Being a goalie in water polo is one of the most difficult positions in sports. In order to succeed, you need to not only stop shots but keep yourself afloat throughout the entire game. To do so, you need muscular strength and endurance, and agility to stop shots. In addition to game-situation practices, you should incorporate drills and exercises into your workouts to hone individual skills.
To be a top-level water polo goalie, you will have to ensure that your legs have a high level of muscular endurance. This is because you will be required to tread water for the duration of the game. To improve muscular endurance, perform high-repetition weight work. According to the online fitness resource PhysicallyTrained.com, you should lift lighter weights for a high number of repetitions, between 15 and 25 per set. Exercises such as squats, deadlifts and leg curls will improve your leg endurance.
Agility enables you to change directions quickly. This is important for water polo goalies, because it will enable you to recover from fakes and block shots and rebounds. According to the fitness website ExRx.net, agility involves being able to change directions without losing speed or body control. The website recommends performing drills in which you respond to directional commands to improve your agility. Doing so in the water will add an extra challenge and game-like feel.
If you are a water polo goal, having quick reactions is vital because it allows you to respond to shots even when you aren't expecting them. According to athletic information website Core Performance, a good drill for improving reaction time involves standing in front of a wall with a teammate behind you. Have your teammate throw the tennis ball at the wall so that you can catch it on a bounce. Core Performance notes that you can add an extra challenge by beginning the drill while lying on your stomach; this may also improve your agility.
In addition to muscular endurance exercises, perform muscular strength exercises if you are planning to be a water polo goalie. Having strong legs will allow you to leap farther and quicker in different directions to block shots. The fitness website PhysicallyTrained.com suggests performing exercises for three to seven repetitions per set to build strength. To strengthen your legs, use exercises such as the squat and leg press.