Volume 1:  Number 3           June 1, 2008

US National Men's Water Polo Players or Coaches

Each month a playeror 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.

Counter Attack by Juan Delgadillo


            Counter attack offense preparation begins when you are on defense. Once you see your opponent getting ready to shoot the ball, you should be thinking counter attack. The first four or five strokes are usually the most critical strokes on the counter attack. It is at this critical point where you and your teammates will know who is up. In addition, this critical point is also where most of the body separation will occur. Think of it as a head start so to speak. If you begin your counter attack three strokes ahead of your opponent then you will have a lead. Hopefully your teammates will notice this advantage and they will be able to work the ball down the pool to you.

            Teamwork on the counter attack is very important. After all, what’s the purpose of counter attacking your opponent if your team cannot get the ball to you? This is why releasing for the ball is so important. Making a clean release for the ball will help advance the ball down the pool quickly and it will help keep the counter attack going.

            Another very important aspect of the counter attack is swimming with your head up. The only time you should be allowed to put your head down is at the beginning of the counter attack at it's critical point where you are trying to build speed and separation. Otherwise, the entire counter attack should be done with your head up. There are a several reasons for doing this; one, to see where the ball is, two, to see where your teammates are and, three, to see if you need to help balance the counter attack.


            Counter attack defense is always the backbone of any good team.

            There are a couple of different ways to accomplish this task. Counter attack defense begins on the offensive side of the pool. It starts with first acknowledging that your teammate is either going to shoot the ball or make a pass. This is why having eye contact with the ball at all times is vital. By always keeping your eye on the ball you will rarely be caught off guard by a shot or a bad pass. Either a shot, a bad pass, or a steal are the three most common indicators that tell you to immediately start your counter attack defense.

            Once the counter attack defense begins; sprint away from your player. There are a couple reasons for doing this; one, is to prevent the opponent from grabbing you and getting an advantage and, two, so when you have created enough space away from your man you can swim backstroke and read the counter attack. When you are reading the counter attack you should be scanning the pool for, the ball, your man, or any of your teammates who are down?

Juan Delgadillo

INTERNATIONAL/CLUB: First year training with the USA Men’s Senior National Team

COLLEGE: Won NCAA Championships in 2003 and 2005… National Player of the Year in 2006… First-Team All-American in 2005 and 2006.

HIGH SCHOOL: Played at Harvard-Westlake.

PERSONAL: Delgadillo majored in political science at USC… Parents are Juan and Esperanza… Has two sisters, Yesenia and Byanka… Birthdate is March 16, 1985.



US Men's Water Polo Team 2008