How to Hold a Polo Mallet Correctly... & the Basic Polo Swing Technique

polo swing technique & stickwork Jul 11, 2020

Before you worry about your swing, make sure you know how to grip a polo mallet correctly. A correct swing starts with correct fundamentals and the first of these is how you are holding your mallet. You cannot swing correctly with an incorrect grip.

Even seasoned players can get into bad habits, so check yourself out and let's take your polo to the next level.

How to Hold a Polo Mallet Correctly... & the Basic Polo Swing Technique


Okay. So the most important thing for me is that these two knuckles are on top of the mallet, if you look there's a ridge down the top of the mallet, where it bends to go down, okay, that ridge, this knuckle here needs to be on top of that ridge. And this knuckle needs to be just below it so that the finger is wrapping around like that.

A really easy way to do it is to make sure that your fingers and hands are running with the mallet, like this, put that knuckle on top of the mallet and then take the grip. Because what that will mean is that that mallet from the front hangs absolutely below my arm. If you allow this knuckle to slide off round the side like that immediately,

you see this finger protrude. When this finger protrudes, it's these three fingers of your hand have gone from with the shaft to across the shaft. And what happens then is you see, I cannot get the mallet below my shoulder. It's not a pendulum anymore. The minute I go back to the proper grip, you see how the head drops and that whole line lines up again. From my shoulder,

you can see an absolutely straight line with the correct grip there. That the thong itself goes around the base of your thumb. Not on your thumb. If you put it on your thumb, when you tighten this, it actually pulls your thumb off the grip. If you put it correctly around the base of your thumb, then when you take that over here,

it doesn't matter how tight you make the actual strap. It's not going to affect your hands in any way. Another really important thing. A consequence of that knuckle being up is that this mallet is in your fingers, not your palm. The minute you grab it in your palm, you freeze your wrist and you get no mallet head speed and you've got no real control of the mallet.

When it's in this, these three fingers here that bend of the fingers across with the mallet and in that bend of the fingers, the butt is in this part of your palm, on the pad here. So that would go there across your fingers there. That is directly below my arm so that when I swing, the thing I'm trying to do the most is make sure that the mallet is directly behind my shoulder

so that as I come down, my hips are pulling my shoulder, pulling my hand, pulling the mallet, and that is going to go straight down and straight through. The arc of that swing is what's important. What I do for a backhand, there's the forehand grip. All I do is roll this finger down very slightly like that and put my thumb from there up the shaft to there,

not that grip, that's not what I'm advocating. I'm advocating a forehand grip with that finger slightly dropped and the thumb there. And the power now is that the front of your hand, that strength is at the front of your hand, between those two fingers. And when you're hitting the thumb and forefinger play a vital role in how you actually get the power in that backhand. In life

the, these tendons, the flexor tendons of your hand are what are strong because everything you do in life, when you grab anything, these are the tendons that are working, the extensor tendons and these tendons on the side, are for mobility and to let go, there's no strength in them. So when you actually hit the backhand, what's important is that you are using the strong tendons of your hand.

So never roll your wrist in like this to make the backhand, because then you are pulling with the wrong tendons. What you want to be doing is to make sure that as you come down, the mallet head is vertical and flips there at the bottom, because in that way you are using the correct tendons. And also these fingers, the thumb and forefinger,

are helping you get the speed of the mallet. So as you push here, there's the rotation backwards there. And it's very important to allow that mallet to rotate here while your hand is at the ball and make the speed of the mallet there. This mallet comes off your ear here because every shot is strong because it's on shoulder line. If you think about a forehand,

if you take that mallet above your shoulders and drop it, it would land on your shoulders. There is the strength because the shoulders are pulling the mallet. If you take this mallet outside like this, then it's absolutely at right angles to your shoulder and it becomes an arm swing. There's no body involvement in that. And from this side, the whole plane of the swing is really bad. From here

when it's on your ear here, you would see that if you took that on, it would land on your shoulders. So again, you have your body pulling and it's very easy to get the power because your body's making the pull.