Our competitive squads provide a pathway for Water Polo players to develop and be part of our successful junior and senior divisions.
Water polo is one of the world’s toughest sports, requiring speed, strength and agility and high levels of endurance. You need to make quick decisions under pressure and understand the many complex tactics and game plays.
Swimming is a major part of any water polo player’s development. Which is why all our players commit to 1-2 swimming sessions per week on top of Water Polo practice.
To succeed you have to swim quickly and with lots of stamina picking up the pace, time and time again. If you look at the types of training required for each stage below you’ll notice that by the time the player reaches junior development the swim sessions almost double that of the water polo sessions.
Swimming doesn’t only develop the speed of a player but also develops the awareness and agility in the water, along with sharpness and the twitch required to react to any water polo situation. The clubs swimming and water polo sections will continue to push the importance of being able to swim fast and continuous during a water polo match, it is therefore club policy to attend 1-2 swim sessions per week to be part of our Water Polo squads.
The following criteria is set out for all Water Polo Players to adhere to:
Splashball – 1 water polo to 1 swim session
Link – 1 water polo to 1 swim session
Junior Dev – 1 water polo to 2 swim sessions
Swim Team – 1 water polo to 2 swim sessions
When the Water Polo Team player develops and also trains with the senior teams then 2 swimming sessions is an absolute minimum requirement per week. Players may need to start thinking about extra swimming sessions like the STORM session on a Saturday or swim fit on a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday delivered by the Pelican Centre.
To monitor players swimming ability the junior water section will hold compulsory 200 IM time trials every 3 months.
Initially players that don’t make the required times for their group will be given a further 3 months to train and trial again. After the second failure to achieve the qualifying time the head coaches may temporarily suspend the player or demote the player until the qualifying time has been achieved.
This group will continue on the fundamentals of water polo and developing the child’s ability to learn to play. This is the first club group
Entry Level: Minimum Swim Stage 7 (Pelican Academy) Basic Skills: Water polo basic skills are also taken into account for promotion into the group. Type of training: 25% water polo, 25% swimming, 50% dry land including other sports.
Water Polo - Stage 8 Framework
By the end of Stage 8 participants will be able to:
Tread water vertically and comfortably for 30 seconds, using eggbeater kick.
Maintain a vertical position whilst moving forwards, backwards, left and right, using sculling and eggbeater kick for 5 metres.
Maintain a horizontal position whilst moving forwards, backwards, left and right, using sculling and eggbeater kick for 5 metres.
Perform 5 metre horizontal lateral slides, to the right, return to centre and then left and return to centre.
Swim 5 metres head up front crawl.
Swim forwards 5 metres whilst controlling a ball in front.
In vertical eggbeater, pick up the ball from underneath the surface with alternate hands into a throwing position.
Hold a tripod position, with a ball, for 30 seconds.
Play a simple water polo game, score by placing ball on the side of the pool and demonstrate skills learnt during this stage.
* Delivery of the Start outcomes will depend on the pool design and facilities available.
Water Polo + Junior Development
Water Polo + JD Introduction
Water Polo + Junior Development Squad:
This group will work to train and develop more water polo specific skills, drills and tactics. Players should be working towards inclusion into one of the Regional Satellite Programmes.
Entry Level: will be a minimum of a 4:05:00 200m IM (individual Medley) time along with assessments by the head coach. Basic Skills: must show the ability, technique, commitment, attitude to develop their water polo Type of training: 30% water polo, 50% swimming, 20% dry land including other sports.
Water Polo - Stage 9 Framework
By the end of Stage 9 participants will be able to:
Swim 5 metres head up front crawl, change direction 90 degrees left, swim 5 metres change direction 90 degrees right.
Swim 5 metres head up front crawl, change direction through 180 degrees, swim 5 metres.
Swim 5 metres water polo backstroke.
Swim 5 metres water polo head up front crawl, turn onto back, continue in same direction for 5 metres and turn back onto front and swim 5 metres.
Swim 5 metres head up front crawl with breaststroke legs.
Pass and catch a ball accurately with a partner, with one hand, over a 3 metre distance while maintaining a strong body position.
Swim 10 metres head up front crawl, receive a ball on the water, and continue to swim whilst controlling the ball.
Swim 5 metres with a ball, pass ball to target, and continue to swim 5 metres.
Pick up a ball, shoot at a target from a 2 metre distance and repeat five times. The target may be a player, kick board, plastic bottles, etc.
Play a simplified water polo game, score by hitting a target on the side of the pool or some other adaptation and demonstrate skills learnt during this stage and in Learn to Swim Stage 8 Water Polo.
*Delivery of the Starts outcomes will depend on the pool design and facilities available.
Water Polo + Swim Team
Water Polo + Swim Team Introduction
Water Polo + Swim Team Squad:
This is the top junior group of the club.
This group will work to train and also train to compete. Players will be developing more water polo specific skills, drills and tactics along with preparing them for inclusion into the senior Mens/Ladies Water Polo sections.
Entry level: will be a minimum of a 3:30:00 200m IM (Individual Medley) time along with assessments by the head coach. Basic Skills: must show the ability, technique, commitment, attitude to develop their Water Polo. Players attending this section are expected to also be attending one of the Regional Satellite Programmes in Lancaster, Liverpool or Manchester. Type of training: 30% water polo, 50% swimming, 20% dry land including other sports.
Water Polo - Stage 10 Framework
By the end of Stage 10 participants will be able to:
Swim 5 metres, receive a ball on the water, control the ball in front for 5 metres, change direction one way, swim 5 metres, change direction the opposite way, swim 5 metres and then pass to a partner.
Pick up a ball, shoot at a target five times from a 2 metre distance, using an off-water shot. The target may be a kick board, plastic bottles, a player or into a goal.
Jump vertically, sideways and forwards.
Jump ½ turn and pass ball while on back.
Marking during game-play situation.
Understand concepts of long walking and short walking and when to apply in a game situation.
Play a water polo game, with full rules and goals, and demonstrate skills learnt during this stage and in Learn to Swim Stages 8 and 9 Water Polo, showing good technique throughout
* Delivery of the Start outcomes will depend on the pool design and facilities available.
Elite Swimmers/Other Roles
Future Development + Senior Squads
Promotion to the senior Water Polo squads will be made by assessment in the player’s overall Swimming and Water Polo ability. This will be carried out by the Head Coach of the relevant men’s/women’s teams.
REMEMBER – Not every athlete develops at the same rate. It’s the end goal that matters. People attending this section must show the ability, technique, commitment, attitude to develop their water polo.
Training Times: Tuesday 9.00 – 10.30pm. League: British National Water Polo League and Bolton & District Water Polo League. Interested In Joining: please contact Lee Toone for further information.
Training Times:Wednesday 9.00 – 10.30 pm League: National Water Polo League. Interested In Joining: please contact Paul Costello for further information.
Regional Network Training
Swim England North West Water Polo have 3 elements which form part of the talent pathway:
Satellite Development Days
Regional Academy Competitions
Swim England North West Water Polo are fully in support of the continuation of an additional weekly land and pool training session that players on the Pathway can access and recognise the key importance having these sessions has played on the continued success of the Regional teams.
These weekly sessions form part of the Talent Pathway, as selection to represent the North West at the Regional Academy Competitions will be made at the Inter-Satellite Festivals, with selection for the National Academy and ultimately the National Squads taking place at these competitions.
Each Satellite hosts 2 groups:
Group 1 – U16s (Sept 2017 intake is for players born 2003 and 2004)
Group 2 – U14s (Sept 2017 intake is for players born 2005 and 2006)
The session is split into the following elements:
Registration & Briefing
Strength & Conditioning 45 mins
Transition 15 mins
Pool 90 mins
The cost is £60 per 10-week term and there are 3 terms per year: Autumn, Spring and Summer. A trial for new players is held at the start of each term.
Please register your interest for the next trial with the Regional Satellite Administrator:
Satellite 1 – Merseyside
Groups 1 & 2: Tuesdays 7.00 – 9.30pm
Lifestyles Austin Rawlinson, Parklands, Conleach Road, Liverpool, L24 0TR
Administrator: Ant McGuinness
Head coach: Alice Byrne
Satellite 2 – Greater Manchester
Group 1: Fridays 5.00 – 7.30pm and Group 2: Fridays 6.00 – 8.30pm
East Manchester Leisure Centre, Grey Mare Lane, Beswick, Manchester, M11 3ND
Administrator: Rachel Crompton
Head coach: Andy McGinty
Satellite 3 – Lancashire
Group 1: Fridays 5.30 – 8.00pm and Group 2: Fridays 7.30 – 10.00pm
Salt Ayre Sports Centre, Doris Henderson Way, Lancaster, LA1 5JS
Administrator: Alison Hesketh
Head coach: Andy Wilson
England Talent Swimming
Do you like the idea of playing Water Polo for your country, across the world in junior or youth international tournaments? Read on to find out how to get involved with the England Water Polo Talent Pathway.
The England Water Polo Talent Pathway is the route to train and play at the highest level water polo in England and has two main aims:
Identifying the most talented young water polo players in England based on technical and tactical standards.
Developing these players to an international level.
3 stages of water polo player development in England
The England Water Polo Talent Pathway involves three stages of development for players from U14 to senior age groups.
Regional Academy Programme
National Academy Programme
National Squad Programme
The stages ultimately lead to selection to the Senior National Teams. The long term aim of the pathway is to achieve international success and re-establish a funded world class GB programme.