Drill 1.19: Turn and Go

To practice treading high out of the water combined with a quick break and change in direction.

Drill 1.19 Turn and Go


  1. Start players in line about six feet away from and facing goal line.
  2. On whistle everyone must come up treading high (egg-beater and arm sculling); on next whistle they "turn and go" about five strokes with head up, treading water again on next whistle.
  3. Coach continues drill, holding players in tread position as long as desired with several reverses before starting next group.
  4. When group is released, they swim to opposite end of the pool.


The most frustrating and discouraging aspect of water polo for the beginner is not being able to pick up and pass the very wet and sometimes slippery ball with accuracy. Skill in ball handling and accurate passing is a primary key to success in the game. Therefore, learning to handle the ball properly and with confidence while under pressure is a most important fundamental that must be mastered.

Some coaches recommend dry land passing (always above the shoulder) and find it especially helpful if they have a large squad with limited pool area and many beginners.

Ball handling skills are best learned by constant individual training and partner practice, with the coach first explaining the procedure, demonstrating the movement and then observing and correcting individual players. Partner work is not always possible since it requires too many balls and therefore the following drill formations will help facilitate large groups.

Practice the following pickups with vertical, horizontal and back layout body positions in the water. Follow with a short pass to a partner or against a wall. Calling the name of the receiver each time you pass in early workouts, helps players get acquainted.

Skills to be Practiced:

  1. Pick up ball from water by:

    1. Lifting underneath.
    2. Rolling pick-up (hand on top and quick roll underneath).
    3. Press pick-up (hand on top, press ball under water and pick up).
    4. Toss pick-up (pass with one hand to the other).
    5. Toe pick-up (same as above with toe).


Bill's Biography

Bill Anttila
Known nationally as one of the foremost authorities on water polo, Bill Anttila was inducted in the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame on January 17, 2004. He was involved in aquatics from 1947-1984. In 1948, Bill was responsible for the inauguration of the first community college water polo program in Northern California at Stockton College. Before that, Bill began the water polo program at the University of the Pacific in 1947. He coached the Pacific Tigers for 18 years with only one losing season and his 1956 team won the league championship with a 12-2 record. Bill was also the swimming coach at Stockton College, where he won 10 NCC championships and never had a losing season.

During his 38 years of coaching water polo, his teams won 10 Northern California Championships. In 1,099 games, Anttila compiled a 759-340 overall record {.691 winning percentage}. At the time of his retirement, Anttila was the winningest water polo coach in the United States. He had the satisfaction of coaching over 50 All-Americans. He has written a book titled Water Polo Drills and Playing Hints. Anttila was inducted into the Stockton Hall of Fame in 1985. He was then inducted into the University of the Pacific Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. He is currently retired and resides in Stockton with his wife, Sisko, of 50 years.


The medal pictured above is the last solid gold Olympic medal which was given out at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics in Sweden

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