Scoring a goal is what we are all after. But there are things we must do and understand before we are able to put the ball in the net. At a very basic level, goals only come from three different scenarios:
- A perimeter shot
- The center position
- A drive
Whenever we are on offense, we need to be considering those three things: How do I create a good perimeter shot opportunity? Which direction is our offensive center facing and how do I get the ball to them? Where is the ball (so I know which side of my defender to drive)? I you are always asking those three questions – the easiest and best option will surface.
A good perimeter shot requires constant passing. Constant ball movement around the perimeter will eventually get a head of the defense and the goalie, creating an opportunity to shoot and score.
Creating a great offensive shot opportunity. The offensive centers job is to get open. In the most basic terms, this means their back is to the defender squarely, and they have “Sealed” their position. Sometimes when they get open, we will be lucky enough that they are open facing the ball side. But this is not always the case. When this does not happen, which is more often than not, the job of the team is to move the ball around the perimeter to the spot most likely to put in a wet pass from directly in front of the center.
A good drive happens when you position yourself between the ball and your defender, but also ahead of your defender. 2-3 meters from the goal, the pass can be dry allowing for an alley-oop type shot. When the pass needs to be made to someone driving who is further out than three meters, a wet pass in between their arms is ideal.
Skills required to create offensive opportunities.
- Passing. In all of these situations, passing is core. The perimeter shot requires constant ball movement via dry passes. Passing is required around the perimeter before we make the wet pass into the hole set. Finally, a highly targeted wet or dry pass to the team mate executing a ball side drive is paramount to the success of the play.
- Player movement. The center must get open and seal. Perimeter players are required to be agile within their zone, often times moving with the ball before passing. This is called a pressure pass scenario. Sometimes instead of making a pressure pass, you will be required to draw the foul instead. When driving you may or may not have the ball. You must be able to turn your player if you have the ball, or understand how to execute a ball side drive.
Water Polo IQ – what decision should you make?
The path of least resistance is always the best choice. But you can only choose from that which you know how to do. If you only know how to do a ball side drive, then you have no choice – even if that option is a horrible move. But if you know how to:
- ball side drive
- pressure pass
- turn a defender
- draw a foul
you have more choices available to you, enabling you to make the best and easiest choice to execute on.
Here are some video tutorials to help you learn how to do each. Of course, each of these is available on our team training page.