To be able to prepare your team for the optimal performance you need to understand energy used in the game based on the position of your player. Research tells us that different positions require different training methods.
According to its energy use, water polo belongs to a group of sports in which the dominant place takes aerobic - anaerobic capabilities and capacities with emphasis on specific a-lactic endurance. Following the historical development and requirements of the game, analyzing the structure of the game in the high stress, top-level games, it is noticeable that the water polo from the physiological aspect is phosphagen sport.
As with other sports games, water polo players endure intensive efforts of anaerobic and aerobic work partially interrupted by shorter and long pauses with a high frequency of rapid changes in tasks and intensity of swimming, the direction of movement and the position of the player. The match lasts 4 quarters of which each last 8 minutes of "clean" game time, and attack for 30 seconds. The playing phase of the game lasts around 20 seconds each possession. The objective and realistic duration of a quarter is between 20 and 25 minutes, the whole game between 80 and 100 min.
In accordance with the new rules change, the game changed and became more demanding, both in the information and energy direction. By reducing the duration of the attack to the present 30 seconds, and eliminating the corner throws from player’s block(goalkeeper save is a corner throw), water polo as the game became more dynamic, increased the frequency of the situation parameters of the attack and defense, the transition from the defense attack are quicker, the contacts of the players are firmer, and shifting from the horizontal to the vertical position more often.
The team distinguishes the roles played by the players and the position during the game. Players are defined as guards, centers, flats, wing players and goalkeepers. Different roles and presence in different positions during the game inevitably lead to differences in the type of activity. Also, they differ in total cross-sectional area in the field in meters covered, and with different intensities and loads in the performance of the set technical-tactical tasks. The actions and activities of the players are realized by different swimming techniques and various energy events from moderate, submaximal to maximum intensity.
Depending on the place and the role of the team, the movement from the horizontal to the vertical position is also different. In today's modern water polo, the demand that is placed in front of the centers from the energy point of view is extremely large and it seems that the central position seems to be the most energetic one in the team. For this reason, the best prepared centers on average only play two quarters, but at an extremely high level of load and intensity.
The wing position is important because the winger often leads a counter-attack of the team and, in principle, is the opponent's closest player at the moment of starting the counter attack. They are the ones that are "pulling". Attackers in the second line, by individual driving to the opponent's goal or simultaneous movements, try to gain a spatial advantage over the defender to free themselves for receiving, passing the ball or shooting on the goal.
The role of the guard is, among other things, a strong and fast swimming in a counter attack, and in an attacking position occupies "its" previously agreed position. The main goal of the goalkeeper is the goal defense, and they participate in the counterattack. They need to have a strong and stable aerobic capacity that helps them regenerate rapidly and break down after the end of the action. With a man down, the goalkeeper requires a series of quality preparatory positions and a series of explosive jumps, blocks in a short time.
By analyzing the game, we come to the relevant data in the information and energy space of the game that gives indication to the fitness coach and head coach, traces the route and gives them a new basis for the development of an accurate quality fitness plan and program of work. One study found that the average water polo player swims between 1500 and 2000 m during the game, depending on the difficulty of the match, the task it performs and the minutes played in the game.
Players mostly swim freestyle technique 79.8% to 86.1%, while the rest of swimming takes place during the game with other techniques, mainly back and breast. Of the total amount of swimming, the maximum intensity is about 25% - 40%, which in meters is 560 - 900 meters. The total meters are done in about 90 - 120 swims (how many starts) of different lengths. The length of swims is between 2 and 25 meters during the game. The frequency of the swims that dominate are the shorter stretches of 2 to 15 meters. A significant element of the game is the contact game - duel, and in the course of the game, there will be 30-42 situations of the duel game, and in total, the water polo player performs 90 to 120 explosive movements during the game through elements of the game such as water starts, various types of jumps, shots and the like.
Players spend 33.1 to 45% in various variants of the horizontal position (all swimming at all intensities during the game), 55 to 66.9% in different variants of the vertical position (vertical positions defined by the specific work of the legs, in water polo terminology known as water polo – eggbeater or breast kick) from which they do technical-tactical tasks.
Other group of experts analyzed the structure of the movement, the intensity of the swims, and the amount of swim meters during the game, and performed a tolerance test for lactates. On average, during one match, the average value of the swim in meters was 1612 +/- 150m, of which 44% were of high intensity and the remaining time for swimming was submaximal and moderate intensity. The mean lactate concentration in blood of centers and guards was 11.2 +/- 1.0 mmol / l. For the attackers, a lactate concentration of 7.7 +/- 1.0 mmol / l was determined. Evidently, as indicated by the tests of lactate measurement during the game, at centers, attackers and guards, water polo training should include anaerobic high-intensity training so that players adapt to the requirements of the game as best as possible.