Drill 3.3: Keep Circle Moving

To keep swimming continuously in a circle while attempting to pass the ball accurately or anticipate receiving it.


  1. Form a large circle (about 20 feet diameter).
  2. Start swimmers moving in a counter-clockwise direction - several circles can be used.
  3. Player with ball starts passing, using the type pass called for by coach.
  4. Commands and passes that can be used:

    1. One man ahead "wet".
    2. Everyone swim on back, keep ball "dry".
    3. Half roll after each reception.
    4. Two men forward "wet".
    5. One man to rear "blind".
    6. Cross circle (one ball only).
    7. Reverse swimming direction.

  5. Two balls can be used starting each at opposite side of circle and have players attempt to pass so that one ball catches the other.

Drill 3.4: Bull in the Ring

To practice passing accurately over a guard, at the same time developing guard's ability to react quickly.


  1. Use as many circles as desired with 6-8.
  2. Place man in center and start players passing across circle with center man attempting to block or intercept the passes.
  3. If players pass is intercepted, he exchanges places with center man.

Note: Stress using fakes and quick direct (shoulder level) passes rather than lobs.

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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