Off season – what the hell is that?
Well, unless you’re a country bumpkin like most of us here in the middle of the Commonwealth, it means that the regular season of bike polo is past, and we now get back to our roots of cold, drunken, heckling-with-snot-coming-out-of-your-nose bike polo. It’s both a time to bond in the frigid 56 degree December that we’ve had the past few days and also a good time to work out some of the little things you haven’t had time to work on (or realized this past season you need to develop).
If you aren’t looking at the “off season” as a time to practice for the next season (and, of course, you also plan to play and do well in tournaments), you’re wasting time. It’s a great opportunity to just practice one or two things that you want to get down without thinking, or build a team for the next season, or build up that tolerance for grain alcohol that you’ve been meaning to.
My own list is as follows:
1. Learn the new bike: My 925 was much longer and much slower in turning. I want to get past the point where I throw myself from my bike on the new rig.
2. Wrong Side Shooting: Over the bars, past the BB – just anything on my non mallet side. I want to get at least a little better at controlling the ball when it isn’t on my dominant side.
3. Passing: I think 89% of bike polo needs to work on this. Call me crazy. Or cray cray if you like. I want to be able to pass without thinking and pass quickly.
4. One Timer Shots: When I first started playing I was advised by the polo elders to trap the ball then shoot. While this is good advice, it isn’t good advice to keep using. It’s good for about 6 months and then you should drop it. Quick shots is where it’s at and what I kinda suck at right now. I don’t want people on the bench during pickup to cheer like crazy when I make a goal off a one-timer. I want them to just take it for granted.
And I think those 4 are enough for the winter, don’t you?