Pacific Polo feeling like fish out of water during pandemic pause

The chains on the gate outside of the pool at Westview are locked, and will remain that way until the Poway Unified School District allows kids back on campus. That’s a problem for Pacific Polo, a team that calls the Wolverines water their own home most of the year.

“We were getting ready to gear up for the Junior Olympics,” club director Ian McKercher said. “To imagine that a month later we were shut down with no startup time was a surprise.”

Pacific Polo has been a part of San Diego since the late 90’s. And for the first time, they’re taking a break – not because they want to, but just like every other sport, because they have to.

“We heard about something going on,” goalie Taylor Johnson said. “In a matter of hours we got the email that schools were done and sports were done…it was a huge shock. Our whole life was put on pause.”

Unlike other sports, there’s really no way to replicate water polo work while under quarantine. Even owning a pool is of little help when home systems don’t have the width or depth. Johnson has resorted to using tennis balls deflecting off of a wall to simulate the quick reaction to shot times.

“I can’t just go swim outside,” she added. “Getting back in the pool hopefully won’t be too much of a difference. You want to keep yourself in shape enough that the only shock is the water.”

McKercher sends his kids home drills through social media, which include pool instruction and game film. But what McKercher can’t fix is cardio. Water polo players have to have it. Running all day doesn’t fully create. Only laps in a near Olympic size pool really do the trick.

“We’ve been able to do some dryside workouts,” McKercher said. “Taking this much time off…it will take a long time to get them back.”

Categories: All Sports Report, Sports