These water polo coaching drills for college will have you and your team ready for the next big game. Because water polo is a lot more than splashing around a pool like a group of drowning ducks, a good coach has to give his or her college team a number of drills to improve their water polo skills. Check out these drills to make sure your team improves.
- Relay: Have three players in a line across the pool. The ball is held by a player in one of the ends, who then passes it to a player in the center. The center passes to the player on the other end, then the center should change places with the player with the ball. That player should then pass the ball back to the new center, who should pass the ball to the player in the opposite side. Do this a few times. This water polo drill will help your college team develop their hand-eye coordination and reflexes.
- Five-Alive: This water polo drill is a shooting game. Begin it with one player in the goal and the rest of them in the middle of the seven-meter line. Only one ball should be used during the game. The person in front of the line should shoot the ball to try and score. If the goalie successfully blocks it, the shooter has to sprint to the goal, and the goalie has to recover the shot and then pass it to the next person in line. This goes on until you reach the end of the line.
- Endurance Shooting: Place one player on each post about 6 meters away from the goal and another at the 5 position with the balls. The two shooters should have someone pushing down on their shoulder until they finally sink. After being dunked five times, each shooter receives five passes that they should catch and shoot. Rotate positions until all players have shot twice, once from each post (left and right). This water polo drill is a bit dangerous, so be very careful and only pick players who are strong and experienced enough.
- Rapid Fire: As the coach, you have to make sure your team can operate their best under extreme conditions. The Rapid Fire drill places your team under a lot of pressure, that's why it's called “rapid fire.” Doesn't that sound like fun? First, place four players near the side of the pool at the two, four, seven, and nine meter marks with one ball each. The rest of the team should make one line in at the center of the pool. Player number one in line begins to swim head-up freestyle to about the nine meter mark, then receives a pass from a player at the side of the pool and shoot. After the shot, the shooter should begin swimming again. When they reach the seven meter mark, have them pop up, receive a pass from a team mate, and shoot again. Keep going until you get to the two meter mark. There, the shooter is to take a wet shot to finish his/her round. Rotate.
- Pass, Move and Shoot: This water polo drill helps develop shooting skills in your players. First, split them up into two lines—one line on each goal post, around six meters from the goal. The first player fakes two or three shots and then passes the ball to the player in the front of the other line. This player then catches the ball and does the same thing, then passing the ball back to the first player who catches and shoots as quickly as he can. After he shoots, he should move to the end of the opposite line. The drill should resemble something like a give-and-go move in basketball, and is one of the most efficient coaching drills in college water polo.