If there's one word that can be used to describe water polo training drills, it's tough. As a sport, water polo is one of the most physically demanding activities you can undertake. It requires consistent explosiveness, well organized teamwork, fantastic endurance, and a deep supply of grit to succeed. As you might expect, the most challenging facet of water polo is the fact that players in the game must tread water at all times. In other words, there are zero breaks. Regardless, by using a few of these effective water polo training drills, you'll be able to not only keep up, but excel at the sport.
- For endurance, use the water polo block drill. In this water polo training drill, the focus is physical endurance. Treading water for lengthy periods of time is undoubtedly tough, and the only way to get better at it is practice. To perform the drill, tread water continuously, and every twenty to thirty seconds, work on your explosiveness in the water by “jumping” out of it with one arm up, as if you were blocking a shot or pass. In order for the drill to be effective, it's best to do it until you no longer physically can.
- Use the offensive passing drill to score more goals. The key to good water polo passes is being square with your target, and this drill emphasizes that. Have several of your teammates line up in a spread out offensive formation, and simply have them practice moving the ball around the pool. The focus should be placed on squaring your hips to the target in the water, and using a small jump to achieve velocity and ball height.
- To become a great shooter, put an emphasis on basic shooting drills. There are two types of shots to practice with this water polo training drill. The first is the power shot. Like a block, it requires an explosion out of the water to give the ball added velocity. The other type of shot, called the bounce shot, requires superior accuracy and a little less velocity. It involves bouncing the ball of the water in front of the goal to give it a dynamic trajectory. Performing the drill is as easy as shooting repeatedly at an empty net or lightly guarded goal. For added endurance benefit, continue the drill for as long as you physically can.
- Become a better overall water polo player with lap drills. You can round out your water polo skill set by using this training drill. Of course, all it entails is freestyle lap swimming as quickly as possible. As boring as might sound, it's very necessary to increase your speed in the pool and help you win the chase for loose balls. And though it's tedious to practice, it will make you a well rounded player and set you apart from pure shooters or blockers.