Need 10 Water Polo tips? Water polo is a game similar to soccer (football in Europe) played in water and using your hands to control the ball. If you’re looking to improve you game of water polo, there are some specific areas that you need to pay attention to.
- Training for speed is one of the most important aspects to improve your water polo game. This game is fast-paced and relies on your ability to cut through the water quickly. To increase speed use interval training, use 25 yard and 50 yard sprints, with short intervals between the sprints.
- Training for endurance is just as important as training for speed when working to improve your water polo game. There are no periods between plays as in football and other sports. This is why endurance training is just as vital as speed training. Long distance interval training, such as 500, 1000, 1500 meters and/or 1650 yard intervals, is the best way to build your endurance. Your breaks between these swims should be thirty seconds or less.
- Ball control can make the difference between winning and losing. If you can’t catch passes or intercept passes, you can’t make shots on goal. In water polo, only one hand is allowed on the ball at a time. Stand five feet from a wall and bounce a water polo ball against it to practice catching. Also, get a team mate on board to help practice with drills in the water.
- Strength training will help develop speed and endurance. Strength training doesn’t just mean pushing weights around. You need controlled, precise movements. When using weights at the gym, use heavy weights for slow, precise movements and lighter weights to quickly burn out muscles.
- Playing defense means keeping your opponent from shooting and scoring. You need to keep yourself between the player with the ball and the goal. You also need to make sure that the opposing player isn’t able to pass the ball. This means that while interposing yourself between him and the goal, you also need to interpose yourself between him and other players on his team.
- Since you can’t win if you don’t score your game strategy when playing offense needs to be to get the ball to someone that has a clear shot. If you’re transitioning from defense to offense, get the ball to your fastest swimmer so he can take a one-on-one shot against the goalie. Keep the ball moving and the opposing players moving as much as possible until one is out of position. Also, keep working the ball toward the “hole man”, located at the center of the goal he’s has the best shot.
- When playing the offensive “hole man”, you control your offense. You’re situated three to four feet from the opponent’s goal. If your defender doesn’t foul you when you intercept the ball, take the shot as quickly as possible as you have the best chance of scoring. Make sure your passes to your teammates are snappy and well controlled. Don’t give your defender a chance to trade off after he’s fouled you twice. Three fouls on a single player is a kickout penalty.
- If you’re defending the “hole man”, foul him as the ball gets to him so he can’t shoot. When you make your first foul, be sure to pick out a team member to trade off with after your second foul, because three fouls will earn a two minute kickout.
- When shooting, keep the ball low and away from the goalie. Try to make the ball change directions by bouncing off the water surface.
- When playing goalie, your job is to keep the opposing team from scoring. You need to get your body out of the water up to your waist, using the strength of your legs. Your strength training needs to focus on leg strength. Never take your eyes off the ball. Don’t worry about catching the ball when a shot is taken; just deflect it away from the goal.
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