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Polo Lessons Through The Lens

Polo Lessons Through The Lens

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When I started filming Polo matches with a camera on my helmet four years ago, everybody looked at me as if I were an alien.

Back then, referees refused to take a camera. At last, some referees agreed to take one to the open matches in 2015. However, taking a camera and not using the videos at all is a pity.

Ignacio Fernandez Llorente

I can tell you that with the 600 matches that I have filmed, I have been able to select thousands of fouls; I grouped them and could have thousands of similar fouls in different fields, different countries, and with different players.

I could also select hundreds of fouls that were doubtful and complicated. I could analyze them and ask the opinion of the players. In my opinion, I think you can benefit from using new technology. However, the fact is that most referees do not think the same and we continue in the same way.

Using the videos I have, I could analyze the matches in detail. The work consists of taking a video of the match, dividing it in moves, hits, throws in, fouls, and player follow-up. When you have all this information, you can get valuable data on how to shadow a player or what he/she is going to do, as well as find his/her strengths and weaknesses.

For example, it is incredible to see how a throw-in is played in a 90-second video—you can see it in slow motion and draw conclusions. When similar moves are played with the same result, statistics end up showing what is convenient to do and what isn’t. I think a coach can use all this information to his/her advantage.

All sports study and analyze everything in order to provide the slightest possible advantage. Polo belongs to a sport culture where you go to play and wait and see. Polo is behind in the study and analysis of strategy.

I feel really sorry that patrons are missing the opportunity to learn to play Polo and participate in the game when professionals are only given a single instruction: to stay away as far as possible.

I think many patrons want to learn but they only learn not to participate in the game. As patrons change the professionals in each game and as they do not practice with them, there is no continuity to learn. I understand that there is a lot of creativity and improvisation in this sport. However, I think that details, if planned, can help. A lot.

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