So now that we have a larger crowd, I think we broke my goal number of 10. That was the big deal, center rows are good. Right and the other ones are all obviously swim coaches, and you want to develop water polo in your program I take it. We have it in our program now subbed, and so it’s real exciting and I wanted to know more about it. Ok good.
Well what we’re going to do today is go over a few things obviously about how to incorporate water polo into your swim program. So you know I started out as a swim coach, that was how I ran the show up there and my program is Orca. We have recently had a tremendous amount of success in water polo, and a you know being up in Orange County, which I really think is a hub for water polo in California and even the United States, we pretty much had no choice but to really get involved in water polo. There are clearly some outstanding primary programs in the area with Nova, So. Cal., Golden West Mission Bay. So with those kinds of swim programs leading swim programs, there are a number of programs like myself with your standard 25 meter by 25 yard pool and what’s happened is we hadn’t really been able to compete on a national level swimming wise in that county with those kind of clubs and southern California swimming, but we can compete with them in water polo. You really don’t need that fifty meter pool in our area anyway to be successful. So that’s what I want to review, is what to do and we’re going to elaborate on that.
I also have Tom Tracy who has been, if you’ve seen out at the exhibition booth for US water polo, Tom was a world-ranked batch broker and also a water polo player. So he’s here to help answer some questions for you coaches.
There are about 5 big items that I want to get to regarding some of the issues for swim coaches and dealing with water polo, and we’ll review that. So the plan is to go over a little bit of the history—I’m sure some of you know it—if you’ve got some flyers, we have some brief history there for you. I want to present the video and if you haven’t seen the video on incorporating water polo in swimming, how they go hand in hand with some of the greatest coaches and athletes the United States has produced. We have that, it’s about a 12 or 15 minute video for you. Then after that we’ll discuss a little bit about what Orca is doing, and we’ll go over how we’ve set our program up. Then there are the pros and cons, and those are the five big issues that I think have, that I have even quizzed the coaches around here and the coaches that have given me a hard time in my own area, a razing hard time, and we’ll sum it up and let the man here let you know about what he’s got to say about how it’s coordinated.
So first of all let’s start off with this, if you don’t have a raffle ticket you’ve got to have it, I’m going to run a poll right now. Are you ready to go Tom? This is how we’re going to liven up the group. I’m going to give away this Mikasa ball right here, this is a Gromas Mikasa, so you got to read out your number, ok this is 81801088, congratulations. You ready. All right. We’ve got a couple more things we want to give away if you haven’t seen these, some water polo fundamentals, nice poster, this is 801103. Great your gonna have to walk that back, great, thanks. And this is pretty neat right here, picked this up today, this is some elaborate embroidery on water polo it’s a large guys, I’m sorry. This is 801092, congratulations, it’ll fit perfectly. Ok so that’s it we’ve got a few more later.
First of all I wanted to thank Bruce Wygo as well for letting me come and talk here. You know, I don’t hold myself up at all with the elite group of coaches that are here in swimming, and I might be able to challenge some of these guys like Mark Schubert in water polo, but that’s about it so. But again, it’s the reason, one of the reasons, that I was able to come here back in May in Southern California water polo. We set up an all CI of girls water polo banquet. It turned out to be also the women’s national team send off dinner, and so we had in one night some of the most elite high school girl athletes in all of southern California and with the women’s national team up there helping to present the awards and it was so successful that’s how Bruce got me in here to talk. So that’s how that was set up, and that’s why I’m here.
As far as, you know, of course the history of water polo has anyone had a chance to go to the National Hall of Fame, the swimming Hall of fame? It’s wonderful…if you’ve been there it really does do a great job of going over the history of the sport and really, you know, when swimming’s been around forever, thousands of years, but as it goes into, when it really started to take off as a competitive sport, so they brought in water polo to help increase attendance and make it more attractive. So in the late 1800’s all the way until 1930 you had our all-over world champion swimmers were polo players. I mean you can go over the list and probably the most prolific one being Duke Onamoco and it was just a natural that coaches were doing both sports, and then it became such a brutal game at that time, the US rules were a little more lenient than some of the rest of the rules around the world that it started to tighten up and then in the 50’s and 60’s you started to develop a crowd again because the California high schools really started to develop water polo and really push.
And so as it grew, here we are today. California had been a hot bed, but US water polo is really, really trying to expand it. They’re nine zones of water polo in the United States and each one of those zones are equally represented as far as given an opportunity to compete at national levels, and you know for national zone camps and those kind of things, so if you wanted to really push your boys and girls, and you think that maybe don’t have a fair shot because of the inexperience of your program, you really do and anybody that in your area is gonna pick up on water polo and really try to promote it. Remember for me as a coach, it’s a supplemental income program. That’s how it started out as well, but it really has taken off and you have a chance. You have a great chance going out and representing with some of the best athletes. We just had the national zone camp for the women back in May at Anapolis, not Anapolis excuse me, Anarbor in Michigan. Great trip. Great experience and you know you really had a lot of girls maybe from certain parts of the country that weren’t nearly as experienced just because they don’t have the club background, but when you get that time in the water just like anything else I think those girls will have a chance to really move. You know for example, on the women’s side, how big the sport is growing and the opportunities for the women now back east, Midwest and the rest, has taken off. And the guys, I mean it’s if we’re talking about I think retention of keeping the guys in the pool, throwing the ball around for even a part of a season or for whatever down time you might have in swimming or just to incorporate that program is really going to increase the numbers and we have been successful.
Now we have a ways to go as far as swimming and water polo programs. I want to improve our swimming now to do as well as our polo is doing, but that’s our next big push. I’ll talk about some of those details in a little bit, but Tom why don’t we get to showing you what some of the elite coaches have to say, and if we can work this system out. Are you familiar with this? Unless, it’s just up here. I’m not sure. You’ll have to excuse us guys while we work this out. I see everything but play. That would be it right there?
From the year-round monotony of just doing one thing. I think the diversion helps our program. I think maybe our club coaches and some of our high school coaches are miss- ing the boat. In these days, in this time because there is no diversion. It’s all swimming. It’s not water polo. I think it’s time to give these guys some diversion, and they’ll be a heck of a lot better swimmers as a result of playing a game with a ball. Everybody likes to play a game with a ball. And the fact that you can combine two sports like swimming and water polo to me are so attractive, because one they complement each other both physically and mentally, and you spend time training in one sport, but you’re going to benefit the other. And so with this idea in mind that children shouldn’t do one thing all their lives, here they have the opportunity to improve on both sports and take a mental break from the other. So, the idea of an age grade kid swimming and playing water polo within the same year to me is the ultimate definition of how kids should progress and succeed.
I’m nine years old and I’m going to be the fastest swimmer in the Olympics. Do you want to know my secret? I’ve played junior water polo. It’s a great work out and really helps my swimming. You should try it. Junior water polo is easy to play. Even for little kids. Nobody gets hurt, but best of all it’s fun. Don’t take my word for it, just ask some of my friends. I like water polo because I really like swimming a lot. Exercise and the teamwork, it’s fun, it’s a fun sport. I play swimming, soccer and football, but my favorite sport of all of them is water polo because it’s just a fun sport to play in. You score for your team and have great fun. You swim a lot and you get really tired. Even parents love junior water polo. Water polo keeps you interested in swimming because it’s a team sport, and you get that team spirit, and swimming is kind of a lonely sport, it’s just you against your own ties.
So there’s two different ways of using the same sport. Swimming and water polo go hand in hand. It beats the hell out of baseball. He loves water polo. He’s playing water polo before he swims because he likes the action with the ball and every- thing. My swim coach says we’re playing junior water polo to be better swimmers. She says it’s no accident that some of the best swimmers in the world play water polo. I would definitely say that if your child is interested in swimming or water polo, that maybe you should combine both.
A lot of parents tend to think that at a young age you need to focus on one exact sport, and swimming and water polo work really great together. It’s a great example with me— Matt Biondi has done it, Pablo Morales has done it, and you can have a lot of great things happen with swimming and water polo to keep the kids focused and looking towards the next season. Instead of just playing for one season and then out of the water for a long time. And the fact that you can combine two sports of swimming and water polo, to me, are so attractive because one they complement each other, both physically and mentally and you spend time training in one sport, but you’re going to benefit the other.
So with this idea in mind that children shouldn’t do one thing all of their lives, here we have the opportunity to improve on both sports and take a mental break from the other. So the idea of an age group kid swimming and playing water polo in the same year to me is the ultimate definition of how kids should progress and succeed. Here’s how you play. First the players line up along the goal line. When the whistle blows, one player swims towards the ball and passes it to his team- mates. From then on it’s teamwork. Swimming, passing, and shooting the ball. You try to get the ball over the other teams goal line. That’s when you get a point. It’s that simple. Boy do you get tired. Coach says no matter what, the referee is always in charge. He moves up and down along the side of the pool. He starts the game, signals when a goal is scored, and calls penalties using his whistle. And that’s all there is to it. See I told you it was easy to play water polo.
Little kids can learn to play in a kids pool, so that they can reach the bottom. They don’t even have to swim. It’s lots of fun learning to play with the ball. Once you’ve learned your basics, and become a better swimmer, then you get to move into the deeper water. There you’ll learn egg beater kick. It’s kind of like a breaststroke kick, it’s pretty tough. But it’s fun because you get play with the ball. Maybe I’m only nine, but I’m going to the Olympics thanks to my coach and junior water polo. If you want to get faster and have more fun swimming, get your coach to start a junior water polo program. I think that’s it.
Well, there it is. Some of that is brand new from the one that I’ve seen before, and I have some video tapes, and for those of you that have just come in, if you haven’t had a raffle ticket we may have to raffle those off because there’s not enough yet, but maybe that’s a tape you can take home with you and show to whoever if you’ve got a board you have to deal with or your just trying to convince your kids to get into the sport.
Now the American Swimming Coaches Association does want to get involved in helping to promote water polo, and we certainly want John Leonard to give his approval for us to even bring this subject up. You know I’ve been going around the clinic, and it’s a sore subject with some swim coaches. For example, I just took the Cam Course Aquatic Management Course the first few days of the clinic here and into the twelfth hour of a fourteen hour clinic, we brought up water polo and how many people around the nation, around the world, were implementing the program, and it sent off the most heated debate of the whole thing which is going to lead to, what I really want to lead to what are some of the five points or five pros and cons of the program.
Some of the biggest ones that I’ve heard the biggest com- plaints about developing water polo are 1. Perhaps the lack of discipline or the lack of respect or the arrogance of the water polo coaches themselves. For example if you’re dealing with a young high school coach, remember when you come into water polo, these are the real cool guys, right? They’re not necessarily working out as hard as the swimmers, they don’t necessarily have that same discipline, and you’ve got at least at the high school level, maybe the novice level, and these are like surf rats that are coming onto the pool deck and just there they are. Having a great time and their mouth is always up above the water so they’re always yapping a lot more than if they were swimming laps.
The same goes #2 might be for the coaches themselves, or the players and the coaches both. They both might have that kind of arrogance about them and #3, might be that certainly that it’s not hard work, so if you’ve got water polo going on in the pool next to swimming lanes, and we have for example at Nelly Gelegator or Caitlin Sandino, maybe you’re familiar with, she has work outs at El Tor in Orange county, and the creek’s her coach she arranged with a program trap. Water polo which is arguably one the of number one teams, the number one team in the nation, and you know there were some problems with when they coordinated to join up. There were promises that all these water polo players were going to be coming and swimming. Well it didn’t happen quite like that, and at the same time when the water polo players are sitting on the wall or giggling and laughing, when you’re trying to run a Caitlin Sandino distance workout at the same time, you know there is that lack of balance, and you have to really separate I think either A. in your work out times how you are going to run that and that’s something we can talk about as well, or you know really coordinate with the coach how you are going to divide up the pool. But you’ve got which leads into organization.
I can relate. I have a team right now where I take the kids from classes. I am a swim coach, but I introduced water polo. What I’m doing is that when they finish practicing swimming, they play water polo for a half hour. Right. And then Fridays, it’s only water polo. Good. That’s something that I think some programs are doing. I think Rick Klatt was doing that up in his area. Clovis is a big water polo hub now, central California, and for his program that he runs, and heavily involved with ASCA, and his son is a tremendous water polo player and swimmer out at UCI, UC Irvine. That you know he’s started bringing on and adding water polo, I believe one night a week so that his guys weren’t always consciously leaving off to a separate club.
I think one of the other problems with water polo is that it’s not as organized as say U.S. Swimming is currently. It’s actually, there is a tremendous amount of effort on the national level, but as that works down to the local levels as far as scheduling tournaments and that kind of thing I think on the water polo end, it’s one thing to know that there’s a tournament coming up, but you know it’s notorious that those tournament schedules aren’t going to come out until maybe three or four days in advance. So, you’ve got coaches that are saying well look it is only going to last an hour per game, and then you can go home, which is a great way to you know go out to get a bite to eat or go shopping or whatever, and then you go back to the pool. But if you don’t know when those games are until 3 or 4 days out it might defeat the purpose. I don’t know how we could fix that, but that’s one of the other complaints.
Basically I think the other one is water polo, how will that effect distance swimming number one, and two, are we training swimmers to become great polo players? For example in my program I sell that you can be a good polo player and a weak swimmer, but you can be a great polo player if you’re a good swimmer. And I think it keeps going up that way. Certainly the kids with a lot of swim speed I think are your kids that can go out counter-attack, get out to the end of the pool, be five seconds from anyone else that can’t swim well, and they can make a few mistakes, drop the ball, pick it up and finally score.
As far as kids that can’t do distance and play polo, we’ve got a few besides Brad Schumaker, besides Tom here. You’ve got some local talent, we have a swimmer from So. Cal. who was fourteenth at the juniors in the 1500 meter freestyle. Now he swam for So. Cal. Club which is an elite outstanding swim program, played water polo for my club Orca, which is 15 minutes away. I think what we have to do as coaches for example, is really try to work together. I think that the swimming will take more effort, it will take more time and discipline. I think from water polo coach’s point of view, and I know that the rest of the coaches agree with us at the elite level. That they really need to be a little more flexible and allow those swimmers that need to commit to the distance swimming or to the intense swim programs to go and do that. We would allow our great polo players who are tremendous swimmers to leave a work out early, so they could go get their distance training in. This is with the kid that you know the swim club wants him, and we’re on two different programs and there’s two different programs working together. I think it can be done and Brad Schumaker, you saw up on the film and then Tom’s going to give his input as well.
Brad Schumaker, who I talked to before I came down, really believes that even John Vargas, who is our national Olympic water polo coach, is really flexible to allow him to go and train so he can make his different world teams that he has, and there’s a guy that I’m really rooting for. You know if he can do both, that is just really tremendous and it may, it hasn’t been done you know for a few years to make the Olympic level. Tom has made a National level which is tremendous, and we can tell you about that here in a moment. But I think even on the age group level, if you have all those things and the water polo coaches know that those are the problems, I guarantee you that after this clinic, some of the coaches that I have talked to, you’re going to see this information filtering back down into the Scoreboard magazine which is the Swimming World of water polo. Go ahead to really try and get the coaches to really work with the swim coaches.
Now on the other side, there are some water polo coaches who say well it’s the swim coaches who are tough and thick headed and won’t deal with it, and won’t give our kids space and that kind of thing. For example, here in San Diego, is anyone familiar with San Diego Shore Water Polo? Okay, San Diego Shore water polo is tremendous and Randy Demarcola who runs about a 250 member summer program of just water polo players, and he charges $250.00 a quarter and he’s got, it’s an entire, it’s a club. Now he’s tried to work with different, by the way he has to scatter himself to different pools and it’s quite a network of pools and getting the pool time, and you know he’s had some problems and hasn’t gotten the greatest reception, so now he’s starting his own swim team out of his polo program. I think that’s going to go to my point, is, how do you run a water polo program successfully and how you coordinate it, I really think that you as coaches have to start at yourself.
If you’re a swimming only coach, I think that you need to set up a water polo program, and you need to control it top to bottom. You need to hire your coach, you need to get with the guy that you can work with. I think that is when you’re going to get with someone that comes strolling on a deck, maybe a high school situation, I’m not sure what college situations might have, club situation that you might have more difficulty coordinating, unless you can sell the benefits for both of you. There’s not too much information about water polo, rules and tournament. We have an office, but there’s nothing about water polo. We don’t know where to find that information. So your zone chairman hasn’t been getting the word out to you about how to set up leagues or what? Actually he said the officer that manages swimming in the USA is all sports, (Right all sports)…there is not water polo in this office. There’s no water polo representation? No. Interesting. And they don’t know where they have to go. They say they want to keep water polo away from this office. Actually we don’t know where to go.
Well one thing I think we can do is, for those of you who would like to, Dan Sheridan, who is the head of the senior programs, collegiate and senior programs for US Water Polo and Bruce Wygo are really willing to help out. If you want to leave your name, address and phone number for me they are willing to send you out everything you need to help get you started. Dan Sheridan is in charge of helping you develop leagues and getting that rolling. The other thing you might do is even talk to some of the guys like Randy Demarcola, here from this area. I know San Diego coaches do a lot of driving up in Orange County because I think there are a lot of games and opportunities. But I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t organized on that level. So maybe we can help out, but write your name down and we’ll help you out.
What I’d like to do is introduce Tom, and let Tom talk a little bit about maybe some of the things that he’s done and how he coordinated swimming and water polo for you. Tom Tracy.
How are you guys doing? I’ve been swimming since 5 years old competitively. I didn’t pick up from, I started water polo, I guess, in 10th grade, was the first year playing. How I started playing was, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but team Fostetcher, Dick Schoulberg out of German Tide Academy in Pennsylvania, he’s coached a lot of elite swimmers. David Berkhoff, Dave Warden, right now he has Maddy Kryton and Ron Carnov, Trina Radky, the list goes on, Karen LeBerge. For his guys he saw that a lot of them were goofing off during practicing because the season was so long. They were losing interest, he was losing a lot of his swimmers. The way he kept us was he actually said, do you guys want to start playing water polo in the fall, and he gave us that option. So I came in 10th grade, what’s water polo, I haven’t really played it ever before. He said go ahead, you get to play for three months. So I got to play for three months, and the deal was this. You had a choice, you could play water polo for an hour and a half, or you could do dryland, but no matter what, you would have to do an hour and a half of swimming afterwards. So he pretty much gave us an hour and a half to play water polo. The way we looked at it was alright, we’ve got an hour and a half, we really don’t have to do any conditioning for the fact of swimming that is, with the fact that we know we’re swimming an hour and a half afterwards, and if you know his program, typical practice of Schoulberg is somewhere between 8000 and 12000 yards depending on the day and what you did the rest of the week. So we knew we were going to get the swimming aspect of it.
So we just learned the fundamentals of water polo: passing, plays, defense, offense, man up, man down, and what we found was that afterwards you know we got in, did our hour and a half of swimming, after that a majority of the guys team, we had about 15 players on our team. Somewhere around 10 of them would actually stay afterwards even after practice was done to get their dryland done because they were afraid they were actually losing. You know, they were not getting enough of a work out. After our season was done, a majority of the male swimmers that were playing water polo, and this is back in the early 90’s when I played, before women’s water polo hit Germantown.
The majority of the guys that played and now were swimming, were actually swimming better and having a better attitude, a more positive attitude, about swimming. The water polo season was done. Now as soon as that was done, they had all the conditioning they needed for the swimming. They weren’t behind at all—they were ahead of most of the other male swimmers. You saw it in the times. You saw it in the attitude. All the ones that were doing the dryland of everything were looking at it as alright, we’re coming into our third, fourth month of swimming. The guys who were playing water polo were looking at it as hey, we’re coming into our first month of swimming. Let’s really focus, let’s get into this now. They were fresh, they were positive about it.
When it got time to Eastern’s making national cuts, junior national cuts, the people that played polo were more into it, they were just ready. They were ready to do it, they knew they could do it. When I went to college, Villanova University, one of the deals with my scholarship, Villanova offered varsity men’s water polo, varsity men’s swimming, one of the deals was that I would be able to play water polo and swim. A lot of coaches were hesitant when I asked that question to them. And actually Dan Sheridan was the coach at Villanova at the time, and he was more than willing. He said , you know, I understand you’re here for swimming, you like to play water polo, that’s great. I’ll still teach you, I’d still like you on my team.
We worked out a schedule between the men’s coach, which is Ed Barch on the swimming side and Dan Sheridan. We worked out a schedule where I played water polo at night, I would practice swimming in the morning time and Mondays when I had off from water polo, for the seventh day rule, of NCIA’s, I would actually swim that afternoon. So I was constantly doing something, and I never burned out. My sophomore year at Villanova University, it was my first year, and I made NCIA’s. It was the first time in 20 years that a swimmer for Villanova was represented. I ended up being in the top eight there, the next year same thing, top eight. My senior year for Villanova, I placed third in the 100 backstroke. I was 5th in the 200 backstroke. What kind of times? 47 4 for the 100 backstroke and 144 for the 200. Did you swim in the summer time or did you do polo? I did both. I found time for doing both, that was the beauty of it because my coaches were willing to work together.
Like what Mike was saying before about how a polo coach will sit there and start his own swim program because he’s finding trouble with the swim coaches. Well most of my coaches have always worked with the polo coaches. They worked together. They sat down, they said this is what I need, what do you need? And they took it from there.
So I played water polo in the summer for a club team, it played three nights a week, but we were there from 7:00 to 11:00 at night playing. It was an older group though, so it was alright. A lot of the people were coming off from work, so it kind of worked out for them. The next morning for morning practice, where practice would start at 6:00 am, I had a lee–way that I would be allowed to come in at 6:30 or 7:00 because they knew I was up late. But I definitely, I played water polo in the summer as well.
Last Spring, I was fourth in Nationals in the 100 backstroke. Now I’m 25 years old, and I’ve been out of college for three years now, but I’m still going, I’m still swimming. This past summer I had a shoulder injury, so I didn’t swim as well as I was hoping. But even so, I’m 25, I’m planning on going to the US open. I’ve had my Olympic trial cuts, they have been well under since I was 18 years of age. Making the trials, having those times, so I’ll be at the trials come summer time this summer and hopefully make the team. Why? Well, I had water polo. That’s one of the reasons why I never burn out. Or I’ve never burnt out. A lot of people my age, after swimming is done, they’re done. After college is done, they’re out of it. You know, I still felt that there was more left in me. I ‘d like to still go for it. So definitely I think the two sports work well together.
Now to pick up on what he’s saying again talking to Brad Schumaker, feels the same way. And maybe the East coast has it better off than the West coast. His coach Mike Stillfield, out of Anapolis Navy, did the same thing. You had to in the fall, you had to swim in order to be able to play polo which is reversed schedules in the Spring and in the Summer, but you had to swim, and Brad Schumaker who wouldn’t have necessarily swam, became very successful at it.
So coaches that really need to push from that side as well, and almost reversed of what you went through with your coach but, obviously flip-flopped it, and Brad Schumaker for example obviously you know his times and the rest and what he’s been able to do. So I think you know it’s going to be up to us coaches to really try and get a handle on it, and anything of course that we can do would be helpful for you. I think for example we’ve given out some flyers here, if you haven’t had them yet, you can always come and pick them up afterwards, but some of the things we do, we try to offer options at Orca and one of the options is of course you can either play polo only, you can swim only, or you can do a combination. For example if polo which is really right now where we are most successful clearly, even though we have good zone swimmers, and we’re good regionally, we offer what we call a star program.
That name we took from Irvine Nova and Dave Sailor who calls his star program where he offers a two day a week pro- gram at a limited time for his kids and remember he doesn’t offer much polo at all, so he would have swimming for his normal year-round swimmers and maybe for his seasonal swimmers he’d offer a half hour or 45 minutes program two days a week, and he’d call that his star program. In Irvine, remember there are some 10 or 15 pools, community pools in the summer that get up to maybe 100-120 members each, and so he’s able to feed off those and does a great job with it so he offers those kids that star program. We’ve done it for water polo, and we’ve been very successful with getting kids from water polo only onto the swim team and for extra dues, it’s only half the dues price of our normal swim team, and obviously it’s an easy sell. If kids and you saw the very beginning of the age group water polo tape, the kids splash around, and it’s jungle ball. I mean it is jungle ball. We let them start at the age of 6 years old and you know, the ball’s bigger than the kids head. They’re out there floating around with their tiny arms trying to throw it three feet, and it’s great you know. The parents love it, and they see that if they do want to do well at the sport, they’ve got to go ahead and swim. I think it’s going to work for you, and again coming from our aquatic management group course, I really think the point is what else can you do as a head coach to offer other programs. I mean you get out there, I think you can do water walking, you can get the aqua aerobics going, you can do your swim lessons program, SwimAmerica. I told guy I thought we ought to do PoloAmerica. I mean there’s got to be a way we can maybe franchise the idea and really set it up so that you can implement your program. I mean for me seasonally, for example is income, you know if we’re starting our first fall program next week as a mater of fact, Tuesday the 14th of September. So we’ll have our girls pre- season program out.
Last fall we had over 100-110 high school only girls in that program and that was just our high school group. Half those girls, maybe three quarters you know wouldn’t be in a swim team other than what they did for their high school because it was required. Or because they really enjoyed doing the high school. We had something that worked out, a lot of the people in the high school swim team wanted something they could go into to keep their conditioning, so that’s how we threw in j.v. water polo last year. We had about 45 girls come out for just the girls water polo (in Santa Rosa). We cut it down to a varsity team, we broke it down to 17, and what they really like is going from the swim team to a water polo team to keep the conditioning for high school and they were a year-round team also. That’s great if you’re going to offer it, and if you can control it I think you’re going to do well with it.
You know certainly in our area there are programs all over the place popping up. We have programs just like swim teams, it’s the same thing, but at least it’s something you can offer. So if we’re charging $100-$125.00 for a season, two months for example, and you get over a hundred kids, I think after expenses and assistant coaches and the rest, I think it could supplement you. If you look at it in a positive way, and we give the whole thing away, the T-shirts we’re trying to really promote it. It’s become very successful. I don’t think that you have to necessarily go out really aggressively compete, there are all kinds of levels in our area of water polo that do compete, and you can do it anyway you want.
Do you have a question? Is the registration for water polo the same as for a swim team? USA Water Polo has a different registration form, and I have an example packet of what we, but I’m sure it’s just like anything else, other programs, if you put your swim program together you might have your hand book or whatever you’ve put out for your parents when they sign up you know we do the same thing for swimming. The one thing I like about the water polo as well, if you’re a year-round swimming coach, you really have to work at it to make it exciting. You know you work with the seasons, and if you’ve coached high school, you know there is a beginning and an end, and maybe as it becomes more exciting, it’s a very fun sell when we have programs coming in from all around, either the nation or the world, and want to come and play polo in Southern California and it becomes exciting.
How your situations are, I’m not sure. I know that some in Oregon were having trouble if they were trying to set up water polo, but they couldn’t go out and compete with other programs because maybe they were an hour away at the closest. So, but my recommendation again is you just keep it inner-squad and you develop it from there. And that’s where we’re at. Does anybody have any other questions?
How would you describe the water polo work out, with the ball controlling the swimmers have to do compared to a swim work out?
You mean ball control, what exactly do you, do you want me to just design a work out for you? Just give us an example of a work out that you would have for a water polo team.
An example work out, it’s pretty simple. If you take an hour and a half work out even a two hour work out, we’ll do our simple stretch warm up when we have our little meeting, that may take up the first 15 minutes of the work out, even setting up the pool. For example at Orange Coast College right now our morning work outs we swim, we really swim. Afternoons, we’ll go and I’ll do the same for my club, we’ll go a 300 choice , 200 breaststroke, alternate breast egg-beater, that kind of thing. Maybe double underwater pull outs, and then we’ll go into 425’s, we’re talking 600 yards once you’ve set up the pool, and once you’ve done the warm up. Just that’s it in the afternoons. We’ll go right into passing. Spend 15 min- utes on passing, my formula for passing is I like to alternate it through 5 days of the week. For example Monday we’ll start off pair passing, just partner passing, and there’s 15 minutes of drills you can come up with, if you have no experience, you can guess. Just coming up with whatever right, left hand passing, piruets, spins, push, pop, whatever. Then Tuesdays we might go triangles, 3 people passing you can work with that. Wednesdays, squares. Then Thursdays we’ll go 5 in a circle they have to alternate every other girl. You can get two balls in there at once, it makes you creative, girls and guys have to think quickly or else you’re going to get bonked in the head. It’s enjoyable for a coach. Then you go into 6 on 5 on Fridays you’ll go 6 on 5 passing. Marimount has a great drill, but we’ll just put the kids in front of the cage or set them up like a 6 on 5, and we’ll go 6 on 5 passing drills. So every week, and then I’ll just rotate. So your passing drills, the formula is simple. And then you’re not really repeating everything the same day. You keep yourself fresh.
Then we’ll go into 15 minutes, for me, we’ll go into 15 minutes of shooting drills, and you know we might go from, you know Ricardo Asavado, has anyone heard of Ricardo? Ricardo Asavado is as big in the water polo community I think as maybe Mark Schubert is in the swimming community. He is currently at Long Beach State, set a few national titles, excuse me high school titles at Wilson. He was a national assistant coach in the last Olympics. His son Tony Asavado is currently the youngest national team member at 18. He’s just going to be senior in high school and that hasn’t been done for a while. What he does is speci c shooting drills, he likes to start from outside of 7 meters.