Siddhanth Sharma, one of India’s youngest polo player who’s represented the country internationally and has played with the royals of Jaipur and Jodhpur sat down with us for a conversation where we learned about his motivations to get into polo, why the sport means so much to him and the relationship he has with his horses.
Before we began, we asked him what his life mantra was, “Follow your passions; time is limited”
Here are some more of the snippets of the conversation
Why do you appreciate and play the sport?
Honestly, it’s because of the horses and how much I’ve learned from them. The horses make the sport and understanding their mentality is key to mastering the sport.
Who inspired you to start playing polo and who has supported you?
I was introduced to horse riding very early on by my father. My father also started to ride with me. The entire family is very fond of animals, horses and dogs being on top of the list.
Polo came in much later. Lokender Rathore was my first mentor / coach and has been very important In my polo career.
I had the privilege to have Samir Suhag help me for a brief period as well.
How much time/effort does it take to learn polo?
There isn’t a fixed time scale to learn this sport. It’s individual to individual.
It does take everything any other sport takes- dedication, hard work and patience out of the many things.
How have your parents supported you?
I have been extremely lucky to have the parents I have. They have supported me throughout ever since i stated.
A sport like polo is not common and alot of parents are very hesitant about it, mine have been the opposite- always super motivating and supportive.
They also try to follow the sport very closely and are also mostly my worse critic’s, which is extremely important in a sport . My entire family is an integral part of my team.
Why are sports not promoted much within the education system according to you?
The education system needs to support more sports – provide the infrastructure needed and change the mindset from an academia oriented one only to a more holistic one.
What does the regimen look like? on season? off season?
Polo requires huge amount of strength and mobility. In the off season I try to work on my weaknesses and build on my strengths. I have a fantastic fitness trainer ( Marc Gastin) who keeps pushing me and tries to keep me in top fitness.
During the season we try and stay flexible and work more on specific polo workouts and try to stay injury free.
Who inspires you?
Alot of the top sportsmen but to name a few in India- Simran Singh Shergill, Samir Suhag, Dhruvpal Godara.
What advice do you have for budding players?
- It’s a tough sport and the results might take time to show – be perseverant
- Winning is the only mindset to have and for that, you need dedication and time
What if after this interview you won a million rupees, what would you do with it?
With a grin on his face – “buy more horses!”