Water polo shooting drills should concentrate on the offensive positions (center, wingers and point). Shooting a water polo ball takes skill and precision. These drills are meant to help the understanding of the flow of the game as well as put the offensive players in a mode to score. There are many approaches to shooting a water polo ball; this article will discuss the finer points of basic shooting.
- Power Shot Drills: Quick hard hitting shots close to the goal are a wicked tool for scoring. Working power shots is a simple drill where the shooting player is positioned close tot eh goal and is fed a pass from the coach or fellow player. The idea is for the shooter to catch the ball and shoot in rapid and fluid succession. The shot should be quick and direct. If you have the capability check the speed of the shot (they should be between 35-60 mph for solid power shots). Rotate players until all the offense has taken a series of power shots (five power shots per rotation).
- Bounce or Skip Shot Drills: A popular delivery method for shooters is the skip shot. That is skimming the ball off the surface of the water. This drill is used to keep the shooter on their toes and to deliver alternating back and forward spin skip shots. Have the shooter with his back to the goal first to the left, center then right of the goal. Feed a pass, the shooter is to catch, turn and skip the ball into the goal. Work the three positions and then have the next shooter rotate in. Run this drill to five attempts by each shooter.
- Baulking Drill: This is a useful technique for the shooter to keep the defense and goalie off guard. Just as the title suggests, have the shooter fake a shot numerous times to keep the defense sinking lower based on fatigue and the goalie confused. This drills is simple, each shooter takes a pass and fakes a shot numerous times until the fire a ball in. In full defensive and goalie in net drill the idea is for the shooter to time a moment to release the shot. The end game is to score but the baulking is also used to wear out the defense.
- One Timer Drill: A passing and then shooting drill that can work the entire offense together. Have your offense pass the ball around the horn and the coach calls out the shot. Look at it as “hot potato” when you were a kid. The water polo ball moves continuous until a shot is called. When called that player with the ball will fire a shot off on goal. In this drill you can call in skip shot, power shot, sidearm or even baulking. This is an exceptional drill that will work shooting, passing and team cohesiveness.
- Submerged Shooting Drill: Tiresome and requires a great deal of work on the offensive side. The drill has the ball placed on the water and the offensive player must swim to it underwater. They are to surface and handle the ball as soon as they do and fire off a shot. The shot can be of their choosing or you may direct the shot prior to them engaging the drill. The distance of the swim for this drill is up to you. If conditioning is a concern for the team then have then rotation of this drill increased, as it will work conditioning as well as shooting.
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