How Playing Polo has Forever Altered How I Conduct Business and Life.

May 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm (Excellence in Business, Health, Polo, Relationships) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

It all started innocent enough a sincere desire to learn a new skill or sport each and every year and become competent in said new discovery.

One year it was learning to speak French well enough that French people could understand me even in the Camargue.

Another year or three it was learning to cab and freeform gemstones and rocks for use in jewelry.

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This year was going to be flying…somewhere along the road to flight school I was waylayed while looking up the opening day for Polo season. There it was a notice for polo school. I have always loved watching polo as it is about a skilled rider and horse team as well as being a team sport which is fast paced, challenges your personal best and involves picnics and fashion! This had me written all over it. It was love at first glance.

I have western style cowboy boots…made in Texas of course and stretchy blue jeans but no helmet, mallet or breeches. They provided the helmet, mallet, and polo pony as well as a highly skilled pro coach. All I needed was bravery and a signed waiver releasing my life and cause of death and I was good to go. Life is a fatal sport, that I accept and embrace whole heartedly. I have faced death a few times in my life on short notice and it allows you the freedom to fully live knowing that this moment is all we have. It truly is not just what your yoga teacher told you. My most recent brush with death was in January outside my gym…not a pretty way to go after a great workout.

I prefer green sports which have little or no carbon footprint as earth ethics are forefront in my business and life. Sailing is my other passion. I like speed, skill and luck in my sports. Excitement and adrenaline pave the way to my deeper relaxation and it is a bonding experience with your teammates including the four legged ones. It is a game of polite aggression.  Winning is always important but scoring goals and not committing fouls is as important. One skill is called “riding off” which is where you come in and match your opponent’s speed and bring the angle in to meet and push them off the ball. Done properly it is very effective and a skill all its own.

20130525_111013Last week I played against a young woman who was a level two player but having been off a season was playing with us so the coach could place her for the summer. She was a great hooker and by that I don’t mean what your naughty little mind is thinking! It is a technique to keep your opponent from hitting the ball. She stopped my ball more than once so I continued to watch her and this week got in quite a bit of hooking on my own and once used it to capture the ball and play back my direction! Whoo hoo!

Today we had an old grass player with us who hadn’t played for six seasons and again was playing with us for placement. He taught me a lot about riding off and hooking too. It makes the game more competitive having some variation in skill level on the teams and you quickly know who is your one, two or three player. I tend to play second or third and enjoy defense as well as offence. Which is how I play in real life too.

We are always learning from our competitors and our colleagues and in business you can let your ego get in the way of that lesson…or at least I know I can. In polo you don’t have the luxury of a bruised ego as the game is too fast paced not to learn, incorporate the lesson and keep riding toward your next goal. Business is the same and remember there is always another match to play if you didn’t win this one. I scored one goal and my team lost this week but I am always a winner having played and learning to change my weaknesses into strengths.

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