Jim SocumShot DoctorBandage Ball

Volume 1 Number 12February 1, 2008
The road to success is not doing one thing 100 percent better, but doing 100 things 0ne percent better.


Roll Out Shot


The rollout shot moves the shooter away from the guard by moving sideways and rolling on the side to take an overhand shot, usually at the left corner.  The 2-meter player has the choice of five rollout shots: the Standard Rollout shot, Hungarian Rollout shot, Hungarian Roll-in shot, Reverse Rollout shot and the Change of Direction Rollout shot.  There are four stages to the rollout shot: lunge and roll, left hand glide, pull and right hip up, the right leg forward, and the right leg kick back and hip snap.  Mastery of the five-rollout shots requires precise body control and balance by the shooter.


Figure 1

Figure 1

The rollout shooter moves through four stages.  1.) The shooter lunges away from the guard on the stomach and rolls on the back at an angle. 2.) Left hand glides and pulls the right hip up. 3.) The shooter moves the right leg forward to cock the hip and to balance out. 4.) Right leg kicks back, the hip snaps forward and the ball is shot (see Fig. 1). 
Failure in the rollout shooter occurs when the shooter does not roll from the back onto the side with the right hip up.  There are two sources of failure in the rollout shot.  The shooter does not use the left hand to roll the shooter’s body from the back to the side; the shooter does not use the right leg and right hip to cock and accelerate the whole body for the shot.

Lunge and Roll

  • Lunge at 45-degree angle
  • Roll on the back

Figure 2 and 3

Figure 2 and Figure 3

The shooter lies on the stomach and lunges out to the ball at a 45-degree angle, the hand is underneath the ball, using a scissor kick or a breastroke kick and then rolls on the back.  The shooter does not move parallel across the face of the goal or the guard knocks down the shooter.  Moving at a 45-degree angle ensures that the shooter is away from the guard.  The hand is not on top of the ball as this prevents the shooter from rotating the right hip up to begin the second stage. 

Glide and Pull (Hip Up)

  • Glide with left hand underwater and extend over the head
  • Pull down to roll the right hip up

Figure 4 and 5

Figure  4 and Figure 5

The shooter’s initial kick provides the momentum to roll 180-degrees onto the back.  The left hand provides the power to roll the next 90-degrees so the right hip is up in the air. The rollout shooter’s left hand glides and extends over the head underwater as the player rolls. Then the left hand pulls down to rotate the rollout shooter’s right hip up and balances out the body just as a sailboat uses its keel for balance.  Failure to use the left hand leaves the shooter on the back in a powerless shooting position (see Figs. 4, 5).

Right Leg Forward

  • Right hip up
  • Right leg forward for balance
  • Fake to balance out

Figure 6

Figure 6

The shooter's right hip is up with right leg forward to cock the body for the rollout shot.  The right leg forward position also provides balance so the shooter does not fall on the back.  A rollout shooter may use a pump fake to balance out the body after rolling on the side (see Fig. 6). 

Kick Back and Shoot

  • Right leg kicks backward    
  • Snap hip forward
  • Shoot at low corner, strongside of weakside, skip the ball

Figure 7 and 8

Figure 7 and Figure 8

The whole body of the rollout shooter is cocked for power and then accelerates to throw the ball.  To understand the cocking stages and acceleration stages stretch a rubber band (cocking stage) and then release the rubber band (acceleration stage).  The shooter’s right leg is forward to cock the shooter’s body with the left arm down to balance out.  The right leg kicks back and the right hip snaps forward in the acceleration stage to shoot the ball with the left hand pulling.  The combination of the two stages creates the rollout shot (see Figs. 6, 7, 8).  

The standard rollout shot is thrown at the lower left corner to maintain control of the ball.  A high corner shot is much harder to control and often the ball goes over the goal.  The best low corner shot to throw is a skip shot.  The shooter uses an index finger skip shot, a 2-finger skip shot or a topspin skip shot with a 1-meter (goal line) or a 1½-meter skip point (see Figs. 7, 8). 

Figure 9

Figure 9

Without the use of the right leg kicking back, hip snap and left hand keel to produce power and balance, the shooter attempts to make up for the significant whole body power loss by using a longer right arm extension.  However, the longer right arm extension, without the use of the left arm, causes the shooter to fall over on the back and throw the ball over the goal (see Fig. 9).  

Figure 10 and 11

                                                                Figure  10 and Figure 11

The rollout shooter reads the position of the goalie and selects the correct corner before shooting the ball.  The standard rollout shot is a strongside shot to the left corner. The player rolls to the right and shoots at the left corner of the goal when the goalie is positioned in the center of the goal.  When the goalie moves to cover the left corner of the goal the ball, the ball is shot at the opposite corner, the weakside right corner. The shooter throws the weakside rollout shot at the low corner by using a side arm motion (see Figs. 10, 11).  


Figure 12 and 13

Figure 12 and Figure 13

Figure 14 and 15

Figure 14 and Figure 15

The Hungarian rollout is a variation on the standard rollout with the two differences: the rollout shooter grips the ball on top between the hand and forearm and has a very rapid body roll.  The Hungarian rollout shot is the done at Mach 1 speed.  It is a no-look rollout shot thrown at the lower left corner.  The 2-meter player puts the hand on top of the ball, moves the ball close to the face, spins the body in a tight circle at supersonic speed with the left hand pulling and shoots the ball.  There cannot be any delay in the Hungarian rollout shot or the guard attacks the ball (see Figs. 12-15). 


Figure 16 and 17

Figure 16 and Figure 17

Figure 18 and 19

Figure 18 and Figure 19

The Hungarian roll-in shot is a Hungarian rollout shot with a push off.  The roll-in shot is a good shot for women.  The momentum from the 2-meter player’s push off doubles the strength of the shot.  In the Hungarian roll-in shot the shooter starts with the right hand on top of the ball with left hip up.  The shooter’s legs scissor kick and the left hand pushes to slam the 2-meter player’s body into the guard (see Fig. 16).  The roll-in shooter places the forearm across the hip and waits for the guard to attack with the left hip up (see Figs. 17, 18).  The shooter pushes off the guard’s ribs, moves upward across the face of the goal, rolls-out, spins the right hip up and shoots at the left corner (see Figs. 18, 19).  The incorrect roll-in shooter does not move into the guard and stays in front of the guard, pushes off the guard’s stomach, and pops straight out at a right angle for an offensive foul. 


Figure 20 and 21

Figure 20 and Figure 21

Figure 22 and 23

Figure 22 and Figure 23

The sweep shot or reverse rollout shot is a rollout in the opposite direction for a right corner shot.  There are four parts: power turn of 90-degrees, layout in the horizontal, push off and the Boyer lateral shot.  The Boyer shot is described in The Shot Doctor Hole Shot 1 and Skip Shot III. The reverse rollout shot surprises the guard who expects a move by the 2-meter player towards the left corner. The shooter grabs the nearside of the guard’s swimsuit, spins 90-degrees and places the ball on the water near the right corner in line with the 2-meter player’s feet.  After placing the ball on the water next to the feet, the rollout shooter lies on the side and waits with the left shoulder for the guard to attack (see Figs. 20, 21).      
When the guard attacks, the 2-meter player uses the left shoulder to push off the guard’s sternum.  The power from the push off moves the shooter to the vertical, the ball is picked up with the hand on top and the right leg steps-out with the knee high.  The ball is lifted high in the air, right arm moves out sideways (not back) and a Boyer shot is thrown at the high right corner (see Figs. 22, 23). 


Figure 24 and 25

Figure 24 and Figure 25

Figure 26 and 27

Figure 26 and Figure 27

The 2-meter shooter swings the arm 90-degrees for a power turn or sweep shot to the right corner, stops, changes direction, does a rollout and shoots at the left corner.  The 2-meter shooter starts with a power turn motion and stops (see Fig. 24).  The left arm lies limp by the shooter’s side. Do not use the left hand to scull (see Figs. 24, 25).  The guard lunges to the ball and the shooter grabs the guard’s swimsuit with the left hand and pushes the guard a little to the right (see Fig. 26). Then the shooter twists the body around a soft but firm left handgrip, rolls-out and shoots at the left corner.  The body twists around the left handgrip in an extreme motion that moves the 2-meter player sharply from the vertical to the horizontal for the rollout shot.  Another great shot for women, the push off doubles the strength of the throw (see Fig. 27). 


The player practices three drills to keep the right hip up and remain balanced in the water.  The major mistake in the shooter’s rollout shot is to fall on the back when shooting.  Lying on the back is caused by the shooter’s poor left hand and right leg/hip technique.  The kickboard, left hand and ball-on-the-face drills correct this mistake by forcing the shooter to find the balance point in the water.  Most shooters do not have a position sense, an awareness of where they are in the water.  These drills make the player “feel” the difference between being balanced with the right hip up or unbalanced and flat on the back in the water.  
Kickboard rollout drill has the player sidestroke swim a lap or two with the right side up.  Add a kickboard and have the water polo player sidestroke with the right arm high in the air.  Finish with the player pulling the kickboard down, shoot and slap the water with the right hand to duplicate the rollout shot.  During the drill, the player emphasizes the right leg sidestroke moving forward for balance and the right leg kick back/hip snap for the shot.  The shooter also practices a one-pump fake to improve balance.

The left hand drill teaches the player to the roll on the side with the right hip up.  The player lunges out on the stomach, rolls on the back, extends the left hand underwater, pulls down to rotate the right hip up for a 270-degree body rotation and swims several laps (with or without the ball). The player must master the use of the left hand if he or she is going to be able to shoot a rollout shot. 

The ball-on-the-face drill is the quickness drill used with the standard and Hungarian rollout shots. The player has the ball pressed into the face and quickly spins the body and shoots.  The emphasis is on quick body rotation.  The drill demonstrates the importance of the ball being close to the face to rotate the body quickly. 

In concluding, the rollout shot frees the shooter from guard by moving sideways and rolling on the side for
a quick shot at the goal.  There are five rollout shots: Standard Rollout with strongside and weakside shots, Hungarian Rollout shot with the hand on top of the ball, Hungarian Roll-In shot with a push off, Reverse Rollout shot to the right corner and the Change of Direction Rollout shot with the shooter moving from right to left. 

The two common mistakes made by the inexperienced rollout shooter is to not use the left hand to turn the right hip up and to shoot when lying on the back. The experienced player rolls the right hip up by using the left hand and uses the right leg and hip to throw the ball.  The experienced player can be a man or a woman.  A women 2-meter player shoots a rollout shot as well as a man.  A woman’s body floats and her wider hips provide great balance in the water.  The rollout shot, taken by either a man or a woman, is a beautiful shot when thrown by the well-trained shooter. 

This four month series on the 2-meter shooter has been condensed from Jim Solum's new water polo book:  

The Science of Shooting: The 2-Meter Player.

© Copyright 2009 Jim Solum

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