Water Polo Player Selection


It is very hard for water polo coaches to compete with other, better known, sports in recruiting and bringing quality athletes in their programs. Not only that they have to compete with other sports, today they have to overcome numerous other obstacles.

There is a scientific consensus that kids, at the present time, have significantly less psycho-motor skills than their peers from ten or more years ago. Unfortunately, the downward trend in motor skills will continue, and the assumption is that this will continue.

The reason for such a situation is today's way of life for school children who spend very little time playing outside, with less range and less space for physical activity. Curricula favors activities that are not related to physical education (computers, music,foreign languages, etc.), and the problems of the urban lifestyle, diet and rest, are also contributing to this state. Children are less coordinated, and a knack for sports games, and even sports intuition are less noticeable. This problem is present on the global level, and the club even if it wants, it cannot solve it.

We can still effectively carry out a selection of water polo school participants even after realizing these facts. In fact, until recently, the practice of evaluating water polo school participants consisted of swimming across the 25-meter pool. Based on these observations, the children would be selected and enrolled in water polo school. Unfortunately, among them would be some of the psycho-motor unattractive because of swimming one length of the pool (about thirty seconds), we can learn little or nothing about the child's psycho motor skills. Thus, the probability of getting a quality "product" from"semi" poor quality, despite the good working program, was small.

Today already tested model, which is listed in technical literature of water polo, offers a different approach than the above. First, go to local elementary school, and in consultation with principals and teachers go to classes of physical education, where children play some of the basic games (e.g."Dodge ball"). This game is very aligned to the selection, because the children are beginning to play in the first grade, and the assumption is that they all play in the same way to the second grade, when we perform testing. In this way we exclude the factor of knowledge that some children have as an advantage because they played it longer.From what is shown, we conclude if children are coordinated, nimble, flexible, explosive, agile and how they act in the collective game. Therefore, by carefully observing the game, we can see all psycho-motor skills that the child has and which are necessary to play water polo.

Only kids, whose abilities are innate,and training process can improve very slightly are interesting to us.This would be starting and very important criterion for the selection of participants for water polo school, which should be given a special attention. This provides a great advantage and better selection,which is the beginning of eliminating the problem noted above.Then coach records the anthropo-metric status of the schoolboy/girl (height, weight, constitution). This isn't eliminating factor (we distinguish biological and chronological age), but it is not neglected. Then the coach through a short lecture introduces the water polo as a sport emphasizing all that is adorned with(ideally for the occasion prepares the appropriate video presentation) and invites them to come to the pool.

At the pool the tests are done covering the swimming skills and buoyancy capabilities.So, just on the basis of psycho-motor skills, anthropo-metric status (candidates must be psychologically and physically advanced) and good swimming skills (buoyancy) we can make a quality selection.It is very important to establish a close relationship with the children, entertain them and inspire them to get involved in water polo. The first impression of children should be joy, happiness and satisfaction with the arrival to the swimming pool, as well as the satisfaction that he or she is chosen for water polo.It is also advisable to inform parents by letter (special form designed for water polo school) and indicate the seriousness and organizational actions.

Invitation to the pool should be carried out once in the fall and once at the end of the school year for maximum response and lower attrition. In the meantime, it is necessary to keep an attendance record and in case of higher drop-out and low turnout organize "extraordinary" actions (bringing the whole class to the pool for an hour of physical education or to watch games of the youngest age groups, and organizing water polo video projections and similar action animation).In addition, it is necessary to know the selection times and age of candidates for other sports programs(swimming, football, basketball) and "pre-empt" such competitive action. If you act first you have the advantage of greater choice of candidates than others.

When water polo school begins operation it is necessary to create files with personal data and residential address of each candidate, the basic notes and observations and information on the first sports medical examination. Keeping track of each candidate, we can if necessary, easily repeat the call.In addition, this approach can be competitive for other sports, and other water-polo clubs, who are after same children that are of our interest. It is known that the callback yields results, because the children of that age usually change sports and stay where they like it most.

With this approach, which certainly brings results and gives confidence to parents, which is nowadays very important, we can thoroughly elaborate system that will produce a generations of successful water polo players, and make failure a coincidence and not vice versa.


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