What exercises off the field will equip you better on the field?

January 29, 2013 | By | Add a Comment
So much can be achieved by sitting on your own horses on the track or in the arena. I

So much can be achieved by sitting on your own horses on the track or in the arena.

This is a great question recently posed by a dear friend who is rapidly improving his Polo. 

When I thought about off-field exercise, myriad responses came to mind: running / cycling / swimming / swiss ball / tai chi / pilates / weight training / etc. In fact I got on the internet and immediately mesmerised myself with an array of exercise options that would all be wonderful for my own general fitness and well being and websites and blogs that were so well written I was spending far too much time reading and not doing.

BUT what I did come away with was the realisation that we all have busy lives and have to be specific with our time management and in this case exercise options.

So I challenged myself to get specific for Polo … and thought of all the great players I have known and what they did off the field to help improve their polo.

Without exception they improved their polo when they increased their OVERALL STRENGTH. We are not talking here about becoming the Terminator but more a move towards that feeling of achievement you will get when your personal trainer or training friends give you that slap on the back and acknowledgement that you have made gains in your chosen regime.

PLEASE hear me when I said “OVERALL” THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE JUST LIKE YOUR BEST POLO PONY YOU WANT TO BE BALANCED AND BE IN COMPLETE CONTROL OF ALL YOUR MOVEMENTS AND LIMBS and not get injured.

The reason for increasing your core strength is so you can ride better and strike the ball with greater accuracy when you arrive at it under control. Or powerfully move your opposing rider out of the way so one of your team-mates can make a great play on the ball. Hopefully your player will remember to give you the kudos you deserve for your selfless act, the same way your instructor or training friends did.

Strength gives you confidence and thus that ability to give yourself the time to make good, rational decisions, all of which you need on the Polo field, and indeed is the reason why so many cavalry units played Polo. They could have jumped, tent pegged or evented, ridden dressage or endurance or performed a myriad of other mounted exercises, but they always came back to the King of Games as the best way to train and sort the wheat from the chaff in both men and horses.

This brings me to what will be my next article riding and schooling your polo pony so that you will both be ready to play the game of your life and get that wonderful sense of satisfaction that comes from having a special partnership.

So much can be achieved by sitting on your own horses on the track or in the arena. IN FACT IT REALLY IS THE BEST USE OF YOUR VALUABLE TIME. And what we really concentrate on here at the polo school.

Good luck with the off-field training and remember if it is fun or for a reason you will make the time to do it!

Yours in pursuit of the beautifully hit ball,

Mark.

 

About the Author ()

I have played professional polo all over the world, and represented New Zealand at international level. I sometimes cannot believe that this great game has taken me so many places, and allowed me to play with - and against - so many fantastic people.

Leave a Reply

*