When taking a look at the weather, everyone who suffers from cold and muddy weather will go into raptures: 25 degrees Celsius and sunshine. This alone is worth a journey. But it is not only the weather, which makes the hearts of polo enthusiasts leap for joy when hearing the name of La Tarde. With its broad-ranging polo offer “As much polo as you can take”, an individual care, competent coaches and the familiar, typical Argentinian atmosphere, La Tarde, located close to Buenos Aires, long since has become the place to be for each polista. No wonder, as nowhere else you can train as intensively as at La Tarde. So is there a better place to prepare for the 2016 season than at the polo heart of Argentina?
La Tarde helps you to get yourself into shape for the polo season with its special pre-season training
After not having played polo for a considerable time, in most cases the body is a little stiff and the muscles need to be rebuilt. Now the most important thing is: to start slowly and to train the body in a structured and systematic way. In cooperation with professional fitness instructors, La Tarde has developed a special pre-season training, which optimally prepares players for the season with its combination of muscle building, refreshment of hitting techniques and exercises in tactics.
Juan Martin Sarli, owner of La Tarde and professional player: “It is our aim to get each guest back into shape for polo with as little sore muscles as possible. The most important thing is that the player again gets used to playing polo and becomes one with the horse and the game. For this the player needs to spend as much time as possible in the saddle.” At La Tarde the guests can play polo as long and as much as they would like to do. This is the reason why the slogan at La Tarde is called “As much polo as you can take”. Each guest spends a minimum of four hours per day in the saddle (or longer if desired) and is trained intensively and individually by three professional polo players.
This is how the special pre-season training at La Tarde works
The special pre-season training focuses on muscle building, refreshment of hitting techniques as well as analyses of and exercises in tactics and moves. Vitally important: to take it slow during the first days and to not push oneself too much. Juan Martin Sarli: “Of course we push our guests to ensure they are always getting better. But we do this in a very structured and systematic way to have a maximum effect.”
Each morning two hours of Stick & Ball are on the schedule. But before the training starts, the first thing that needs to be done is intensive stretching. For this, mats are available at the stable and the coaches show special stretching exercises to the guests, which are especially geared to the needs of polo players. During the Stick & Ball sessions special riding exercises are done, which help to warm up the back, arm and leg muscles in order to be rebuilt without pain. Following the Stick & Ball session, another round of intensive stretching is called for.
In the afternoon, four to six chukkas are played. But before it is time to mount the real horse, the guests practice the different kinds of shots (nearside, nearside back, off side, offside back) on a wooden horse under the direction of the professional players. That way the guests can warm up for the chukkas and refresh their hitting techniques. This intermezzo on the wooden horse takes 15 minutes at the maximum. Following another round of stretching, everybody mounts his or her horse and plays club chukkas together with the professional players. During this, the coaches make sure that all guests are completely integrated in the match. Subsequent to the chukkas, the match is discussed in detail. Each guest receives a feedback about the way he has played and what he should be working on. And what is the best way to end such a training day? Of course by visiting the spa and sauna area, where the muscles can relax and the circulation can self-regulate.
Juan Martin Sarli: “At our place we do not only help our guests to get into shape, but each guest also improves his or her play visibly. A few days at our place – and each player is perfectly in top shape for the upcoming polo season.”
About La Tarde Polo Club
The La Tarde Polo Club is located about one hour from Buenos Aires and 30 minutes from Pilar. The estate covers 180 hectares and includes three first class polo fields, 1 arena, 120 polo ponies, 60 horseboxes and two Sticking Cages. In addition the club offers its guests a luxury clubhouse, 12 private cottages, two swimming pools, sauna, gym and spa as well as a bar and a gift shop.
Originally the Sarli family comes from Buenos Aires, where they ran several super markets and travel agencies. Even back then Alfredo, passionate about polo and horses, bred polo ponies and searched for a place to train them. Then he found the former cattle ranch including a restaurant at the gates of Buenos Aires and in 1991 decided to use this place to build the La Tarde Polo Club. Ten years ago his son Juan Martin extended the club to a holiday accommodation – being the first one to offer polo holidays for tourists in the region of Buenos Aires.
The name “La Tarde” in Spanish means sunset and afternoon. The club is called like this because it offers a fantastic view of the sunset. The clubhouse has been built so that the guests can sit there in the evening and enjoy the panoramic view of the landscape and the sunset of Argentina.