Each month a player or coach from a US National Men'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.
Defending a drive is one of the most important fundamental skills in the game. If all six players in the water can work together and stop the opposing team on defense then they will give themselves the best opportunity to win games.
In order to effectively control a quick dangerous driver, a defender must start in the perfect body position. The hips should be up toward their own goal away from the drivers reach. Playing defense requires a lot of mobility in the legs so the defender should be ready to use their legs to backwards skull or quickly breast stroke kick, even though the legs are up toward the surface.
As the offensive player begins to drive toward the goal, the defender needs to stay closest to the goal. Before it is too late the defense needs to swim along side and slightly in front of the offense and then finish by turning once again to put their hips up toward their own goal. One thing the defender should be ready for are grabs so keep your distance and keep your hands light, ready to knock away any attempts at a grab.
INTERNATIONAL/CLUB: A young standout whose scoring ability will help Team USA... Scored a goal in a victory over Canada at the 2007 FINA World Championships… Scored three
goals at 2005 FINA World Championships in Montreal, Canada… Scored three goals at the 2005 ASUA World Championships, including a two-goal game against Brazil... Member of USA Junior National Team in 2002-03... Played in 12th FINA Junior World Championships in Naples, Italy... Led USA Junior National Team in scoring at World Championship with 12 goals... Played for US National “B” Team in 2003 U.S. Cup World Challenge.
PROFESSIONAL: Played on Aguas De Valencia, Spain, 2005-2007. COLLEGE: All-American in 2003 and 2004 for UCSB... Third-Team All-MPSF honors in 2003 and Second-Team All-MPSF honors in 2004... Led UCSB in scoring two consecutive years with 70 in 2003 and 64 in 2004...Team MVP in 2003 and 2004.
HIGH SCHOOL: All-American for Foothill High School in Santa Ana, CA...First-Team All-CIF...Scored 91 goals as a senior.
PERSONAL: Enjoys surfing and cycling in his spare time... Graduated from UCSB with a psychology degree and plans to become a sports psychologist… Enjoys the beach, reading, sleeping, video games… Admits his most embarrassing water polo moment was when his suit was torn and his grandma told him about it after the game.