Do you have a valve?


Anger and frustration typically build up over time. While you may have started into your game or competition in the best of moods, this may change after a couple of mishits or goals against you. You feel how anger starts to build up and things slowly escalate. You get increasingly and unnecessarily rough with your pony and get full on into ride offs and into marking the opposing players. You lose your temper more and more and may even get technical fouls against you for shouting, arguing with the umpire, calling him names, or hitting the horse!

A kettle has a valve that keeps it from exploding when you heat it. That way it is a useful and safe-to-use device. Out at the pitch in a game, do you have a valve to keep pressure off you, to stay focused and a safe player at the pitch?

It is important for you to realize what is happening and when! I strongly recommend to make it a routine to check regularly on yourself during death times in a game. There is always that moment when you can ask yourself if you are okay and listen to your gut and do something against pressure that starts to crawl up your throat.

If you feel that you are getting anxious, do something about it! Don’t let anger build up! Like that kettle, avoid anger and aggression to explode in your face – by acting before you are in “explosive” mode and can’t control your emotions any longer!

As you are sitting on a horse, we have to be a bit creative in choosing a good technique to do so. You cannot just storm off the pitch – it is a Gentleman’s Sport, after all. Smashing your stick will cost you 100 US$ for a new one, screaming around or whipping your horse would get you a technical foul. But a short stretch & relax exercise, for example, can help you to get rid of pressure and aggression. The trick is though, to catch it right at the start, not when things have escalated already and you are about to explode!

Try it out, I am curious to see, if that works for you! If you have trouble with the implementation, just let me know.

About the author:

A 0 goal rated Polo Player, Kristin Grube is a Mental Game Instructor, certified by the International Mental Game Coaching Association, as well as a Sports Mental Trainer, certified by the Zentralstelle für Fernunterricht in Germany. She continually undergoes training to gain new knowledge of the latest state-of-the-art techniques in the field of Mental Training. She has coached Polo players, as well as Golf and Rugby athletes and also trains Executives to reach their peak performance. As a player herself, she has competed in the UAE, Argentina, Germany, the UK and Thailand – both on horses and elephants. She can be reached through her website


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