make you seem pretty badass to them, in a Dick Budkis sort of way), but you should point out how they can improve – chances are they will.