Polo Players Edition

Intercollegeiate Interscholastic 2019

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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28 I/I MAGAZINE - 2019 Argentina seems like a logical step for young players to take, the financial and organization hurdles can be difficult to overcome. Team USPA partnered with Pieres to create an entry point for players in the program to break into the Argentine scene while focusing heavily on improving their individual play. As some of the senior Team USPA Professional Players progress through their careers, they now find themselves in a position to give back to younger players through coaching opportunities. The National Youth Tournament Series Qualifiers and Championships have been another venue for Team USPA players to coach younger players. Nick Snow, Felipe Viana and Jesse Bray coached teams at previous Championships and qualifiers. In 2018, five of the six NYTS Championship coaches were Team USPA members, Jim Wright, Jared Zenni, Patrick Uretz, Steve Krueger and Mason Wroe. Their experience on the field garners respect from the youth players but their age helps keep them relatable. Bray finds watching game tape to be the most efficient method of preparation before matches, so before his NYTS Western Region team took the field last year, they reviewed all of the team's practice footage from the previous day. "Seeing the plays from another perspective can be eye-opening. With the [Western Region] team, I focused on their field awareness and positioning. I kept asking them to find themselves on the field and explain why they were in that position, and a lot of times they didn't know — but that is how they become more self and team aware on the field," remarked Bray. The Polo Training Foundation (PTF) hosted an event in conjunction with Team USPA to fulfill the request of several younger players to play with Team USPA members. Costi Caset, Zenni and Viana mounted up for a fun game alongside the PTF players. Zenni grew up playing PTF tournaments in Wellington and feels strongly about giving back to the next generation of players. "I owe a lot to the people who took time to play with me when I was younger and I want to make sure I am helping younger kids who love the sport as much as I do," said Zenni. Team USPA's involvement in providing coaching and mentoring opportunities is two-fold. By enhancing the playing level of its members and helping to shape their experience in a positive manner, the goal is to have Team USPA members give back to their local polo communities through their playing and coaching experiences. TEAM USPA players Nico Escobar, Jesse Bray, Remi Mueller and Julia Smith, spent the fall in Argentina training with Alfonso Pieres.

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