Every sport that creates truly successful high-level athletes teaches specific technique to kids at a young age. In basketball kids learn the bounce pass, in baseball the step throw. Now, we have created the first-ever water polo development system: a data-driven program that forms the backbone of all our projects and events.
As part of this system, I will begin to offer personalized in-person training. When teaching young athletes, I believe in first perfecting the fundamentals. Even when athletes are practicing a simple skill like egg beatering, one-on-one feedback can be critical for proper development.
In water polo, clubs play an important role in development via games, team atmosphere, coaching and unity. But in a large group setting, athletes often don’t get 100% of the attention they need. Also, many times a team is strong in certain areas but weak in others.
The first round of this Athlete Development System (The A8 Club) is a four-month program that starts on March 14, 2018. A maximum of 20 male high school athletes and 6 goalies will train with myself and other Olympic coaches 3X per month.
This timing allows participants to continue important club training and not become overwhelmed. The program will focus on shooting and passing (once per month with me), and will end with a scrimmage session where athletes are given personalized written feedback. This allows participants to continue to work on their own time. The second session will focus on developing skills for a specific position:
- center work with 4x Olympian Ryan Bailey
- drive defense and driving work with 3x NCAA Champion Max Irving
- defending the center with 2x Olympian Peter Hudnut
- 6 on 5 work with Olympic Coach Rich Corso
All goalies will follow a specialized training program developed and taught by Michael “Mize” Zellmer, 2X Olympic goalie for Germany and founder of “The Perfect Goalie” and the XquiX App.
The A8 Club is modeled after the personalized training I received at age 14, when I first dreamed of joining the Olympic team. I look forward to helping other young athletes achieve their goals.