This drill helps develop leg strength and endurance.
1) Players of similar leg strength line-up in pairs in the middle of the pool. I usually put hole-sets against hole-guards, drivers against drivers, and goalies against goalies.
2) On the 1st whistle players push against each other while doing different types of legwork (horizontal eggbeater, breaststroke or flutter kick while holding each others shoulders) for about 20 seconds.
3) On the 2nd whistle players cross over and sprint head up to the opposite side (the side they are kicking towards) of the pool flip-turn and then back to the middle to start legwork again.
You can add back to back eggbeater, and one player being hole-set while the other plays hole defense. You can also increase the time they are kicking for.
I like this drill as the harder the player kicks the less distance they have to swim as they push their partner in the direction they have to swim
This drill incorporates many water polo skills and concepts. You can utilize all of your players including the goalies, who will benefit from learning how to pass or draw a foul under pressure. It is a good drill after a passing warm up in smaller groups but before shooting and/or scrimmage.
Divide the players into two teams with between 6-10 players per team, and put them in dark and white caps. Mark off the boundaries, depending on the number of players the boundary should be between the end wall of the pool out to 7-8 meters, and using the entire width of the pool. It is important to keep the play area relatively compact.
The rules are as follows: The team with possession of the ball always has one extra player. The player with the ball can hold it for only 3 seconds. If they do not pass it off to a teammate within 3 seconds, it is a turnover. There are no right-back passes, you cannot pass the ball to the player who just passed it to you. (A right-back pass is a turn-over). If the players or the ball go out-of-bounds it is a turnover. On a turnover, the teams change possession and the extra player comes in, the player who turned the ball over goes out. I always start the game with the teams even up, and a jump ball. The team that loses possession then needs to send one player out. The coach calls ordinary fouls.
The concepts that are reinforced are as follows:
- Fouling and dropping.
- Press no foul if a teammate is crashing to help.
- Crashing on any ball that lands on the water 3-5 strokes away
- Lunge blocking.
- Ball skills.
- Drawing a foul.
- Protecting the ball.
- Finding the open person.
- Moving to help the ball.
- Constant movement to anticipate the next pass.
- Making safe passes to a teammate who is releasing.
- Timing of the release move.
- Keeping the ball moving.
The coach will blow the whistle for fouls, turn the ball over, make substitutions, enforce the 3-second rule and the no right-back pass rule. Be sure to keep the players focused and moving.
I learned this drill from Maureen O’Toole, and I use it a lot!