Water Polo Drill #13: "5 on 2 Keep Away" by Coach Larry Zubrin, Occidental College

5 passers form a circle about 2-3 meters apart from each other.

2 Defenders are in the middle of the circle attempting to steal or disrupt a pass.

Passers may not pass to a player to their immediate left or right.
Passers may not hold the ball for more than 3-5 seconds.  (Variations are up to the coach)
All passes must be dry.

If defenders drop back to press the 2 available players, one of the open players to a passers immediate right or left may drive across between the other open player and the passer, or between the open player and a guarded player,  in order to create an available cross pass.  Like any drive in a front court offense, the other perimeter players must rotate left or right into open water and draw the defense away from the drive, or to be ready to receive a cross pass if the defender helps over to pick up the driver.

Coaches can instruct defenders to only stunt between open players.  Or to always drop back to force open players to drive, or to alternate stunting between open players and attacking the passes, etc…

The drill progresses when the defense succeeds in stealing or disrupting a pass.  When a pass is stolen or if a player fails to catch a pass dry, both the passer and the person the pass was intended for now become the defenders, and the previous defenders move into the passing circle

The drill helps develop passing skills, decision making, ball and player awareness, communication, and movement without the ball.  It also develops defensive skills and awareness related to drop or zone defenses.

Larry Zubrin, Occedntal CollegeCoach's Biography          Coach's Water Polo Videos

Water Polo Drill #14: "Triangle Passing" by Coach Curtis Robinette, Mercyhurst College

Divide your players into groups of three. Have them form an equilateral triangle about four to five feet apart. Give two players in each triangle a ball. The player without the ball is called the point. The player on the right side of the point passes the ball to the point's right hand and the point passes the ball back to the same player with the point's right hand. As soon as the ball leaves the point's right hand the player to the left of the point throws the ball to the point's left hand. The point throws the ball back to the same player with the point's left hand. The point must kick up every time he or she receives the pass from the right and the pass from the left. After the point receives 10 passes from each player the player to the point's right becomes the point and the passing is repeated. This drill can be finished after everyone is the point once or twice or as many times as you desire and the number of passes can 10, 15, 20,.... . On the deck the coach can help in encourage the point by yelling, "Work the point!" Also if the point does not kick up for each pass and catch you can make that person stay the point until he or she does.

This drill works not only the player's legs but it also improves the point's hand-to-eye coordination and it helps to improve the week arm passes of the point.

Next, have the players pass in the triangle with only one ball. Start the passes so the right hander receive a regular pass and the left handed receives a cross face pass. After a set number of passes have the players pass the ball in the opposite direction so the right hander receives a cross face pass and the left hander receives a regular pass. After more passes reverse the direction of the ball again. Do this several times. Also for variety you can have the player that catches a pass do a 360 degree turn before passing to the next player. The player must kick up to either pass or catch the ball which means two players are always working their legs and one player is resting.

I have been told numerous times that passing in a triangle best emulates the way a ball is passed in an actual game.

Unlike Jim Yeamans at the Rock, I didn't steal my drill from Doc Hunkler; I only borrowed it.

Curtis Robinette, Mercyhurst CollegeCoach's Biography          Coach's Water Polo Web Site


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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