Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The most important skill in water polo

The most important skill in water polo is also the most neglected, its true! And that skill would be... PASSING!

Coaches these days don't teach passing. The only work specifically on passing is during warm up, and the players have no accountability or even guidance because most likely the coach is worried about other things during this time. Most of the passes are weak, inaccurate, and just in general sloppy because the players don't care. The sad truth however is that how you play in practice becomes the way you play in games.

Thats right. So during practice, try to do the following:

  • Get your arm and shoulders high out of the water on every pass
  • Make sure the ball rolls off your middle finger (any other finger creates spin, which is difficult to catch)
  • Always pass hard and straight. No "rainbow" arcs.
  • When catching, catch in front of you and let the momentum of the ball carry your arm back into the shooting position.
When practicing wet passes, always do so with a defender. Being accurate at passing when nobody is pressuring you is a useless skill for competitive water polo. Work on passing under pressure for equal time that you pass without pressure.

Passing is perhaps the most neglected skill in water polo, but perhaps this new generation of players can bring back the basics. I know my team won't be passing sloppy this season. All it takes is effort.

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