Volume 1:  Number 1            April 1, 2006

US National Men's and Women's Water Polo Players or Coaches

Each month a player or coach from a US National Men's Team and a playeror coach from a US National Women's Team will give the water polo community some tips on how to play a particular position or a fundamental skill. In turn WPP will post a photograph and concise biography to help the water polo community get to know the players and coaches.

Playing the Attacker Position by Brett Ormsby

1)  Watch older and more experienced players and try to learn from them.  Try to emulate what you see.  This is one of the best ways to improve.
2)  Try new things.  Do not be content with the fact that you have one shot that works really well for you.  Experiment with new shots in practice and this will expand your options come game-time.
3)  Concentrate on being a good teammate.  Always work to improve your individual skills, but also keep in mind that waterpolo is a team sport and make sure you are always doing what you can to help your team win.
4)  Always work to improve your strength and conditioning.  Waterpolo is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world, and it is virtually impossible to succeed if you are out of shape.
5)  Try to master at least one aspect of the game. It is important to be a well-rounded waterpolo player, but, at the same time if you can perfect one aspect of the game (i.e. shooting, guarding two-meters, perimeter defense, etc.) it will make you a much better player.
6)  Most importantly, stay positive. There will always be times where you feel like you are not playing as well as you should and it will be hard not to become discouraged.  However, during these times it is important to stay positive, continue to work hard, and know that things will get better.


International/Club: Is one of Team USA’s rising stars…Is a deadly perimeter shooter...Scored in all but one game at the 2003 Pan American Games to help the USA qualify for the Athens Olympics...Had one goal in the gold-medal game against Brazil and a pair of four-goal performances during the first round...Scored three goals at the 2003 World Championships, including one in a 9-8 loss to Spain for sixth place …Scored three goals at the 2003 U.S. Cup.

College: Named to the 2003 All-MPSF Team with UCLA…Is a finalist for the 2003 Peter J. Cutino Award…Netted 72 goals in 2003 to capture 1st Team All-American honors…Led the Bruins with 58 goals in 2002…With an outstanding freshman year at UCLA, he earned 2nd Team All-American and 1st Team All-MPSF honors…Led his team in scoring with 43 goals in 2001, the first freshman to lead the team since Sean Kern in 1997…First UCLA player to earn two Conference Player of the Week awards in one season…Scored four goals in his first collegiate game against UC Irvine.

High School: Was Player of the Year his senior year at Valhalla High in San Diego...Earned the 2000-01 CIF Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award…Scored 201 goals his senior season for a career total of 449, both CIF and San Diego records…2000 1st Team High School All-American and CIF-San Diego…Led Valhalla to 1999 CIF Division I title, earning 3rd Team All-American recognition with 136 goals on the season…Named 1st Team All-league and All-CIF three times.

(Biography written by Kelly Foster and photograph by Kirby Lee)

Preparing for the Perimeter Shot by Bernice Orwig

Body Positioning

  • Goalkeeper is in base position, shoulders over hips, hands light, knees high, and hips down, as if you are sitting in a chair.

  • Always watch the ball all the way to the body

  • Just before the shot is taken, the legs must increase in speed. The body will lift up out of the water, where shoulders and top of chest are out of water. When shot is taken, the legs must quickly react and go from eggbeater to an explosive breast kick.

  • Movement to the shot is with one hand leaving the body at a 45 degree angle towards the ball, while the off hand is helping the body move lateral by pushing the water away from the body.

  • For better control of the block, move your body into the shot.


  • Lunges in the goal, to work on technique. Mix up different lunges; be creative to help with flexibility to different areas of goal.

  • 2 shot drill – Start with one perimeter shot to one corner, the next shot comes quickly to opposite side. This helps promote quick reactions and lateral movement.

  • Bouncy ball – Use a small “playground/four square” ball instead when working on perimeter shots. The small ball moves faster for reaction time, helps train ball control during block and helps new goalies get over fear of the ball.


A former USC and USA National Team member, Bernice Orwig spent two years as the assistant coach for the UC Berkeley women’s team (2004-05). Orwig has been involved in coaching water polo since 1994 and was the starting goalkeeper on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team that won a silver medal in Sydney, Australia. For the 2005 season, Orwig served as the assistant coach for the Women’s National Team and helped them to a silver medal at the 2005 FINA World Championships. The 2006 season will be her first season as the team leader for the Women’s National Team.

In January 2005, Orwig was an assistant coach with the United States Junior National Team that won a gold medal at the 2005 Junior World Championships in Perth, Australia. Prior to coaching at Cal and assisting with the Junior National Team, Orwig served as an assistant coach for Drury-Pinto at the University of Michigan from 2000-02. In 1999-2000, Orwig was an assistant coach at her ala mater, USC, and from 1995-98 she was the head girl's and assistant boy's coach at Foothill High School in Santa Ana, Calif. During the 1994-95 season, Orwig was an assistant boy's water polo coach at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana.

As an athlete, Orwig was a star goalie at USC, earning second team All-America honors as a sophomore and junior. During her senior year, Orwig helped lead USC to the 1999 NCAA title, earning first team All-America honors. She graduated from USC in 1999 with a degree in social science education. As a member of the USA National Team from 1998-2003, Orwig also helped the USA Women to a silver medal at the 1999 Pan-American Games and an appearance at the 2001 FINA World Championships

(Biography written by Kelly Foster photograph by Joan Gould)