First of all, I want to emphasize that the quick manner in which the ball travels is one of the key characteristics of good polo. But, if we consider the diverse aspects of the game, there are times when a pause is necessary, such as when a player hits a short pass while waiting for his teammates to get in position.
However, the player who taps the ball once, keeping his eyes on the ball, failing to lift his gaze, loses notion of his teammate’s location. In this case, the player strikes the ball and, usually, ends up giving his opponents possession.
The player who taps the ball whilst looking up is the one to be feared, since he knows the exact position of both his teammates and his opponents. Therefore, the player who looks up before striking, who takes the time to pause, is more successful.
There are two players who intervene in a pass: one executes, and one receives. The first player takes possession of the ball and begins the play.
The player who executes the play has three options:
1) If the striking player can hit the ball with ease, the receiving player should free himself from his mark, win the ball and continue the play.
2) If the striker is marked but in control of the situation, the receiving player should be alert and ready for the pass.
3) If the striking player is in a compromising position, the receiving player should leave his forward position and return to help his teammate.
The player who receives the pass also has three alternatives:
1) If no-one marks the receiving player, they have enough time to think about the upcoming play. They can scan the field and understand the positions of the remaining six players before deciding what to do.
2) If they are hurried by an opponent, the receiving player must quickly decide how to continue the play.
3) If the receiving player has an opponent waiting in front of him, then he must quickly decide whether to continue the play or take the man and leave the ball for a teammate.
Remember: One must act quickly, anticipate, and surprise the opposing team. If well done, this can result in a goal, and eventually, victory.
Eduardo Amaya (with collaboration from Francisco Vierheller)