Water Polo Tactics by Dave Maynard

Volume 4 Number 1 August 1, 2012
Imagination is more important than knowledge - Albert Einstein.

N.O.W. Restart Again

We’ve talked about the restart after the goal before.  And really, when things are all set up just for the attack to do whatever they want to do, there really isn’t a better opportunity for a little creativity.  More importantly, let’s look at creating a little bit of a mismatch.  You have an opportunity to take control of the game, even after getting scored on, so make this a NOW moment… No Opportunity Wasted.

Typically, the attack team will have their Hole-Set line up at the restart in the middle of the pool, maybe toss the ball back on the whistle, and swim into the hole, where the primary Hole-D is waiting for you.  Why?  Why intentionally lock horns if you don’t have to?  At the restart, the Coach should substitute in a backup Hole-Set, and at the restart, they line up all the way on the outside.  The defense will typically stack the center of the restart line-up with their Hole-D players, with their drivers setting down near the outsides.  And this is where the possible mismatch takes place.  By the nature of the line-up, you faceoff against a defender that is not the typical positional counterpart.  Now, watch how what can happen…

It starts with the substitution.  And that sub slips into the Hole-Set position from the wing line-up spot.  Every other position shifts over to fill in the rest of the umbrella set-up.  And with that mismatch, it should be a quick pass into the Hole-Set position for a resulting shot because of the imbalance of power and skill level at that position.

The defense could react with extreme panic and completely drop to help cover that 2M position from the entry pass.  If that’s the case, open up and shoot from the perimeter.  If they are going to give that shot, by all means, take it.  But you don’t want to squander the opportunity, so make your shots count.

This is all a play on power and putting the right player in the position with the greatest possibility of success.  The Hole position is that spot in the pool, by the nature of their position in the water, the proximity of the goal, and the likelihood of a goal resulting from a shot.  This puts the attack in the drivers seat of this attack set-up and can quickly nullify a goal from your opponent, and nothing will take the wind out of their sails by immediately eliminating the goal they just put up on the board.  See… super simple… right?  NOW, make it happen… No Opportunity Wasted.


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