Playing The Number One Position
Tip#7:Playing The Number One Position.
Position Number One-Greatest Attributes: Discipline, Quickness, Accuracy
The “Attack Position”, the Number One needs to be a disciplined player who can anticipate his team breaking to offense and get into a reasonable position to be able to accept a passing shot coming from teammates. It is important to continually work at getting into a position that makes it possible for your teammates to get the ball to you. This is where discipline is mandatory. Your team is only going to be able to get the ball to you some percentage of the time. You will have to hustle and work hard throughout the game, often times to no avail. The ball does not get to you. But it will be those plays that you lesson your effort that the ball will be fired in front of you only for the opposing back, your man, to take possession. This is a commonly voiced frustration of number ones; that the ball never gets to them. It is true that the ball will not always get to you. The key is whether you are ready when they do. That is why this position, similar to the number four, requires a great deal of discipline.
You need to be in a reasonable distance of the hitting ability of your teammates that you are playing with. Is your teammate capable of the big hit or should you be staying in closer. You need to be moving towards goal in control of your opponent. If you are being covered, you are not a realistic option for a pass. If you are at too great an angle to the movement of the ball, you are more likely to be drawn into a foul as you try to get to the pass.
On defense you need to follow your teammates down field covering and neutralizing the opposing number four and then be ready to get back into position if your team regains possession of the ball.
You should practice shots on goal from various angles and have the ability to either dribble or hit away as the situation dictates. You should be comfortable with difficult angles at speed and at the same time have the ability to slow the play, get position on your man, possession of the ball, and turn the ball from the corners of the field and bring the ball into goal.
For the lesser experienced mallet, it becomes more important that you effectively contain and neutralize any efforts of the opposing number four. That will leave your other team members in possession of the ball and maintain the offensive attack by your team. It is better to leave a difficult shot for your following teammate, while clearing your opponent from the play. That is what all other sports call an assist. In polo, too many feel that all the glory is the stroke through the goal. Anyone well versed in sports know how equally important is the efforts by teammates to set the stage for the score.
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