Water Polo Drill #15: "Rapid Fire Shooting" by Coach Gary Figuerova , CSU Monteray Bay

Objectives: Develop quick wrist shot with NO FAKE, minimal head movement, vary height out of water (conditioning), NEVER drop the ball.

Take as many shots in a row, as quickly as possible, to exhaustion, WITHOUT SACRIFICING PROPER TECHNIQUE.

The passer should be working on wrist passes, off the water.

Gary FigueroaCoach's Biography          Coach's Water Polo Web Site

Water Polo Drill #16 "Pick Up Water Polo" by Coach Jamey Wright, UC Davis

  1. Put 3, 4, or 5 players in blue.  Equal number in white.
  2. One player in red is always on offense, so you will have 4 v. 3 or 5 v. 4 or 6 v. 5. (Most teams do some variation of this already, but here are a few wrinkles)
  3. No fouls are called (i.e. if you get the ball and are closely guarded expect the defender to gross you and take the ball away).
  4. No pump fakes are allowed, i.e. if you shoot it MUST be immediate., i.e. off a pass.  If you pump fake or delay following a pass to you and you still shoot, it is a turn over.
  5. All turnovers must be cleared outside the 5 Meter line and then you can immediately attack.
  6. No grossing the grosser, i.e. once the ball has been stolen via a gross foul that team gets a free pass and the game continues.
  7. If the goalie gets the ball, throw it someone on defensive team farthest from the goal.
  8. Winners outs and play the game to the first team to score 3 or 4 wins and then switch a new player into the red cap.
If you are doing 6 v. 5 Red Cap, you could add five 6 v. 5 chances to the team that wins the game to 4, etc.

What does it help re-enforce?


  1. Find the open player!  You have an open player, so don't throw it to someone who is tightly guarded.  In a real game, a tightly guarded player who gets the ball usually can't do anything with it in time as the open player will eventually be covered up.  Here closely guarded player will simply have it taken from them.
  2. Make a solid release!  If you are being guarded, you need to make a great release move to open up for your team mate who is holding the ball and unable to shoot it with out getting it right back
  3. Shoot off the pass!  You are limited to only shooting the ball off the pass without the obligatory pump fake that is often there only because that is how the player gets to their balance point.   If you are open, set yourself, check the goalie and prepare for the pass.
  4. Move to open water.  It helps get players to see and then move/drive to open water.  If you are the unguarded player the defense will probably be gapping to help on you, see and then swim to open water and if you become guarded, someone else will now be open and should be moving to open water until finally offense gets a pretty good shot.
  5. Pass and drive!  Getting players to pass and drive is tough, but here if you are unguarded and have the ball (as it is in a game after you’ve been fouled) you need to pass and move to open water or your team gets nothing.


  1. Split/gap and guard the offensive player with a better chance of scoring.  Helps defensive player to constantly determine who is open and who has the best chance of scoring.  Defense should constantly be switching to the bigger threat.
  2. Know what is going on behind you!  As the person with the ball can only shoot if it is immediate, then once they don’t shoot their guard should look to help on another offensive player who is perhaps open.
  3. Talk on D!  You cannot do 1 and 2 above with a lot of talk and communication.
  4. Be aggressive in going for a steal.

Conclusion:  It is the closest thing I have seen to pick up water polo as you don’t need a referee as there are no fouls called. While that is frustrating at first, once everyone understands what is happening they stop passing to tightly guarded people and the ball moves around much quicker. They also learn to make better releases and as there is little stoppage, you get some good aerobic benefit as well. It does not do anything for shots off a foul outside the 5 which is a big part of today’s game, but it really helps teach movement.

Jamey WrightCoach'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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