These water polo coaching tips for beginners might just spare water polo coaches a few hairs. You’ve got to admit that no matter how “expert” and “experienced” you may be at water polo coaching, beginners usually are the hardest to coach and are the most needy of that little “extra” effort – extra patience, extra encouragement – and so on.
- Be friendly. It’s not as if the beginners need to feel that they are in a boot camp. First of all, they are jittery and probably nervous of what water polo is and what it has to offer. So for them to appreciate the sport, isn’t it wise to make them feel at ease with you? This is a very simple coaching tip for water polo, but it will be one of the reasons why your team members will respect you in the long run.
- Know the basics. You need not really be the “expert” on water polo in order to effectively coach beginners. As a water polo coach, you need to at least have the basic knowledge of water polo, the rules of the game, the skills needed in order to play the game – and as water polo is basically a sport played in the water, of course, you should at least know how to swim. It would really be embarrassing if the coach, himself, would drown.
- Assess water polo skills. Well, this is a very practical step. Even beginners have skills that they have already mastered to some degree, and they would have to be grouped according to their skill level for them to progress productively. The point of this coaching tip is to make sure that all your players are training based on their level of expertise. There’s no use in teaching a player to score a goal when the player doesn’t even know how to swim fast.
- Teach the basics first. The best way to start with getting the beginners in shape is to let them do on-deck warm-up exercises, breathing exercises, and building towards more complex skills and exercises. Basics like safety measures could be incorporated into the drills. Even if you have experienced players on the team, this water polo coaching tip is very useful to remind your team members of what they should do when they hit the real games.
- Master your craft. In all honesty, beginners like to be in awe of someone who knows what they are doing. You can further your wisdom on water polo through reading books and other resources, and well, you should also walk your talk. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your water polo skills should be comparable to an Olympic athlete, but what is important is that you have an expert knowledge of how to reach that level of competency.