Water Polo Drill #3: "Three Man Keep Away" by Coach Mike Schofield, US Naval Academy

We have 2 players on offense, and one on defense. The offensive players set up about 10 feet apart and are instructed not to spread out more than that. Their job is to accept as much pressure from the defender as possible while still being able to make a dry pass to his/her teammate.

The defender works between them, and is asked to pressure the passer as hard as possible, and steal or deflect the pass each time. Once to ball is passed over him/her they immediately shove off the passer and step over to the other side and press the new passer. We ask each defender to work as hard as they can for 8 passes, then rotate.

You can add variations to this drill as desired, such as requiring the passer to use his/her off hand, or switch hands under pressure. You can have them absorb a fould and then work on getting to the free throw as soon as possible for the next pass. You can increase or decrease the amount of pressure the offense has to absorb, sometimes our team gets carried away with the phycicality, and we need to dial them down, sometimes they hardly touch each other and we have to make it tougher.

Skills to be developed:



This drill incorporates many of the skills needed to be successful in water polo, and it can be fun for the players while helping them to develop fitness, mobility, and pasing skills. I stole it from Rich Corso...

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Water Polo Drill #4: "Defender Circle" by Coach John Zeigler, Bucknell University

I like this drill to simulate many game ½ court passing situations.  I try to do this at least once per week.

The players pair up and form a circle (or multiple circles) of offensive players about 2-3 meters apart all defended.  This works best with about 4-6 offensive players around the circle.

The players must control the ball under pressure and make the next pass around the circle.  First we go clockwise a set number of times than we go counterclockwise.

Than you switch offense and defense.  The defense is instructed to press hard, play good position and make it difficult to pass and release but not to foul. 

Next we add a 2M player who is defended in the middle of the circle.  Same drill but now we work the following sequence:

Player receives a pass and than makes an 2M entry pass over the defense.  After the entry pass, the defender on the passer crashes and the 2M player kicks the ball back out to the passer.  The defender immediately goes to shotblock and the passer who got the kick-back pass pump fakes and moves forward.  The next player around the circle releases as the pass is being kicked back out.  The next pass is made and the drill repeats all around the circle.  Once again you change direction and than switch offense and defense. The 2M player must reposition for each player around the perimeter. 

Another variation we than add in the sequence is:

Defense is instructed to foul the perimeter player when they get the ball (and offense works on drawing foul). After the foul the offensive player plays it like it is an outside 5M foul and picks up ball in position and ready to shoot.  Instead of shooting they make entry pass.  Drill continues as above.

Another variation is the same as above but have the next defender in line crash so the 2M player kicks the ball out to someone other than the passer. 

Another variation is you mandate a certain number of perimeter passes befoer an entry pass.   Passes can go either direction

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The medal pictured above is the last solid gold Olympic medal which was given out at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics in Sweden

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