Are you interested in learning how to coach youth water polo? If you are, then the following article will explain the fundamentals of water polo that will give you a good place to start.
- When you start out coaching youth water polo, you will want to focus, primarily, on basic fundamentals and aerobic conditioning in the preseason. Swim, swim and swim some more. You need your players to develop the conditioning necessary to participate in this grueling sport.
- Develop the more basic individual skills. These consist of passing, shooting, position skills such as 2 meters and 2 meter defense, driving and driving defense.
- Most of the aerobic conditioning can be tied in with the skills work. An example would be, when you are running swimming drills for conditioning, you can swim with the ball. This combines both the aerobic and skills work at the same time. You can swim and do basic counterattack drills. Doing conditioning in conjunction with developing water polo skills saves time and focuses on both without detriment to the other.
- Also in the preseason period, you want to focus on passing. Passing is perhaps the most critical part of being successful in 6 on 5, being successful on the counterattack and in the front court offense.
- When you get into the regular season, the conditioning is more water-polo based. The demands of water polo are repetitive sprinting, being able to handle the high heart rate values, and the high intensity of the game. The conditioning becomes more game-based, as does the skills work.
- You should move more into teaching team tactics such as implementing the playing system that you have established. This goes on in the preseason as well, but you still want to focus on individual skills while teaching more involved tactics, especially with younger players. Your preseason and individual skill focus will last longer. You will put in your tactics, of course, but with younger players you are more interested in their skillset development than you are with tactics. Tactics bring about a higher chance of winning, perhaps, but if you do that too early, you risk failing to develop a player’s skills long term.