One of the most challenging sports out there, Water polo offers the best of football and basketball. With the additional hurdle of water to overcome, it also requires you to have good knowledge of swimming, thus giving you the experience of playing multiple sports in one game. No wonder why water polo has become the subject of frequent sports bets and sports Betting Tips.
As a water polo player, you have to master swimming skills, especially freestyle, backstrokes, and breaststrokes. On top of that, your stamina, and patience to stay in water for long durations will be tested. Since this sport can be so taxing on your energy, learning a few tips and strategies to improve your performance will help you make the most of your efforts.
- Work on your one-handed catch skill: One of the key points of water polo is maintaining hand-eye coordination. It requires equal amounts of focus and skill. Since water polo can catch the ball with only one hand, a greater amount of finesse is required.
The tip is to keep your raised hand in a soft cup while using the other hand to maintain balance in the water. That way, when the ball touches your palm, it won’t bounce off but will stay in your grasp. Lower your hand and aim the ball towards your teammate. The best way to improve your one-handed catch is to practise by bouncing the ball against a wall five feet away from you.
- Learn the Eggbeater kick while treading water: As a water polo player, you have to spend most of your time navigating the water. To stay upright while throwing, passing or catching the ball, intense leg training is required. That way, your lower body can balance out the exertion on your upper body while swimming freestyle with your head above the water.
The eggbeater kick is one such leg training skill that will come in handy. Your legs will move backwards and forward alternately: anti-clockwise motion for the right leg, clockwise for the left, like an egg beater. Your torso will have to stay flexed, and the ankles in right angles, the bent knees straightening as soon as the lower leg moves in a circular motion.
- Master dry and wet passes towards your hole man: While moving from defence to offence, the target is to pass the ball to the fastest swimmer in your team, who will throw the ball in a one-and-one shot against the opposing team’s goalkeeper. In fact, the goalkeeper’s strategic position makes the last tier of a team’s defence the vital factor in water polo..
Two kinds of passes are extremely important here. The wet pass will require you to aim the ball a few feets ahead of your teammate’s position, to enable them to push forward with power and escape the opposing player. For dry passes, the trick is to raise the ball higher above your teammate’s head and towards their stronger arm. Also, keep passing the ball towards the “hole man” if you are in the offence so that this centrally positioned player can get the best shot at the goal.
Apart from these tips and hacks, you need to upkeep your training, especially strength training and training for speed. Since power is the key to acing a water polo game, rigorous training to develop multi-faceted skills will actually help you shine in the water.