Photo by Olivia Jauretche
Photo by Olivia Jauretche

Take Control and Own the Moment in 2020

Make this your best polo year yet!

By John Haime

2020 is already galloping ahead at full speed. So let’s not waste any more time in making sure this is our best year yet! So ask yourself these simple questions:

Will I commit to taking action and making improvements? 

Or will 2020 be just the same old thing with similar results?

The sport of polo is literally defined by moments. It all comes down to several key moments during a game on the field that determines outcomes.

With this reality, I might suggest that if you “own the moment” in 2020 (a little more than you did in 2019), you can create a performance reality that exceeds your expectations – and bring a different level of joy to your game.

Will it be my best year ever with exciting improvements? 

Or will it be just the same old thing with similar results?

The sport of polo is literally defined by moments. It all comes down to several key moments during a game on the field that determines outcomes.

With this reality, I might suggest that if you “own the moment” in 2020 (a little more than you did in 2019), you can create a performance reality that exceeds your expectations – and bring a different level of joy to your game.

Here are a few ideas on how …

Ride in the Moment

There are three potential places your mind could be when you play the game. The past, the present or the future. Of these three places, there is only one place where you can absolutely control performance – that is the current moment. And this is exactly where noted psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his best-selling book “Flow,” made his mark as a researcher. His research demonstrates that people are happiest and most productive when in a state of flow – when they are totally absorbed in the task at hand, and the challenge of the situation is equal to (or just above) their skill level. 

This is where you must strive to be when you play the game. The past and future are distractions to performance in the here and now. The past has happened, so dwelling on it is not productive. The future has not happened, so being fearful about what might happen is not productive. In 2020, adopt a practice that focuses you in the moment (a simple mindfulness practice is a good start) to help you own the moment on the field.

Fall in love with the process and results will follow

To help you further with “playing in the moment,” a focus on your polo process can be a key for you. The key to every plan is not necessarily the ultimate goal or target – but the small steps and actions needed to take you there. These small steps and actions, often focused on a technique or strategy that you have worked on and tested in training, keep your mind on your execution of the game and not on outcomes like winning – that you have no control over. In order for you to “own the moment” and stay in the moment, put all of your attention on what’s important to play your best in the moment – a great rhythm early in the trip, the right level of tension in the hands, nailing your distances, being precise with your lines or whatever “your” focuses in training might be. Fall in love with your process and let the outcomes fall where they may.

This is my time – no one else’s

It all comes down to you. You are the pilot on your pony and create the direction for the partnership. You accept feedback and instructions from coaches, but ultimately you decide how you will use it. You are responsible for your own enjoyment in the sport and determine who impacts that joy. Will you allow the many distractions in the sport to dampen the real reasons you ride? Owning the moment is about taking responsibility for your riding experience and your performances. Each moment on the field, whether training or playing, is yours – no one else’s. In 2020, make a commitment that you are in control and solely responsible for your performance – there will be no excuses or blame.  

These are three simple keys to help you own your polo performance in 2020. The opportunity exists for you to create your reality and embrace the beauty of it in the coming year. Each “moment” for you on the field is an opportunity to shine and express your potential, so embrace each opportunity and own it!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Haime is President of New Edge Performance. A world-class Human Performance Coach for athletes, executives and artists, former professional athlete and current bestselling Author of You are a Contender! Build Emotional Muscles to Perform Better and Achieve More, John understands how athletes think and feel. He’s been there—under the most intense pressures of amateur and professional sports. He is trusted by a wide range of clients including some of world’s leading professional and amateur athletes. John coaches professional equestrians and up-and-comers with a proven system generating measurable results for clients. He has certifications in psychology, neuroscience, emotional intelligence and coaching. www.johnhaime.com 

Featured image by Olivia Jauretche

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