The drill starts with a coach on the deck with a bucket of balls next to him or her. Players partner up and start in the water in front of the coach approximately 2 meters away from the deck. The two players face away from the coach, as to not see the ball coming, and are side by side. They should have their hips up and be shoulder to shoulder. The coach then throws a ball in front of the two players and they must "play it out" till one of them obtains possession of the ball and successfully seperates from the other player. Coaches have the option of calling fouls or not and can also vary the placement of the ball to vary the drill. Have the players line up with their partner ready to go as to keep all players moving quickly through the drill. If you are lucky enough to be coaching with someone else, have two lines of partners going to maximize your practice time.
1 - To learn proper hip positioning in the water. (Horizontal in the water.)
2 - To learn to use body positioning to retrieve loose balls as opposed to reaching with arms. (Younger players will immediately try to rach and grab the ball with their hands. The goal is to teach them to play their partner first to earn position and then get to the ball.)
3 - To work on quick reactions and instincts in the water.
1 - Improved ability to move the ball around the perimeter on offense.
2 - Improved ability to use body positioning in offensive drives and counter attack.
3 - Ability to recover loose balls or rebounds in front of the cage.
*Note - I adapted this to drill to water polo from a basketball drill used to teach players to dive on the floor for the ball and also to learn to "box out" for rebounds. It teaches strong fundamentals.