Ask the Coach: Roles of Perimeter Players

Question:

What are the roles of perimter players in the halfcourt and how can I break training into specific pieces to address those roles?

Answer:

In today’s modern form of water polo, participation of the perimeter player has greatly increased.

A perimeter player is responsible for ball movement, the entry pass into the center position, but more important, they must control the offense. Perimeter players are divided into 3 categories:

1- Position #3 or the point man – this player is responsible for calling the offense, controlling clock management and must be a smart shooter; it is paramount that this player understand defense and transition.
2- Position #2 and #4 – on most teams these are shooters and drivers (offense by moving and creating angles for passing and shooting); #2 is often a defensive player with great passing skills; in transition this player will guard the other team’s best shooter.
3- Position #1 and #5 or wings – these players are used mainly for balance, they must work with the drivers in transition and balancing their drives or shots; in many offenses these players are also utility and can be used as second centers.

As you prepare to field your team, a careful look at the perimeter is important—place a shooter that has leadership skills at position #3 – this will result in opponents giving up many counter attack goals against your team.

Submitted by:

Randy Galza

Ask the Coach: Outside Shooter Techniques for a quick shot outside 5 meters?

Question:

What are some techniques that a player can use to create separation one-on-one with the defender and effectively use that separation to get a quick shot off outside five meters?

Answer:

First of all, it’s important to create the separation in an efficient manner, without committing an offensive foul. You want to stay as mobile as possible, constantly moving, having your legs in position for a quick change in direction or stop and go effort.

A good player has awareness of the ball and places himself in a position to be able to drive or pop up for the quick shot at any time. Hand speed and strong leg thrusts are a must—you have to be able to get from horizontal position to vertical position at lightning speed.

For example, if you are in a horizontal position, take a big breaststroke kick and 2 or 3 quick strokes to the right or left of the defender—this will force him to play off of you. This is when you also need to time your move with your teammate who has the ball (and is going to pass it to you) so that you can take a couple fast strokes and pop for a quick shot.

Submitted by:

Will Kim