Drill 2.3: Hot Patato

To learn to get rid of the ball quickly and accurately and be alert to receive a pass.

Drill 2.3 Hot Potato


  1. Arrange players in several groups scattered around pool (5 or 6 to a group); one ball to each group.
  2. Players form fairly tight circle and start passing ball around and across the circle to each other trying not to maintain possession very long.
  3. Coach blows whistle intermittently; player with or last to handle ball must leave circle to swim length of pool (to far side and return) while others continue to handle and pass the ball anticipating next whistle.

Variation: Each group counts number of passes corn - pleted between whistles; group with lowest number must all sprint penalty lap or laps.

Drill 2.4: Press and Push

To develop agility and ability to quickly press and pass and pursue the ball.

Drill 2.4: Press and Push


  1. Scatter all players in pool; players with a ball (use all balls available) start drill on whistle.
  2. They pick up and push the ball about 3-6 feet and immediately swim after it and repeat movement.
  3. Continue until players with ball have made ten successive moves; they then pass ball to another player without ball who does same.
  4. Players without the ball maintain stationary treading position in pool while awaiting their turn to handle ball, and must keep one hand in the air until they receive a ball.
  5. Ten or more balls can be used simultaneously.

Variation: Have players face pool wall or edge of gutter and practice "wet" pick-up and push to wall for bounce return and repeat set number of times.

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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