As a fourth generation polo player, Nic Roldan was always destined for greatness. We caught up with the champion polo player to discuss the highs and lows of playing polo professionally and the impact it has on family life, as well as getting Nic’s best tips for polo amateurs.
Growing up on a farm with horses is what inspired Nic Roldan to get into polo, and claims that his father being a polo player isn’t the main reason he got into the sport, he always had an interest in the speed and intensity of the game along with his love for horses.
Being a professional sportsman can be stressful for anyone, but ‘polo has more highs than lows’ as Nic gets to play the sport he loves and is around horses constantly, all whilst travelling the world and visiting beautiful countries. According to Nic, the lows are ‘the same as any sport, it’s a very cut throat, competitive and intense sport.’ The sport also requires a huge amount of investment in the horses which can be incredibly stressful and unlike most other sports. However ‘it is tough to say there are any other lows when you get to do what you love to do as a career, what could be better?’
Dedication, Passion and an extreme amount of hard work are three of the things that Nic claims are helping him maintain his status as one of the most prolific polo players as well as his mental strength and work ethic growing and improving throughout the years. However, it is important to remember that there is always an opportunity to improve and by playing in new teams with new players it can help to increase learning and deepen the polo playing experience.
Charity polo matches are close to Nic’s heart and something that he participates in frequently, Kid’s Cancer Foundation is based near his home in Florida and struck a chord with him when he visited and realised how ‘unjust it was that these kids were prevented from doing the simple things every kid wants to do through no fault of their own and likewise how it affected their siblings and whole family, you never want to see a child in that position.’
Along with this, Nic also works with the world’s largest equine welfare charity that helps working horses, donkeys and mules – Brooke, something which Nic finds incredibly important as he ‘owes his career to horses’
Travelling the world to luxurious and beautiful destinations is one of the benefits of being a professional polo player, especially as destinations include Palm Beach, London, Santa Barbara, South Africa and Hawaii, however it has its downsides as travelling takes up an immense amount of time and energy and can often drag you away from loved ones – luckily polo is a family orientated sport though, meaning that missing out on special occasions is rare.
Nic’s Top Tips for Polo Amateurs
- Riding is the most fundamental in polo! Learn to ride well and that is half the battle.
- Don’t get too stressed trying to understand the rules, simple is better.
- Polo Players wear white jeans aka “whites” Not jodhpurs or breeches. But don’t turn up at polo wearing whites unless you are playing that day. A total faux pas!
- The key to polo dressing is to look relaxed yet chic.
- Don’t ever underestimate the horses. It’s considered they account for 80%, of the game whilst players just 20%.
- If a polo ball hops over the boards near to you, you can keep it as a souvenir and players are always happy to sign polo balls post game.