Water Polo Tactics by Dave Maynard

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

Make the Best of Your Counterattack Positioning

You’ve read my columns before, so you know I like to “push the envelope,” so to speak, when it comes to the transition game.  But this time, in particular, I’m not going to pull any punches, because it’s a situation that always seems to go ignored and frankly it makes me cringe every time I see the opportunity squandered.  And it mainly has to do with body positioning on the transition game.

You have to give a lot of consideration to positioning in the pool, even when coming down on your counterattack.  Some may think pushing the play on the transition would be rushing the play, but if you have the positioning, and you are ready for what is about to come, it can only be positive.  Remember how everyone says, “The driving game is dead?”  Well, hold on…

Let’s take a look at the transition game, where the counter attack is led by the player heading to the hole and ball is deep in the zone as well, specifically on the weak side of the pool, or the 5 wing position when that driving player is a right handed shooter.  If the player driving to the hole puts themselves on the ball side of their defender that is following them to the pit, they put themselves in a good initial position for what is about to come.  Take a look.

Many of you have seen this before, and I for one cringe when it isn’t taken advantage of, because simply, this is an opportunity for nothing but success.  You have driving condition, with an entry pass to the driver, and the ball totally protected by the position of the driver with respect to his defender.  The defender has no choice to go through the driver to get the ball.  With that kind of position, the ball in the driver’s possession, this is an opportunity for a shot on goal.  And if the defender goes through the attacker for the ball, it should be a penalty foul.

Sure it’s rushed, but only if you are not prepared for it.  In all reality, you are just taking advantage of the position that you have created with through the transition.  This is a great opportunity to have an isolated drive with no other defenders crashing on you.  It’s simply the driving attacker, their defender counterpart, and the goalie.  And any time you can minimize the variables in a situation, it only helps out in your favor.  Rushed?  Sure, but with the right preparation, it’s a recipe for success.


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