|Playing As a Defender by Jesse Smith|
We just arrived in Athens and I will refer to the two meter man as center, and two meter defender as defender.
1. In general it is important for the defender to keep their hips up, with their back approaching parallel to the plane of the surface of the water. This allows the player to exert strong pushing power (from the eggbeater-- legs swirling like propellers, very fast) against the center player and it also prevents the center from grappling with the defender's torso and suit.
2. Depending on the position of the center, the parameter players, and the ball, the defender can decide to play between the ball and the center or between the center and the goal. If the ball can successfully be entered into the center from the parameter then it easier to prevent a goal or penalty by playing behind the center; the defender can try and hinder the center's shot and probably not be excluded, or prevent the center from shooting and probably be excluded. If the defender thinks it unlikely the ball will be passed over or through them from the perimeter (without the defender touching it), then the defender can "front" and play in between the center and the ball. It is important for the defender to play the odds and be realistic about the inherent advantage given to the center; try and limit this disadvantage and thereby limit the exclusions, goals, and penalties.
3. The two above tips should be clear to any advanced players, and are to be used as guidelines for beginner players. Advanced players having realized the role of the defender should think of ways to practice solutions to the problems they encountered while trying to follow the above ideas. This can include holding something heavy above the head while eggbeating, and weightlifting (i.e., squats) so that the defender can manipulate the center's position more effectively. The defender should find out the range of "fronting" that he/she feels comfortable with during practice (mock situations where parameter players pass it in to center, and the defender lunges for the ball-- the center does nothing, and then as the defender becomes more successful at tipping the ball, the center can work to get the ball, making the drill more difficult for the defender.
4.It is also important for the defender to get adequate sleep, and eat healthy because endurance, mental clarity, and strength are vital for success at any position andt especialy at the defender position.
5.Always remember that the defender can learn something from every practice and every game, and there is always room for improvement. I am writing these things out of experience, and most of the techniques I have learned over the years from more experienced players are all centered around the above very simple ideas.
6. The most important tip I can offer is to develop techniques of practice which focus on improving the method of technique rather than the result of a certain technique. So try and get around quickly and judge your success upon that, rather than how many steals you can get.
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