Drill 2.7: Triangle

To develop "dry" ball handling and passing techniques, followed by a shot and break away from goal.

Drill 2.7: Triangle


  1. Arrange players in files at each side of pool as indicated in diagram with breaking men between 2 and 5 yard line.
  2. Use several balls, half on each side, at far side of file.
  3. 01 breaks across tank, rolls as he passes post, receives "dry" pass from 03, then shoots and immediately breaks up middle to receive second ball from 04 area.
  4. Meanwhile 02 breaks, rolls and receives pass from 01, then shoots and breaks up middle to receive next ball from 03 area, he then feeds next breaking player.
  5. Goalie returns balls shot alternately to 03 and 04 areas (or place man in position as ball retriever).
  6. Attempt to keep drill continuous with ball dry until shot is taken.


Accurate passing is the key to a good offense as well as a steady defense in water polo. It is actually the foundation for good team play. Passing is the simplest and quickest method of advancing the ball. Several short accurate passes are usually better than one long down field pass that may be intercepted. Top notch teams keep most of their passes dry which makes for a faster offensive attack but this takes outstanding ball handling qualities on the part of each player. These qualities can only be perfected through the use of proper drills.

Good passing and receiving leads to team play and good team play develops player confidence and high morale, which is a tough combination to beat. Passing is a two way street, i.e., the receiver must also be alert and know what to do with the ball when it is on its way. So, remember that receiving takes practice too!

All of the various types of passes and receptions must be included and practiced in the drills that are presented.

Types of passes to be practiced:

  1. Wet pass
  2. Dry pass
  3. Pass and break
  4. Receive, spin and pass
  5. Receive opposite throwing arm
  6. Pass from all body positions
  7. Push pass (forward)
  8. Side pass
  9. Backhand pass
  10. Pop pass
  11. Self toss
  12. Long and short

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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