Learning how to play rough water polo constitutes learning a few tricks. Water polo is a very physical sport by nature. Using intimidation through physical play is a great way to take advantage of certain situations. Keep in mind that rough play is frowned upon in water polo but you can employ various tactics to get rough play in without being obvious.
- The first step in rough play or intimidation is to utilize size, speed to ability to intimidate your opponent. Though this is not rough play in the physical sense it is a set-up to rough play. Water polo entails a lot of swimming, generally freestyle is the area that you can employ rough tactics.
- Rough tactic while freestyle swimming is a great method. Start out with soft kicks to propel yourself and allow your opponent to close the gap or even mount your back. Once he is in close proximity, increase the velocity and power of your swim and kick harder. This rough play will enable you to kick or heel your opponent.
- Another freestyle rough play for water polo would include the use of elbows. As your opponent mounts or is swimming above you fighting for the ball, increase the urgency of your swim. This will enable you to use elbows as a rough tactic against your opponent. Be cautions and not flagrant with the elbows and you will be able to tag your opponent often.
- Employing blindside passing is a great rough tactic. This is passing the water polo ball the opposite direction you are looking. It is a decoy tactic to cause the defense to move in the direction you are looking. Release the ball to your blindside but knowingly at an opponent. You are not looking to injure, simply put players on notice.
- Lastly, try the swim into method. This is a defensive tactic that allows you to charge a player with the ball to steal or block. Only make physical contact with your swimming arm or chest as you confront and challenge the opponent. This is a widely used water polo tactic that can be a very rough play.