2012-06_WaterPolo - Images by The Harker School
With summer temperatures on the rise, students in grades 4-8 headed to the Singh Aquatic Center at the upper school campus to learn about one of the more popular aquatic sports at this year’s summer water polo camp.
“The camp is basically one for fundamentals of water polo,” said coach Ted Ujifusa, who has been involved with water polo since 1964, and helped the University of California, Berkeley, win their first NCAA championship. “We want to talk about body movement in the form of a variety of different kicks that we use to move ourselves around, also just the mechanics involved in simply catching and throwing a ball.”
The camp started with the basics of the game, including movement, body positioning and passing. “We consider a shot to simply be a faster version of a pass, so we’re trying to work on good body positioning and mechanics right to begin with,” said Ujifusa.
Students later worked on shooting and how to guard members of the opposing team, as well as how to break free from defenders and deal with one-on-one situations against goalkeepers. The aim by the middle of the week was to have students build enough fundamental skills to begin playing games. “Really, we’re just playing a fancy game of keep-away, so it’s not rocket science,” Ujifusa said.
One student, Addith Srinivasan, who will start grade 6 in the fall, said the games were his favorite part of the camp, which he joined this year because he “just wanted to try out water polo.
“It’s really fun,” he said.
Samantha Yanovsky, also going on to grade 6, saw her siblings excel at water polo and decided to try it for herself, and enjoyed the camp, learning that “you need really big leg muscles because it’s going to get tiring.”