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Cover: all access water polo practice with kirk everist
All Access Water Polo Practice with Kirk Everist

with Kirk Everist,
University of California, Berkeley Head Men's Coach,
2016 NCAA Champions - 3x NCAA Champions;
as a player - 3x All-American,
NCAA Player of the Year ('88) and 2x US Olympian,
Cal Athletic Hall of Fame ('04) and USA Water Polo Hall of Fame ('04)

Few water polo coaches have experienced as much success as Cal head coach Kirk Everist. The three-time NCAA champion coach has amassed a wealth of knowledge in over two decades of instructing high school and collegiate athletes.

This instructional video grants you access inside two days of Cal water polo practices, led by Everist himself. You'll take in two morning and two afternoon practice sessions conducted early in the season as the Golden Bears work to improve their conditioning and technical/tactical skills.

Day 1

Everist begins by taking his team through a preview of the morning practice on a whiteboard. Then, the team conducts an indoor dynamic stretching session before transferring to the pool for lap swimming to complete their warm-up.

Centers and attackers split up to work on position-specific drills. Coach Everist utilizes a whiteboard on the side of the pool to give his players information on the goals for each drill. Repositioning and countering are two of the main skills covered in the individual drills.

Next, you'll see a variety of team drills that Cal uses to work on blocks, defensive positioning, jumping to the ball, and more.

Drills include:

  • Two Triangle Drill
  • Cut-Throat Drill
  • Active Defense Drill
  • 6-on-5: Triangle

The day 1 afternoon practice dives deeper into 6-on-5 work, with Everist providing mid-drill talking points to his players that will allow you to hear exactly what he wants his players to work on in the pool. A variety of game situations are explored; with shooting, counter-attacking, and front court offense serving as the highlights of the session.

Both the morning and afternoon practices conclude with team conditioning (plus lap swimming in the morning) and field blocking (plus hip over technique in the afternoon).

Day 2

The warm-up for the morning session of day 2 involves swimming and passing the ball. Goalie-specific warm-up drills are shown as well.

Once his team is ready, Coach Everist moves on to short scrimmage sessions that allow him to pick and choose specific situations to begin each scrimmage. You'll see the Golden Bears work through the following scenarios:

  • 6-on-4
  • 6-on-5
  • 6-on-4 Offense
  • 5-on-5

The afternoon practice contains more goalie warm-up drills using a heavy ball and no ball. Everist also splits his players up to allow attackers to work on position-specific skills, including shooting. Finally, he brings his team back together and takes them through more game situations via intra-squad scrimmage, focusing specifically on basic rotations on defense.

Coach Everist's poolside instruction and tactical diagramming are what sets this video apart. You'll come away with tons of drills and tips to help your team maximize their performance this season!

263 minutes. 2018.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: the complete guide to coaching water polo
The Complete Guide to Coaching Water Polo
by John Tanner, Stanford University Head Women's Water Polo Coach, and Assistant Coach of Men's 2000 US Olympic Water Polo Team

This 4 video series is a comprehensive guide to coaching Water Polo. John Tanner combines his years of experience in the sport as a highly successful player and coach to deliver the most in depth coaching series available!

John Tanner is in his 12th season as of the Stanford women's water polo program. An experienced and enthusiastic coach, Tanner took on the fledgling program and has turned it into a competitive force year-in and year-out. Under Tanner's guidance, the Cardinal have finished no worse than 3rd in the NCAA in all 11 years as coach - including a National Championship in 2002. That also includes four MPSF Conference titles and five conference coach of the year awards. A former Stanford water polo All-American himself, Tanner returned to his alma mater with a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from years of coaching at the high school, collegiate, and international level. Tanner has been involved with United States Water Polo in various aspects from 1988 to the present. He was the assistant coach of the U.S. Men's National Team, which placed sixth at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Tanner also has coached at the High School level.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: game winning strategies for special situations
Game Winning Strategies for Special Situations

with James Graham,
University of Pacific Head Men's and Women's Water Polo Coach,
2013 Men's National Coach of the Year; 2013 National Runners-Up (men), Head of Water Polo Analytics Group

What happens when you don't have a full complement of players in the field or when you're down by one with only a few seconds left? James Graham addresses these special situations and more. He presents ideas on how to utilize your team's strengths in designing plays, keep all your players moving in the field, and design plays that address time constraints.

Time Management

Take control of the clock by incorporating time in the design of your plays. Graham shows you how to create scoring opportunities using less than 10 seconds of clock, allowing you to get one more play in to retake the lead.

Prevent your opponent from scoring with a few seconds left on the clock. With a steady press and a quick steal, put the ball in a position that eats up time to get the ball and prevents the goalie from putting it right back into play.

Special Situations

Preparing athletes for all situations is essential for success when it comes to game time. Graham shows a simple 5v5 setup in which movement can be cycled on alternating sides to create continuous scoring opportunities.

Explore over 10 different situations of score or player deficit while maintaining awareness of the time left on the clock. Each detailed explanation is followed by multiple demonstrations in the water. Plays include:

  • After Goal Play with less than 15 seconds left
  • After Goal Play with less than 10 seconds left
  • Down by 1 with less than 10 seconds left without any timeouts
  • 2-for-1 (Down by 1 late in the game)
  • Defend Direct with Less than 5 Seconds Left
  • Run Out the clock vs Goalie Press
  • 5v5 Motion (double exclusion from the game)

Designing Your Own Plays

With clear plans on the white board and demonstrations in the water, Graham gives you insights into how he plans his plays. No need to reinvent the wheel, but you can custom tailor these plays to fit your team's strengths to be successful down the road.

This video is a must-have to better plan for unequal numbers and limited time so your team is better prepared when the situations arise!

50 minutes. 2017.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: becoming a champion water polo goalie: game skills & strategies
Becoming a Champion Water Polo Goalie: Game Skills & Strategies
with Sean Nolan,
US Olympic Development Program National Goalkeeper Coach;
2000 Olympian, former Cal Berkley Assistant Coach


Being able to pass fast and accurately is a necessity for goalkeepers, so your team can get out and counter attack in transition. Coach Nolan gives you a passing checklist full of coaching tips and strategies that create correct passing fundamentals. He presents drills that focus on the technical skills of the pass and making correct reads.


Train your goalies to be better leaders in the water through communication. Coach Nolan covers communication skills, tone, strategies and more to be the leader on defense your team needs for success.

Game Situations

Besides being the last line of defense, a goalie has the best view of game situations. Coach Nolan discusses the importance of a goalie's communication with teammates and how they can be a leader on defense using positive and constructive communication.

You will see five examples that give goalies the tools they need to stop the most common game shots. From one on goalies to penalty shots, these "tricks" will help reduce the probability of an "easy" goal for your opponents.

Mental Game

The goalie's mental and emotional state should be consistent to keep them from going down a spiral of discouragement. Sharing the blame, being confident and positive, and being able to brush off mistakes while learning from them will keep a goalie's head in the game and help them stay prepared for the next shot to come.

Coach Nolan covers nearly every aspect of the goalkeeper position in this information-packed video. This is a great resource for coaches and goalies of all levels.

69 minutes. 2016.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: becoming a champion water polo goalie: technique & training drills
Becoming a Champion Water Polo Goalie: Technique & Training Drills
with Sean Nolan,
US Olympic Development Program National Goalkeeper Coach;
2000 Olympian, former Cal Berkley Assistant Coach

Former Olympian and current U.S. Olympic Development Program National Goalkeeper Coach, Sean Nolan, presents a series of drills designed to help goalies stop more shots. Every aspect of goalkeeping is covered as Coach Nolan shows off the exercises he uses to build championship goalies.

Warm-Up and Positioning

Coach Nolan starts with a great hand-eye coordination warm-up for goalies that prepares them mentally for a game or practice. These two drills use various sizes and numbers of balls to help train a goalie's mind and reaction time.

Next, you'll be shown a slide show discussing the importance of a goalie's positioning within the triangle. By "Living in the Triangle," goalkeepers can reduce unnecessary movement and force shooters to take shots that goalies are already prepared to block.

Living in the Triangle

Train your goalies to become master of the angles between the posts. In this PowerPoint "cheat sheet," Coach Nolan gives you coaching tips and strategies to help train your goalies to find the correct position within the goal, taking away as many shooting angles as possible, while giving up a little to the left and right. You'll discover basic principles and red zone strategies.

Goalie Drills

Coach Nolan demonstrates over 15 drills that work on keeping the goalie in correct base position, keeping their hands light and ready to cover all corners of the goal, and being ready for unexpected situations. Primarily working on keeping proper balance, these drills will test your goalie's reaction and show if they are truly in good position.

You will also learn more hand-eye coordination drills based in the water. In these exercises, goalies work on being light in the water and using quick reflexes to pass and block multiple shots on goal. Coach Nolan also covers drills to help goalies react to various shots and challenge themselves by baiting shooters into certain shots.

Test Sets

Coach Nolan runs through a few quick drills to show how the goalie is improving without looking at stats of blocks, saves and goals allowed. He encourages the use of film to help the athlete visually understand where they can improve and how they are progressing.

This video contains some of the best techniques and drills for water polo goalies that are effective at any level.

80 minutes. 2016.

Buy at Championship Productions

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