Drill 7.8: Shoot from the Hole

To practice getting off quick shots from the hole position after pass from teammate while being closely guarded.


  1. Form inverted triangle pattern in front of goal, placing guard X1 behind hole forward O3.
  2. O1 and O2 pass back and forth while O3 maneuvers for position to receive pass, guards keep pressing from behind.
  3. After pass, O3 attempts to shoot using any type shot.
  4. Rotate positions after several successful shots.

Note: Backboards (goal size) at side of pool would allow for many more stations for this drill.

Drill 7.9: Direct the Attack

To sharpen up reactions as well as learn to pass or shoot from various positions.


  1. Arrange players in a semi-circle facing goal as shown in diagram.
  2. The player positioning himself in the hole, passes out to anyone in the semi-circle.
  3. He directs their movements. He will call the player he wants to get the ball and whether he should pass back or shoot.
  4. Verbal commands or silent signals can be used. (Ex: tap the water for a return pass.)
  5. The ball should move as quickly as possible, and players must practice shooting or passing from any position.
  6. This tends to give the hole man a chance to practice directing the attack.

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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