After consecutive successful summers, Harker’s summer water polo camp returned, adding another session due to high demand. “Last year a lot of the parents asked us to do two sessions, so this year we answered,” said water polo coach and camp co-director Allie Lamb, a 15-year veteran of the sport, who ran the camp with coach Ted Ujifusa, head coach of the Harker boys water polo team.
The weeklong camp, which ran June 16-20 and July 14-18, was designed for students in grades 4-8 new to the sport, emphasizing fundamental skills such as eggbeater kicking (or “eggbeatering”), passing and shooting. “We really concentrate on teaching the fundamentals of the game and a lot of these kids have never played water polo before,” Lamb said. “Water polo’s a pretty tough sport if you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Among the most important skills taught at the camp is eggbeater kicking, an essential skill for new and experienced players. Lamb compared the technique to when players in other sports rest on the field. “Eggbeatering is our resting, so if you’re not able to do that to the point where you’re able to keep your head above water, well, now you’re resting underwater,” she said.
The most popular part of the water polo camp is scrimmaging, or the informal pickup games. “The playing of the game is something that they really enjoy,” Lamb said.
Samantha Yanovsky, a rising grade 8 Harker student, said the camp was helpful to her because it provided a way for her to learn the sport, which has a history in her family. “My sister, brother and cousins all did water polo, so I wanted to do water polo, too,” she said. “It’s a difficult sport but it’s fun.”