Fixing the Nearside Backhand: Part 2 - The Result

polo swing technique & stickwork Jul 21, 2022

Fixing the Nearside Backhand: This is how quickly you can overcome the challenges in your swing, with the right instruction.

This was after 15 mintues of instruction with the player from yesterday's video on the Nearside Backhand.

The difference is quite remarkable, but totally with the right technique, preparation and instruction. Let's take a look at the changes I made.

Fixing the Nearside Backhand: Part 2 - The Result


I thought it might be quite fun to show you how quickly you can overcome the challenges in your swing, just by getting a competent instructor to help you change the limiting techniques you are using.

Here's the culprit in yesterday's nearside backhand video after 15 minutes of instruction. And just to make sure that everybody is aware that there are no gimmicks used here or quick fixes, I've put them on the same horse that I was riding.

I have also tried, as far as possible, to try and match the two backhands, his and mine, so that you can now see the similarity in our techniques.

Contact in front of your foot. That's what I'm looking for, mate. That's beautiful. No worry. There you go Boss! Stay in that left heel. Beautiful shot mate, really nice backhand.

So, what are the changes we've made? Firstly, you can see his weight firmly anchored into his left heel, while kicking strongly into his right stirrup at the same time.

He has made that slight body turn, which puts his left butt cheek slightly on top of the saddle, and give him a very stable base to make the swing from. I'm not yet completely happy with his mallet position, but one thing at a time, or it gets to be too complicated in the student's mind.

Let's focus first on the stable base and balance. Just look at the great way he is now kicked into that heel, and not the toe down as he was doing. And that is giving him a very strong leg to pivot around.

And as he goes into the preparation and execution of the shot, you can see that he has the horses three-beats-stride timing, correct. And here, at the top of his swing, the leg is great to pivot around, the weight is still in the heels. And the hand is now in a great position.

Which will allow him to swing the mallet past his horses face and away. And not out-to-in, as he was doing, because his hand was starting on the wrong side of the horse. And he has maintained lovely balance into the follow-through.

And just to end, let's look at the last two backhands in slow motion. So that you can see all of what I've been saying being put into practice. There you can see his left butt cheek is on the saddle.

He's made the turn, hands starting correctly. Mallet going from in-to-out, not out-to-in. Maintaining the balance through the swing. The toe is still up and he's been able to pivot around that leg. And in this backhand, you can see again, good weight into that left stirrup, have made the turn, hand on the correct side.

And lovely early contact with the ball, really, almost in front of the horse's shoulder, which will enable him to hit even more angle on that backhand. And again, lovely balance into the follow-through.