Water Polo Drill #17: "3 on 3 Continuous Counter Attack" by Coach Larry Zubrin, Occidental College

This is a full court drill with a keeper in each goal.
The drill requires a minimum of 12 field  players and 2 goalies.
Goalies should have extra balls available to pass.


The drill begins on the coaches whistle.

Three White Cap players counter towards the opposite end of the pool and receive an outlet pass from the goalie.  After all three players have crossed half tank, a Dark Cap player at the front of his line may enter play, by swimming to mid-pool and then trailing the counter attack.  This sets up a 3-on-2 Counter with a defender trailing. (At the same time that the 3 White Cap players cross half-tank, the first 2 players in the White Cap line enter play by swimming to the end they’re teammates just left and prepare to play defense.)

When the White team attempts a shot (whether it scores or not), or loses the ball, or if they fail to maintain an advantage on the attack, The coach should blow the whistle, and the 3 Dark Cap players who were defending will immediately counter to the opposite end of the pool.  (Where the next 2 White Cap players are already waiting.)  The 3 White Cap players that just countered go to the end of their teams line.  When all three Dark Cap players have crossed half tank, the next White Cap player in the White Cap line becomes the defensive trailer by swimming to mid-pool and chasing the counter. 
(At the same time, the next two players in the Dark Cap in-line go to their defensive end and await the next White Cap counter attack.)

At the conclusion of the Dark Cap teams 3-on-2 Counter, the 3 Dark Cap players go to the end of their line and the 3 White Cap players proceed to counter.  The drill continues as long as the coach allows.

Players should be instructed to work for a counter goal, if the defense is able to stop the counter by matching up with the offensive team, the coach should blow the whistle to simulate an offensive turn-over and keep the progression of counter attacks moving.

Coaches can instruct the defenses to press, stunt, drop back.  The drill can become a competition by keeping count of each teams goals or steals.

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

Water Polo Drill #18: "The Villa" by Coach Barry King, Indiana University

Villa Diagram

The drill consists of one Shooter and four Passers.  Goalkeepers are optional, although I have found this a valuable drill for them also.  The Shooter is center cage on the 3m line.  P1 and P2 are also on the 3m and P3 and P4 are on the 6m.  The Shooter starts in a horizontal position facing the cage and pops to vertical to receive the pass from P1.  After the shot, Shooter then strokes away from P2 and receives the pass from P2.  Shooter then strokes away from P3 and receives the pass from P3.  Finally the Shooter strokes away from P4 and receives the pass from P4.  All passes are dry and the weak side passes (P2 and P4 for right handers) are thrown for the Shooter to redirect and not catch.

The sequence works on the shooter’s balance and ability to change body position on the move.  Encourage quickness.  Passers focus passing “on a line” to the target.  Variations include the Double Villa (8 shots) and the Guarded Villa (Shooter has a defender).

Note:  The drill is called the Villa because it was invented after former Stanford star and current National Team member, Brenda Villa, scored a half dozen goals on us doing these movements.  We figured these would be good skills to have. 

Barry KingCoach'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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