Jun 26, 2016 4:30 PM

nwa polo club

How much can a club get done in two and a half days? NWA Polo Club can provide two introduction to polo clinics, a youth player clinic, semi-private sessions to players, coaching chukkers and a chalk-talk. The dynamic duo of Susan and Bobby Koehler grew their NWA Polo Club from the ground up in Bentonville, Arkansas, and are still working on reaching more people by creating a strong base of players and enthusiasts. With the help of USPA Clinician, Robin Sanchez and Polo Development Head Instructor, Liz Holson, Susan built a schedule to reach all of her targets. She was able to expose new youth players and local equestrian professionals to the sport, and further the education of current NWA members during the two day clinic June 16-18.The USPA Clinic started off with a group of local young riders, nearly all were trying polo for the first time. Robin, team- teaching with Bobby Koehler (CPI Level I), started this clinic with polo tack, swing basics, and rules for safety before mounting up and playing a mock chukker. In the afternoon, Robin worked through semi-private lessons for NWA members and outside Great Plains Polo Club players who travelled in for the clinic. Robin tailored the semi-privates to the needs of each player and focused on riding or swing mechanics as needed. Finally, everyone ended the day with coaching chukkers, where Robin and Bobby took the time to explain fouls and how to improve common plays to improve the chukker.

nwa polo

The next day focused on experienced youth, ages 11-25, including players from Culver Military Academies who are spending the summer working at NWA and being coached by Bob. Once again, they started with basics, focusing on tips to improve the base and using a strong polo position throughout the game. They moved on to hitting drills, and when they scrimmaged they shifted to strategy, focusing on improving team plays and positioning. Robin continued with semi-privates in the afternoon, working on her students from day one and giving everyone takeaways to continue to work on. Finally, the end of day two was in sight, but Robin still found time to do a chalk-talk for the NWA members, reinforcing the rules, positioning, and other strategic points she had observed.

On the third day, Susan had contacted local equestrian professionals to participate in an Intro to Polo clinic. Her final group consisted of a fox-hunter, eventer, jumper, and an Equine Studies Instructor from the University of Arkansas. Robin began by introducing them to the basics of swing, polo strategy and rules, before playing a slow chukker with everyone. Susan had encouraged the professionals to bring out students to watch, many of the spectators had questions and were excited for a chance to give polo a try. To wrap the clinic up, NWA put white pants chukkers together, so everyone could watch a game over lunch. Robin and Susan were on hand to answer questions from the group and encouraged everyone to come out again.

NWA is a club to watch. With plans for their first Middle School Tournament this fall and all the support they provide to interscholastic players in the summer months, NWA Polo Club is sure to keep growing.