Another reason that we hit too hard, other than trying too hard, is because we hit too late. When we hit late we are always playing a game of “catch up.” As we try to catch up, we have to utilize more strength and, therefore, we are more tense. Even if we do make contact with the ball on time, the tenseness in our body does not allow an efficient transfer of energy into the ball. One way of understanding this is driving a car. If you are stopped at a red light and, as the light turns green, you try to accelerate up to the speed limit as fast as possible, you are probably fairly tense. However, if you were to roll through the intersection, the pedal off of the gas, already at the speed limit, I bet you are far more relaxed.
I like Chinese stir-fried food. Ever try cooking it? First you fire up your stove, place your wok on it and add some oil into the wok. You want to get that oil really hot in order to stir fry. Next you cut up some meat and throw it into the wok. Then, you cut up various vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, or onions, and throw them into the wok. Right? WRONG! If you do that you never will get all the ingredients into the pan before the first ones are burnt. YOU NEED TO PREPARE. First you cut up all the food you will need. You also arrange all your condiments and have them close at hand. Also, have water, utensils and plates within reaching distance. NOW you are ready. It is time to fire up the stove.
In polo, as in other sports, it is no different. You want to prepare yourself early. Because when the action gets hot and heavy, we want to have to do as little as possible at that critical moment. Watch a top polo player. He is thinking ahead several moves. He is positioning himself early. He is not rushed in his swing, even as his opponents are flailing at him.
Next time you are out on the polo field and are getting ready to hit, THINK CHINESE COOKING!
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