Water polo is a seven on seven team sport played inside a swimming pool. There are six players on each team in waterpolo, and one goal keeper per team, making a total of seven players in play at a given time. Water polo is played by swimming, passing of the game ball, and scoring goals by sending the ball past the goalie of the opposing team. Water polo has similar characteristics of sports that are played on land, such as soccer and hockey. It is currently the oldest team sport still played in the Olympics.
What Water Polo Training Teaches Players:
Water polo is a very unique sport that requires techniques not found in other sports. It requires players to have exceptional swimming skills, coordination, and other specific water polo training.
General Techniques for Offensive Water Polo Training:
When a player that has possession of the ball, he or she may dribble (swim with the ball), pass it to a teammate, or take a shot on the opposing team’s goal. If a player chooses to pass or shoot the ball, he or she is taught in water polo training that his or her hips should be fully squared with the target being aimed it to provide the most power into the ball’s momentum. When passing, shooting or receiving the ball, water polo coaching teaches players the importance of rotating the entire upper body, while the legs of the water polo player stay circling under water in an “egg beater” fashion to keep the body in a stationary position. The hips are then squared to the target and forward momentum of the player can be used to give extra power.
Water polo training in passing involves “dry” and “wet” passes. A dry pass is typically made to a field position player, and thrown several inches above the players head and to the left or right, depending on which hand the player uses predominantly. Dry passes are the fastest way to transfer possession from one teammate to another, and water polo training teaches players to catch and receive the ball in fluid motions.
Water polo coaching teaches players that shots are usually successful when a goal is out of position, so it is possible to have a quality set up before coming through with a pass. Long range shots are generally aimed at the corners of the net, while close range shots may require a less powerful follow-through, although close-range shots are rare since defenders put a lot of pressure on offensive players close to their net.
There are three basic shooting techniques taught in water polo training:
Lob shot: A high-arching that is used to catch a goalie out off guard so that the ball goes over his or her hands but under the crossbar for a goal.
Power shot: A straight forward shot that usually creates ball speeds of about 30-56 miles per hour.
Bounce shot: A bounce shot is a technique that a player is taught in water polo coaching when the player bounces the ball at an angle off the water. If this technique is done correctly and with enough accuracy, the ball will bounce off the water and into the goal.