Jim SocumShot DoctorBandage Ball

Volume 3 Number 2 September 1, 2010
The road to success is not doing one thing 100 percent better, but doing 100 things 0ne percent better.



The GT shot is new shot that is a combination of a vertical and a horizontal shot.  It is called the GT shot because it is a combination of the new Genoa Shot and the Charlie Turner Shot.  The shot starts in the vertical position with a fake and ends in the horizontal position for the shot. Outside shots are taken from a vertical body position.  On rare occasions, a horizontal shot with a horizontal arm position is taken from the right wing. The vertical body posture Genoa hesie fake sets up and locks the goalie in the right corner of the goal; then, the Turner shot position improves the angle and allows the player to shoot the ball cross-cage at the high left corner.


The vertical shot, the Genoa shot, was invented by Coach Ricardo Azevedo of Genoa, Italy in 2009.  The Genoa shot is used as a quick wrist vertical shot that has the fastest release in the world.  The short arm cock uses the power of the body to make up for the loss of leverage of a long 24-inch (61-centimeters) arm cock.   When the shooter's arm is not cocked back the goalie has no clue that the ball is going to be thrown.  The disadvantage of the standard Genoa shot is the ball is thrown to the nearside of the cage.  For example, a shooter at the 4-spot throws the ball at the right high corner of the goal.  Basically, the Genoa shot is a nearside shot

The horizontal shot or Turner shot was invented in the 1970’s by Charlie Turner of Australia, a 1980-1984 Olympian.  The shot was taken outside the 2-spot or left goal post, on the side, with a vertical arm and thrown cross-cage at the right corner of the goal.  The Charlie Turner shot was limited to the left flat or 2-spot (EU 4-spot).  The Turner shot could not be used as a 4-spot (EU 2-spot) shot.  The ball thrown from the 4-spot to the right would hit wide of the right goal post.  Basically, the Turner shot is a cross-cage shot to the weak side.

The GT shot was invented by the author in 2010.  The GT shot is a vertical to horizontal shot, combines the best parts of both shots with a nearside fake in the vertical (Genoa shot) to a weakside shot in the horizontal (Charlie Turner shot).  For example, the GT shot is used as an above the right post, vertical shot, 4-spot (EU 2-spot), to set up the goalie for an apparent right corner shot and then changes body position into a lie-on-the-side horizontal cross-cage shot at the left corner.  The goalie has never seen a vertical to horizontal shot before and is out of position to block a cross-cage shot thrown from the right side to the left corner. 


Vertical body position    Horizontal body position 
Right leg straight back push kick    Legs dolphin kick
Left hand pulls down   Left hand sculls furiously
Left foot inward, snaps left    Feet horizontal, dolphin kick
No fake or 1-2 leg hesie   1-2 Short pump fakes
Shoot right high corner   Shoot left high corner

Genoa body position at 4-spot (EU 2-spot)
Hesie fake push kick/scissor kick to lock goalie in right corner
Lie on side, arch back for Turner shot
Left hand extends, sweeps and pulls down
Vertical arm, 1-2 pump fakes, 1-2 dolphin kicks,
Shoot at left high corner


Figure 2


The shooter sets up above the right goal post on the 4-spot (EU 2-spot) and reads the goalie.  The shooter executes the Genoa shot by using a push kick with the right leg straight back, the left foot cocked inward, the right arm vertical with no arm cock with the right hand twisted to the extreme right and a left hand pull down.  When the goalie does not set up on the shooter with the legs churning and the hands light in the water the goalie is not ready to block the Genoa shot.  When the goalie does not commit to the shooter the Genoa shooter throws a quick wrist high right corner shot.  The Genoa ball scores quickly off the wrist without the goalie ever moving to block the shot. The Genoa shot is the first shot selected by the shooter who is on the 4-spot (EU 2-spot).  The original article is found in The Shot Doctor: HesieFakes Part V (see Figs. 2, 3).           . 




The Turner shooter is horizontal in the water with the right arm vertical, the left hand churning furiously to partially elevate the torso and angle the legs at 20-degrees for two short and quick dolphin kicks.  The right arm pump fakes once or twice with a very short arm stroke.  The shot is usually thrown cross-cage at the high corner of the goal see The Shot Doctor: Charlie Turner Shot (see Figs. 4, 5).


Genoa Shot

The shooter sets up at the 4-spot (EU 2-spot) in the right flat in the Genoa shooting posture.

Genoa Hesie Leg Fake

When the goalie is alert, he sets up on the 4-spot (EU 2-spot) shooter and honors the possible shot to the right corner.  Due to goalie’s position, there will be no quick wrist Genoa shot to the right corner.  The shooter resorts to using a vertical 1-2 leg hesie fake and locks the goalie in the right corner of the goal.  The push kick to a scissor kick allows the shooter to become square to the goal and to lie over on the side and become horizontal in the water for a Charlie Turner shot.  The first kick is the push kick where the right leg kicks straight back.  The second kick in the leg hesie fake is the scissor kick.  The scissor kick is a length-wise right leg kick that moves the right leg forward so the shooter’s body becomes square and can fall over in the water and move into the Turner shot.  At the same time as the Genoa second hesie kick occurs, the shooter’s left hand and back move to convert the shooter’s body into the horizontal. 


The conversion from a vertical posture to the horizontal posture for the Genoa-Turner shot is relatively easy but requires precise technique. The conversion or transitional stage moves the shooter from the vertical to a horizontal lying-on-the-side shot posture.  The shot begins as a Genoa shot, a Genoa leg hesie fake and converts by using the left hand and arching the back into a lying-on-the-side Charlie Turner shot.  The conversion technique arches the shooter’s back to pull the right leg forward so the shooter’s body becomes parallel to the goal at the end of the leg fake hesie.  At the same time as the arching of the back, the left hand comes into play.  The left hand during the GT shot has three motions: extend, sweep back and pull down.  The first motion begins as the shooter’s body falls over and the left hand and arm extends out to glide for a tenth of a second.  Then the second left hand motion begins with the left hand sweeping back towards the shooter’s chest. 

The GT Shot

The Turner shooter’s left hand sweeps back towards the body to generate power for the shot.  The right arm is pump faking to balance out the shooter’s body.  As the left hand sweeps, the shooter takes one or two dolphin kicks.  Then left hand pulls down and the ball is shot. The ball is shot cross-cage at the high left corner of the goal.  The goalie is out of position to block the left corner Turner shot because he has set up in the wrong corner of the goal, the right corner.




The vertical to horizontal shot requires good balance, core strength and coordination.  Drills done in the water cannot satisfy all of the strength requirements necessary to perform the GT shot.  Dry land training that is specific to the throwing motion is needed.  A good shot cannot be taken if the shooter is falling over in the water.   This type of training is called sport-specific or functional training in that it duplicates the player's motion when throwing. Part of sport-specific training is the use of balance ball or Bosu ball to create an unstable surface for the athlete.  An unstable surface such as a balance ball or half of a ball, the Bosu ball, requires the use of multiple muscles at multiple angles to perform the exercise.   Old-style exercises such as a sit up on an incline bench require only one muscle (psoas muscle) and movement in one angle (flexion).  It is not enough now to train the athlete to have one strong muscle.  Water polo demands that the whole body be trained for total strength and balance. 

Balance Ball Training

Balance ball training was discussed in the previous month under the Charlie Turner Lying-On-The-Side Shot.  Today we briefly look at the types of balance ball equipment.  Depending on the size of the player various size balls are used.  The rule is the bigger the player, the bigger the ball.  For example, a player that is 5’6 uses a 55 centimeter ball; up to 5’10 a 65-centimeter ball; and from 5’11” and above a 75-centimeter ball.  Girls will use 55 cm. to 65 cm. balls; boys 65 cm. to 75 cm. balls.  It is better to spend the extra money and get a thicker skinned balance ball for added safety as they deflate slower when punctured.  The cost of a balance ball is $20.00 to 25.00 US dollars.  YouTube has a number of balance ball exercise videos.

Bosu Ball Training


One of the new additions to unstable surface training is the use of the Bosu Ball.  The advantage of a Bosu ball it has dual uses.  The Bosu ball is both a ball for sit ups and a balance board for standing on and catching medicine balls.  The Bosu ball has a wide variety of exercises that can be done on it.  Bosu ball can be ordered from a number of companies online. The pictures above are reproduced with permission from PerformBetter.com.

The Bosu ball is a balance ball that is cut in half.  It is 25-inches (61-centimeters) in diameter and 12-inches (30-centimeters) high and weighs 14-pounds (6.3-kilos).  There is a round soft inflatable top and a hard flat bottom to Bosu ball.   The Bosu ball serves as a sit up ball, a wobble board and a pylo trampoline. The Bosu ball is not as unstable as the round balance ball and athletes do not fall off of it.  The first exercise to do on a Bosu ball is sit ups.  Sit ups on the Bosu ball are not as difficult as on a balance ball.  Add medicine ball throws from the sit up position.  The player practices pushups with the hands on the Bosu ball.  Pylo jumps can be done by jumping up and down on the ball.  Flip the ball over and use it as a wobble board and have the player catch medicine balls.  The cost of the Bosu ball is $120.00 US dollars for the 25-inch (61.5-centimeters) ball and $80 US dollars for the 23-inch (57-centimeters) one.  See YouTube.com for Bosu ball exercises.


Leg Hesie Drills

Leg Hesie Drills

The player has to develop smart legs.  That is legs that can adjust their position in the water to the guard’s attack.   The player’s legs have to be mobile, able to shoot the ball from a number of leg positions and use a variety of kicks for the fake and the shot and aim the ball.  The right leg is for balancing the body and the left leg is for aiming the ball. In faking the ball, the 1-2 leg hesie has the legs wide apart length-wise and uses a large scissor kick for the first kick and a shorter and quicker scissor kick on the second stroke.  The first kick elevates the player two-thirds of the way up in the air; the second kick elevates the player the last third.  The second type of leg hesie is to push back with the right leg and finish with a scissor kick.  The last hesie is to do the push kick to a scissor kick and fall on the side and begin dolphin kicking for the Turner shot.  Practice the three leg hesies in five sets in the pool (see The Shot Doctor: Hesie Fakes Parts I, II).

Pool Side Drills


The pool side drills for catching the ball illustrates to the coach how massive is the right leg movement.  One pool side drill is to have the player close to the wall and the coach throws an underhand pass.  The ball is caught, the left hand sweeps to the left to help body rotation and the right leg swings backward to create a sharp left shoulder point.  The player is not allowed to swing the right leg half way back.  The right leg should become invisible behind the player.  Many players, especially girls, will step-out to the side, sit down and lie on the back so the hips do not rotate and the right leg cannot be swung backward.  The across-the-face catch is the second drill.  The coach stands to the right side of the player on the deck and has the player catch the ball across the face with right foot forward and pointing at the pass and then swing the right leg back 270-degrees to make a sharp left shoulder point see The Shot Doctor: Driver Part 3 (see Fig. 7)

Bad Angle Catch Drill 

Before discussing the bad angle catch drill the theory behind the drill must be explained. The player’s legs catch the ball and not the right arm.  This is a difficult concept to understand unless one looks at a baseball/softball player lose his or her legs (footing) and falls over as they try to catch the ball.  The right arm only holds the ball after it has been caught by the legs. There are a lot of misconceptions about what the “legs” really mean. The rules are: no legs = no catch; no right leg motion = no catch.  The left leg is fixed, points, pivots and aims the ball.  The right leg is mobile and balances out the body.  A player with “smart legs” has legs that adjust to the ball for the catch.  The right leg must make extraordinary large movements to keep the body upright and stable.  It is not enough to do eggbeater exercises to strengthen the player’s legs. Leg positioning technique is also necessary.  Strong legs and strong technique catch the ball.  The pool side drills and the bad angle catch drills force massive right leg readjustment.

Bad Angle Pass Drill


Bad angle passes to a catch make the shooter’s right leg adjust to catching the poor pass.  The player learns by practicing in-the-water balance drills by receiving bad angle passes that force the shooter’s right leg to move the body to a position for the right hand to catch the bad pass.    Bad angle passes and catches drill consists of four passes from different angles that force the shooter to move the left foot to aim the ball at the goal and the right leg and left hand to balance out the body.  The ball is passed from the angles: 0-degrees, 45-degrees, 90-degrees and 125-degrees (see Fig.8).



The 125-degree pass is thrown behind the player’s back and forces a major right leg motion and realignment to catch the ball and shoot at the left corner shot.  This awkward catch is designed to have the shooter’s right leg move 35-degrees to catch the ball. Then the shot forces the shooter to move the right leg 70-degrees to reposition the body.  At the same time the other half of the “legs,” the left foot, readjusts and points at the left corner to aim the ball (see Figs 9, 10).

The shooter must be clear that right leg is supreme and controls and directs the left foot point. For a demonstration, the player is square to the goal, swings the right leg backward and the left foot and shoulder point appear.  The right leg is the most important leg of the two legs.

In conclusion, the GT shot is a combination of two shots: the Genoa shot and the Turner shot.  A vertical body position shot changes into a horizontal body position shot.  The 4-spot (EU 2-spot) Genoa shooter has the ability to lock the goalie into the right corner of the goal and then move to the horizontal for a Charlie Turner cross-cage shot to the left high corner of the goal.  The position of the Genoa shooter’s body and the leg hesie fakes convince the goalie it is a right corner shot.  The goalie moves out of position and cannot protect against a cross-cage left corner shot.  The conversion from the vertical faking body position into the horizontal shooting body position requires the shooter to arch the back and use the left hand to extend, sweep and pull down. The kick is a quick 20-degree angled dolphin kick.  The lying-on-the-side Turner shooter throws the ball at the unprotected left high corner of the goal.  The player should try the Genoa-Turner shot to see if it fits into his or her throwing style.

Copyright Jim Solum 2010

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