Introduction to Shooting Drills

Since a team cannot win without scoring, considerable importance and detailed attention must be given to this phase of the game. Unlike some other fundamental moves, shooting or goal throwing is probably the easiest skill to get the players to practice, but it is not always the easiest to develop.

There are many techniques of good throwing and numerous types of shots to be taught. It is the coach's job to select and work on the shots that will best fit his individual player's ability and also fit into the offensive pattern of play.

It must also be remembered to have the players practice the best place for them to take a penalty shot.

Here are some drills that should help accomplish the task of scoring by working on the following array of shots:

  1. Vertical front shot
  2. Front and back layout
  3. Roll and back layout
  4. Sweeper
  5. Bounce and sweep
  6. Tip
  7. Push
  8. Side arm
  9. Back hand
  10. Bat
  11. Self toss
  12. Drive-in
  13. Hook
  14. Pop

Drill 7.1: Shoot on Whistle

To learn to anticipate picking up ball and shooting quickly on given signal.


  1. Line up players as indicated in diagram. Use two or more balls.
  2. Players dribble diagonally toward cage with ball. Shoot as quickly as possible on coach's whistle.
  3. After shot player breaks to other side of pool receiving pass from goalie or goes to retrieve blocked ball or missed shot.
  4. Continue drill from other side after all men have had a turn shooting.

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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