Tips

For Those About to Block (We Salute You)

December 31, 2014

Blocking shots (and even, I’d contend, blocking passes) is an important but often not discussed topic. I mean, fundamentally it’s not hard to do: get your wheel or mallet or body in the way of the ball. Sure, that’s easy enough.

But I don’t think the conversation ends there. It doesn’t go much further, but there are some considerations I think you should be making when blocking a shot.

No no, I’m not saying that you should be choosing between blocking or letting the ball go into the net. Stop being so dense. Sheesh. What I’m saying is that you should consider what happens after that ball is blocked.

For instance: after you block a shot with your wheel, are you thinking about where it’s going to bounce off to? are you considering whether your players are the most likely to get the ball on the rebound?

If you’re not, you might want to. Blocking the ball is a great thing, but blocking the ball and setting up a good play at the same time is pro level status, friend.

Try, immediately after blocking the ball, to capture it with your mallet (by stopping the deflection). Try, basically, to steal the ball from play, not just interrupt the play. This takes practice and a certain amount of luck, but it’ll put you well ahead of players who just put themselves in front of the ball without doing much else.

Media

Top 4 Photos of 2014

December 30, 2014

4. By Brandon Carter at the 2014 North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship
brandon carter north americans 2

3. By Will Melling at the 2014 London Open
2014 london open

2. By Brandon Carter at the 2014 North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship
brandon carter north americans

1. By Liam Gilson at the 2014 North American Hardchourt Bike Polo Championship
liam gilson north americans

Tips

3 things to focus on for 2015

December 30, 2014

Ah, resolutions. As useful as shoes for a fish and just as unfathomable (see. See what I did there? Fathom. Fish. Wet shoes. Ah man. That’s good).

But for as much as I don’t see the point, I do set some focuses for myself every year (just as quickly abandoned) and I’d like to share my polo centric ones with you.

Just because I know you’re curious: my other life focuses include bowling better, getting more regular haircuts, and owning a pair of brass knuckles for funsies.

Anywhoo, the list:

Build up my endurance/cardio: As most of you know, my heart is shit. It’s the worst. And being out of shape makes my useless heart even more useless. I’m hoping to work on my cardio and endurance a bit more this year only for the sake of being a stronger polo player. Sure, there is the side benefit of probably living longer, but that’s not nearly so important.

How am I going to do this? By stealing borrowing Alex’s bike trainer and pedaling at least 20 miles a week (to start, to start. You have no idea how much I don’t move on any given day). When the weather gets warmer I’ll also start going down the rail trail with my wife, and maybe if I convince myself/see that those actions are actually helping, I’ll add more to the mix. At this point, I’ll just be happy if I can find a rhythm on my bike indoors while watching period pieces about put-out women.

Work on teamwork: I’m a pretty team centric guy, but that’s not to say that I don’t have room to grow. I think a good team can beat a good player any day of the polo week, and seeing as though I’m not a particularly good player, I might as well focus on the other side of that mix.

By working on teamwork, I mean recognizing when to pass, when to block, and when to assist. I mean having better communication and being willing to help other people on my team see what is working and what isn’t. It’s not anything amazing, I know, but I feel like there were plenty of times in 2014 where I simply failed to think like a team mate, leading to dumb goals or bad situations.

Not being scared of my bike: Hyperbole, sure. I mean I don’t want to be unfamiliar with anything my bike can or can’t do. I want to get to a point where I can lean further, hop around, wheelie turn, all of that jazz. This is the biggest challenge, and I realize it’s going to be the one that is the least fun to work on; but here we are. I’m going to trrrryyyy to familiarize myself to a point where I’m not even thinking about my bike when doing crazy stuff (which I certainly still do now).

And that’s my list for 2015, soon to be ignored and forgotten about, I’m sure.

Culture, Product

2015 Bike Polo Calendar

December 29, 2014
bike polo calendar

Last summer the slaydies of The Trixies hardcourt bike polo team put together this bike polo player calendar with funds going to promote the expansion of women in bike polo. The extras were picked up by Heckler’s Alley so that players world wide could pick up one of these amazing bike polo calendars. So with 2015 only a few days away, follow this link HERE to pick one up!