Water Polo Drill #29: "Work for Position" by Coach Alan Huckins, Hartwick College

Start at half with an offensive player and defensive player.  On the whistle the offensive player will swim down to the 5 meter all the while the defensive player is making the offensive player work to get to the 5 meter by hand checking and swimming in front of the offense.  When they get to the 5 meter mark, they will “lock up” face to face hands on each others shoulder and start to push each other using their legs.  On the next whistle the offensive player will spin into a “set” position and work their way back to the two meter line, while the defensive player is trying to push them out.  On the next whistle, the defensive player will “gross and go” (offense trying not to let this happen) and the two will race back to half.

Although I like this drill for our center forwards, I like to have the whole team to do it as well because it is an excellent conditioning drill.

Alan HuckinsCoach's Biography          Coach's Water Polo Web Site

Water Polo Drill #30: "Defensive Driving" by Coach Jason Gall, CSU Bakersfield

This drill focuses on playing 1 on 1 driving defense however it is also a good drill to improve your 1 on 1 driving offense.  Start the drill with all 6 offensive players in a regular 3-3 balance, each perimeter player has a ball. You have 1 defender starting at the 1 position and a goalie in the cage.  The player at 2 meters is the “passer” in this drill.  The drill starts with the offensive player at 1, setting the ball and then driving to the goal against the defender.  The object of the drive is to get inside water, but if the defense is playing too soft, or they can't get inside water, they can pull up for an RB.  The passer at 2 meters has to read the drive and make a good pass.  The player defending the drive must play the best possible defense on the drive.  After the defender defends the drive from 1, he/she sprints up to position 2, the offensive player at 2 sets the ball and then drives on the same defender.  As soon as the driver from the 2 position finishes the drive, the defender sprints to the 3 position and defends that drive.  This continues on with the defensive player defending 5 drives in a row (1 from each perimeter position).  

I really stress the defender watching the ball more than the player that they are guarding.  Too many times I see players in excellent defensive positioning but because the defender is “face guarding” or “not aware of where the ball is”  the player they are guarding still gets the ball and gets a good shot off or scores.  Good one on one defense starts BEFORE your player gets the ball, not AFTER.   

I like this drill mostly because it stresses the fundamentals of playing good driving defense but it also gives the offense an opportunity to drive from different positions in the pool and you talk to your players about how to drive effectively from each position.   

Jason GallCoach'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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