Updated: Feb 15
Make A Plan
It is important to have a plan when you go out to stick and ball so you don't just get stuck practicing the one shot. Yeah, we know... You love the offside forehand, BUT.... What about all the other shots needed to play a game of polo?!
You don't wanna be a one hit wonder do you?
As you practice each different shot more and more, you will become more flexible and build muscles you didn't even know you had! Each shot will become easier and easier as you go, so try to do a mixture of everything whilst snb-ing.
In this section you will find drills you can practice that will help perfect ALL of your shots. We suggest choosing 3 drills per session, & practicing each one for 10 to 15 minutes #practicemakesperfect
Here are our first 3 drill suggestions. There will be more to come in future blog posts, so stay tuned......
3 shots: All Offside (Yes... We thought we'd be nice on the first one!!)
Half Swing Forehand
Full Swing Forehand
For this one you will go up and down the field starting at one end, with a half swing forehand on the offside. Your next shot will be a full swing forehand on the offside, followed by the most amazing backhand you've ever done... (We hope!!) Turn your pony around and repeat.
So that's HALF SWING, FULL SWING, BACKHAND, REPEAT!
Work on the distance you are hitting the ball. Try and get the ball almost to the other end of the practice field with your 2 forehands.
If you're not good at hitting the ball long distances, you can start off small and work on hitting it further and further each time. Accuracy when stick and balling is key, when hitting always have a target, even it's another ball or a divot or even the goals. Make sure you take a break after a few laps so your pony doesn't get too worn out.
1 Shot: Offside half swing
This drill is very useful as you will often need to turn the ball towards your goals once you win it off your opponent in a chukka. Tap the ball on the inside of the circle going around clockwise. To do this you will hit the ball forward each time using offside half swings.
You only need to tap the ball lightly for this one and hit the ball much earlier than you would a full swing shot and have your horse further away from the ball - this will also get you to rolls forward in the saddle with your chest in front of the pummel of the saddle and your head over the top of the ball with your chin towards the ground. Remember to look where you are going & turn your ponies head slightly inwards as you go around the circle tapping the ball. This one takes a bit of practice so don't give up!
2 Shots: Offside forhand
You didn't think we were going to let you get away with not practicing the nearside did you? #sorrynotsorry
For this drill you will start at one end of the field and hit an offside forehand diagonally across to the left/nearside. You will then do a nearside forehand hitting the ball diagonally across to the right/ offside. So basically your will zig zag down the field until you get to the other end.
Confused? Me too...Lets look at the diagram!
Try to stay in the middle of the field and draw an imaginary line from your ponies head to the goals. You will zig zag across that line. This one is also a bit tricky at first, but if you keep at it, it will get easier and easier.
We will be back with more drill ideas very soon!