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Reflect and Learn – Making 2020 Your Best Polo Year Ever

By John Haime

“You don’t necessarily learn from experience … but you do learn from reflecting on experience.”

When was the last time you slowed down enough to think about what you accomplished in the previous year, how you did, what might need to be changed for next year or thought about defining moments in the year?

With the 2020 polo season kicking in, this is a perfect time to reflect on your 2019 experience and learn you might use that experience to make 2020 a more successful and enjoyable one.

Reflecting on your polo year highlights self-awareness and lays the foundation for perpetual confidence. While some think that the learning is captured in the experience, it is truly captured in reflecting on the experience and taking action on how you will use that experience to make improvements moving forward.

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In our work with athletes at all levels, including our many equestrian clients, reflection is built into their performance plans. And, a major self-awareness exercise we do involves setting aside time at the end of the year to take away the defining lessons—and leverage that invaluable experience for improvement in the coming year. It answers the question – “How am I going to move forward and get better this coming year?”

I encourage you to not let this opportunity go by. Reflecting on your experiences in 2019 can set the stage for you in 2020—helping you to know what to work on, what fuels your enjoyment as a polo player, and what traps you may have fallen into that you won’t repeat in 2020.

So, let’s start!

Here are few questions that will get the ball rolling for you and help you use your experience in 2019 to make 2020 a great year on the polo field. Don’t forget to write the questions and your answers down, and tuck them away, so this exercise can be a part of your year-ending routine in 2020 and beyond.

1. If I could change one thing in my polo experience that happened in 2019, what would it be?

2. What are the three most important things I learned in my polo game this year?

3. What is the one obstacle or challenge I overcame this year in my polo game?

4. What is the #1 thing I need to work on to become a better polo player in 2020?

5. What is the #1 thing my team needs to work on to be more consistent on the polo field in 2020?

6. What is the #1 thing I need to do in 2020 to get more enjoyment from my polo experience?

7. Am I satisfied with my team, coach, ponies? If not, what am I going to do about it going into 2020?

8. What am I most grateful for in my polo experience in 2019?

That will get you started on your way to looking back on a year of polo, and using your reflections to energize yourself and help craft some change for the year ahead.

It is our experience that a well thought out, decisive 10% change in key areas is usually enough to significantly improve both performance and enjoyment for the year ahead.

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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.

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