Tag Archive for new bike polo player

Bike Polo 101: Work On Your Balance!

balance

I had immense difficulty – as I think a lot of people do – maintaining balance when I first started playing. I mean, as long as I didn’t focus on the ball, my mallet, my position on the court, or other players, I was alright – but most of my first games involved me putting my feet on the ground, looking sheepishly up at whoever was close by, and swearing under my breath.

And that’s good. That’s a good thing. It’s part of the initiation into bike polo. Enjoy that stuff.

But, if you want to speed up the process a little bit (and who can blame you, Falley McFootdown), I’d recommend a few simple things to help you gain your confidence at staying up longer.

[penis joke]

First, work on moving slow by yourself. Try pedaling as slow as possible on the court. try turning while doing that. Now try stopping and standing on your pedals while achieving balance. Hell, I’d say you should be doing this even if you think you’re comfortable with your balance on a bike. This is something that everyone should do whenever they’re waiting on a game to start/just after a game/etc. It’s a fundamental skill, and you’re a dummy if you avoid that.

Next, have entire games where your focus is tapping out as little as possible. This is particularly good if you’re brand new to the sport. Nobody is expecting you to pull off amazing plays anyway – so why not make a game inside the game? Try to see how much you can get involved in close action without putting down your piggies. As you get more skilled in other areas, you’ll think less and less about whether you’re going to maintain your balance.

Finally, consider playing goal. It’s a position that will afford you a few things: 1. you’ll be able to learn by watching the other players, 2. You’ll learn the awesome skill of goal tending, and 3. the position demands balancing at all times…unless you’re a horrible cheater. In which case you’re fitting right in, probably.

Try those three out (or recommend them to your newbies) and taste some of that good gravy I’m whipping up for you. And by gravy I mean advice, and by whipping up I mean I’m suggesting it might help, but I’m not sure.

Interview with Sabrina, Our Newest Player

I chose this picture so you guys can see just how BA I am when I'm on my feet and not a bike. Plus my bicep isn't even flexed but since we are playing in the winter, I wanted you to see what's behind my "big ripping high speed polo shots" as Hollenbach calls it. Also because Ted may have taken it and who knew at that point he'd drag me into polo. Watch your backs fellas :)

Sabrina came to Lancaster United as a general unknown – she knows Ted, but that was about it. Even so, she jumped in with both feet and is progressing nicely. She’s already got the shit talking down, and that’s kindof the most important element of bike polo, right? 

You’re the newest player for Lancaster United, and that’s kindof awesome. How did you find out about us?

I’m not really sure. Actually that’s a lie. I think I was stalking Ted Houser’s facebook pictures on a boring night. Yes, I blame Ted.

What were your first impressions before playing your first game?

It looked like a lot of fun. I was excited, but scared that you guys were going to crash into me a lot and I’d fall off my bike a lot. I also thought that I would be really bad and never touch the ball.

What were they afterward?

It was more fun than I thought, and it’s not as scary (probably because I was playing little kids)! I definitely wanted to come back again.

You’re also the first female member of our club – how’s that going for you? 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.