"Go Up & Wait... WHY aren't You Marking?" - Answering Your Polo QuestionsOct 01, 2021
Do you ever get this mixed instruction on the polo field? It's one of the most frustrating things that can happen on the field...
The question was: "If you're a lower level player, you often get told to go up and wait for the ball to be hit you. Then the ball gets lost and you're stuck in the middle of nowhere when the play changes direction. And you're then chasing back to try and mark someone... and get told off for not marking properly. Any tips gratefully received?!"
And it all comes from some really BAD advice.
Watch the lesson for some tips and really great advice on what you should be doing.
"Go Up & Wait... WHY aren't You Marking" - Answering Your Polo Questions
Atara asked: "If you're a lower level player, you often get told to go up and wait for the ball to be hit you. Then the ball gets lost and you're stuck in the middle of nowhere when the play changes direction. And you're then chasing back to try and mark someone and get told off for not marking properly. Any tips gratefully received?"
Yeah, it goes back to... even the slightly higher goal kind of 2's and 3 Goal Pros and whatever, giving this really bad advice. Okay. Go up and wait for the ball. And as you say, you're now waiting for the ball that doesn't come to you, play turns and the player that actually you were meant to be marking is free coming back and you're yelled at because you're not marking a player.
And we talk about marking in attack as well. There's a wonderful video explaining that in the academy, because to me, if you go back to that whole theory of man-line-ball and own the inside of the field, those two major concepts.
So if I've got a man and I've got onto his inside and I take him out, I now create the space for the player with the ball to hit me the ball. And I've got the player beaten, so even if I miss it, I've done my job. Okay. If I'm running... I've beaten a man, he doesn't get the play. And I have a shot at the ball. I've done my job. Okay.
If I can beat the player and get the shot, I've done my job plus. So you've got to think about that.
And to get that ball in front, be somebody that doesn't hang a hundred meters out of play. Beat the number four whoever is playing there, or the player defending, beat him, create space. Now when the ball goes there, you going where the ball's going, and you've already beaten your man.
That will help you a huge amount. And when play turns, you still with a man, if your team lose the ball and you don't get the pass, you're coming back and you still effective. So those two things will really, really revolutionize what you do, make your ride-offs trying to get to the inside of the field, not the mallet side.
Okay? Mallet side can be outside and you don't own the inside of the field. It's very slow. Get onto the inside of the field of your opponent on his inside, make the ride-off, and then look for the passes. Because in that way, let's say, you know, I'm defending and you the man marking me and you beat me from the inside.
I can't defend, you've beaten me. You're attacking. And if I'm defending and you're attacking, you beat me from the inside, I can't defend.
So that owning the inside of the field and first the man, then the line, then the ball, just to have those three letters in... big indelible letters in your brain. M L B, Man-Line-Ball, in that order, not backwards guys. Okay.
Not ball first, no line and never a man. You've got to look at that man, line, ball... own the inside of the field. And don't go running off into space by yourself. You never going to get that ball. Okay.
And while we talking about that as a lower goal player, it's far easier for you to do that because we talk often about the higher level of polo, where you needing to run lateral into space. If you're a beginner playing polo, that run lateral is a very tough play to make. Okay.
Number one, you have to know when to run lateral. And when you get the lateral passes, you have to do something with them. So if you're running clockwise, you have to check up, control the ball, make a distribution, which is probably past, and above your level of expertise. If it goes anti-clockwise, you're getting there with a tough neckshot, all of that kind of stuff.
Where, if you're at the head and you just do what I'm telling you, man, line, ball, get onto the inside of your man. And now you're going forward. When the ball arrives, it's a much easier play for you because you're running straight down the line and you have a couple of shots at the ball.
So I would say that that would be what, the major advice I would give on that question.
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