I open a discussion for input into how to build and maintain the next generation of Polo Player. We should discuss plans and thoughts for youth programs, Intercollegiate/Interscholastic, and Scholarships. As well as, current programs.

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the next generation of polo players  is currently shining, at least in Argentina.

guys between 18 and 22 yo are really stars, from 2 to 6 hcp. there are a lot, perhaps 20 or 30 cracks.

the juvenile generation (15 to 18) is very good, too.

and the kids are amazing.

the plan is simple: play all day long, all year around. with good horses, of course

 

Sordelli is partially correct. There is no substitute for practice and playing. The renowned tennis instructor, Dennis Van der Meer,in explaining the value of his tennis camps, said that it was not the instruction which accounted for the pupils' improvement. It was the fact that they hit hundreds of balls during the week.
That explains much of Argentina's superiority in polo. Their players play more. There is nothing inherent in the Argentine physical makeup that make them superior players. They do, however, have a horse culture, as well as several generation of excellent players from which to draw upon. That being said, I have met numerous players in Argentina of 5 goals and above who are doctors, lawyers, businessmen or university students. Obviously, their schedules do not allow them to play all day long. More important is the quality of the practice when they do play. Olympian Jesse Owens worked out only one hour a day because he had to work for a living, He said in an interview, it was because of this that his practices were more organized and intense, because he knew he couldn't waste time. Even the 10 goal great Tommy Hitchcock worked full time as an investment banker.

Most players devote only a small amount of time to their polo. This is true for players of golf, tennis or bowling, too. The typical polo player plays for recreation, and only plays chukkers on the weekends and perhaps one addition evening during the week. While that provides for immense enjoyment of the sport, it is not conducive to progress, in any sport.

The next generation? Who knows? In North America and in Europe, that is dependent heavily on the availability of funds to play. It has been, and remains, an expensive form of recreation. Teaching children the sport will not insure that they retain the desire as adults. If they lack the funds in adulthood, that training will just remain as pleasant, childhood  memories.

Mr Cat is partially correct. the availability of funds is not the only reason to continue or not playing polo. passion for polo is much more important.
there are a lot of sports much more expensive than polo - motor racing in any categorie, aviation, high peaks mountaning, etc - with many more ad than polo.

polo problem is its complexity and difficulty. little passion, a few sponsors,small number of patrons who dare to raise a pony.

is a real pity. those who do not play polo are the ones who miss this wonderful experience.

in the materialistic world there are things I do nor understand: people who invest lot of money in building, in stocks or in art...but don´t invest in a pony, a week end at open air, with their families, and running behind a ball, with friend and other funny people.

Mr sordelli, you have not said anything to make Mr Cat's remark "partially correct". I think what he said is the truth. Time to play is the key. I have ponies that i play with twice during the weekend, and sometimes on wednesday if I am in town, so keeping ponies has nothing to do with it. No wonder our grooms are better players than us because they do nothing than play with our ponies while we go about trying to make the money that allow us to continue this expensive recreation.

@Cat, so hitchcock was a full time banker, huh?? there is hope for us then.....

don´t run behind the money
Good start. On the issue of funds and expense I feel we perpetuate a cloud of eliteness around our sport here in the USA making polo appear unapproachable. When one discovers clinics, club horses, arena, snow, beach and grass paddock polo the aforementioned stigma falls away and the true is exposed that anyone can play some level of polo with a path to improving. We must also look at scholarship, grants, work-to-ride programs and donations to offset costs.
I believe that it not merely a question of money - it's a matter of resources. Virtually all the world's great players come from families who play polo - and that's because they have had the resources (money, ponies, time/family support, knowledge) required to achieve success. Of course, all of these resources cost money!

We have a new world, a challenging economy and need to think past our old school methods. What worked before my not guarantee a future in players or places to play. Add to the fact that there are many who hunger to covert polo fields into living space, then later cry about the lose of parks, trees, and open space. For certain areas around the world it is becoming a herculean task to find new young players and persevere the places for them to play. What happens in one place can happen in others.

 

I want a future where I can drive to Polo not have to fly to it (although I like to travel).  I want a future where local players are on the field not two teams from across the world because there are few or no local players. My area has been playing since the 1800's, I don't want an expiration day because we forgot about adopting outside our family.  Maybe that is the answer, extend your family, adopt a future player and mentor.

Yes, we have spoken.

The question here is, how do we make polo players? After that marketing them is interesting. I wonder if a marketing firm monetizes polo players then part of there budget should be to create future polo players. How much does your firm invest and where?

Next generation of Polo Players? I for one am on the Hurlingham Polo Association Development programme in the UK. I have attended several quality training matches, each side with a 6 goaler or above to coach us aspiring young players. This has been a very valuable experience, though it is quite sporadic. I have also been to South Africa with the HPA for training with Buster Mackenzie.

The UK is doing its best to promote its young players but in our current finacial climate and with fewer Patrons it is very hard.

What do other countries do to develope and promote thier young players? I am passionate about making this my career, but what do I do next?

 

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