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INDIVIDUAL DEFENSE

What is defense in water polo and who plays it?

Generally speaking, defense is the individual and team effort to protect their cage from being shot on. Every single player plays defense including the goalie. The goalie is the last line of defense. General defensive strategy may be man to man or zone based and is usually determined by the coach.

What are the most important aspects of defense?

How is the goalie involved in defense?

The goalie is the last line of defense. Ideally the goalie never has to block a shot because the defense is so good but that’s unrealistic. Your goalie is like the eyes of the defense. He can help coordinate the defense to reduce the threat to the cage. Any recovery of the ball by defense should go to the goalie (if he is free) unless a forward pass can be made immediately. The goalie has time to look at how the counterattack is shaping up and can make the critical first pass to initiate the offense.

How do you pressure the ball?

Show your hands and eggbeater into your man. Be patient because you are burning their clock. Try to get them to turn their back to your goal. This will eat up time. Continue to push them in this way until they turn to make the pass. As they turn to make the pass, reach out and push their passing arm and attempt force a bad pass.

Are there any other items to be aware of on defense?

Attackers will look for position that forces you on their back or grab you in order to make it look like you are committing the foul. Show your hands, stay off of people’s backs, play good polo. If you are beat, call for help and keep working until the threat is neutralized.