Polo Players Edition

OCT 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

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POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 13 shorter, the ball is inflated and there is a lot more contact, it is better to use a mal- let with a stiffer cane and lighter head. In 4-goal polo, players are rarely going to send the ball way downfield. Instead, they are more likely to try to keep control of the ball, so they will use a lighter mallet. Some people believe beginners should start out with a light mallet and graduate into a heavier mallet. This isn't the case. Players who like a lighter, whippier mal- let stay with it, and it's the same for someone who is larger or likes a heavy, stiffer mallet. For the beginner, start off with a medi- um-weight mallet and go from there. Again, the weight should be about 500 grams total. Unless you are a very large, powerful person or riding unusually small or big horses, start out with a 52-inch mal- let, which is the average length. This is also true for someone who doesn't have his own horse, is taking lessons and doesn't know what size horse he'll be playing. If you think you'd hit better with a lighter or heavier mallet, ask to try some- one else's before buying new ones. Like golf, for successful hits everything is in the timing. Money spent on polo lessons is often better spent. Improving your swing will likely give you more success than a new set of mallets. Once you have found your timing and have good mallets you are comfortable with, practice, prac- tice, practice. If you have one mallet you like more than all the rest, the best thing to do is bring it in and ask for it to be duplicated as closely as possible. The new mallets won't be exact but they can be close. Don't use your favorite mallet for all your games or to stick and ball. When you stick and ball you use the mallet much more, practicing all your shots, than if you were in a game. It probably isn't going to last too long if you use the same one all the time. Keep your favorite for game time and stick and ball with a different one. A good mallet is invaluable, but unless you're going pro, you can probably buy a good mallet off the shelf. Before you decide to invest in custom-made mallets, be sure you've got the correct swing. Again, the secret is in the timing of your swing. If you can't live without custom- made mallets consider your strength and the type of polo you are playing. Unless you are unusually big or small, stick with a medium weight and length. Adriano "Nano" Perez is a custom mallet maker originally from Argentina. He owns Nano's Polo Mallets in Wellington, Florida. Fall in Love with an American Classic #LIVEAUTHENTICALLY | USPOLO.ORG

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