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The Two Things You Should Be Doing to Get Better as a Water Polo Goalie

The number one question I get all the time about Goalkeeping is “what should I be doing to get better?

It’s a very generic question and the answer is very generic too. But the generic answer is so crucial to being an effective water polo goalie. It is the foundation from which everything else is built.

Flexibility and leg strength.

Flexibility

The eggbeater is such an awkward body movement. It also fails to harness all the power our large leg muscles can generate. To get maximum efficiency out of the eggbeater every aspect of our legs needs to be flexible.

I always revert back to physics. Work = Force x Distance. The more flexible we are the more distance our eggbeater can cove, the more force we can apply over that distance, and we’ll get more work out of our eggbeater.

In the video below by Performance Water Polo is Merrill Moses.  Look how wide his eggbeater stance is in every camera angle. That is flexibility. If his hips were not rotated up as high or his legs weren’t able to flex as far then his eggbeater would cover a lot less distance.

Strength

Flexible hips and legs help us have proper eggbeater form. With proper form, we can really start focusing on building up our strength. Just like lifting weights in the gym, bad form equals less gains and possible injury.

With proper form, you can focus on adding more and more weight to your person while treading water. Look at the video clip below. Again it is Merril Moses, his flexibility and proper form has allowed him to build up to a point where he can tread water with a 25 lbs survival vest and a 10 lb bar.

Leg strength also means working on those large powerful leg muscles. I guarantee you every top college and national level team spends a great deal of time in the weight room. The bulk of that time players are focused on the bottom half of the body through squats, Olympic lifts, and other explosive leg movements. While the eggbeater may not use all the power our large leg muscles can generate, it still uses them.

To improve the other aspects of our game we need to constantly improve our eggbeater. The improvement comes from working on our flexibility and leg strength.

If you have never lifted before then you need to learn from a professional. You can really hurt yourself if you don’t know the proper form or start at unsafe weights.
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