Water polo demands a high level of fitness and endurance due to its physically challenging nature that involves swimming, throwing, and treading water. One of the essential skills that a water polo player must possess is the ability to tread water without using their hands. Treading water is the act of staying afloat in a vertical position while keeping the head above water.
Many people wonder how long an average water polo player can tread water without using their hands. According to various sources, the answer varies depending on the player’s fitness level and experience.
Some players can tread water for a whole practice, which can last up to two hours, without using their hands. Treading becomes like walking for experienced players, and they can do it without much effort. Due to their exceptional fitness level, the average water polo player can tread water for up to a total of eight to ten hours.
Treading water for extended periods requires not only physical stamina but also proper technique. In this article, we will explore how water polo players train to tread water, the benefits of treading water, and how long they can do it without using their hands.
The Importance of Treading Water in Water Polo
Being in excellent physical shape is a prerequisite for playing water polo. One of the most crucial skills that a water polo player must possess is the ability to tread water for extended periods without using their hands.
This skill is essential because it allows players to stay afloat while they wait for the ball to come their way, and it allows them to move quickly and efficiently in the water.
Water polo players must be able to tread water for the entire duration of a game, which is typically 50 minutes long. In addition, they must be able to tread water for up to 120-minute long practices. This level of endurance requires a great deal of physical fitness and mental toughness.
The ability to tread water efficiently is also important because it allows players to conserve energy during a game. When a player is treading water efficiently, they are using less energy than if they were struggling to stay afloat. This means that they will have more energy to use when they need to swim quickly or make a powerful shot.
There are several techniques that water polo players use to tread water efficiently. One of the most common techniques is the eggbeater kick, which involves using alternating circular motions with the legs to stay afloat. This technique is particularly effective because it allows players to maintain a stable position in the water while keeping their hands free to catch and throw the ball.
Overall, the ability to tread water efficiently is a critical skill for water polo players. Without this skill, players would quickly become exhausted and would not be able to perform at their best. By mastering the eggbeater kick and other treading techniques, water polo players can improve their endurance, conserve energy, and become more effective players in the water.
Factors that Affect Treading Water Ability
Treading water is a fundamental skill required for water polo players to stay afloat and move around the pool. The ability to tread water for extended periods of time is a critical factor in determining a player’s endurance and overall performance. However, several factors can affect a player’s treading water ability, such as physical fitness, technique, and experience.
A player’s ability to tread water is significantly influenced by their physical fitness. Water polo is a sport that demands high levels of cardiovascular and muscular endurance due to its physically challenging nature.
Maintaining a vertical position in the water for extended periods requires players to have excellent leg strength, core stability, and upper body strength.
According to Aquaticglee, a physically fit individual can tread water for an average of 3-5 hours or more with the right technique and optimal conditions.
Water polo players and other experienced water sports athletes are capable of treading water with just their legs for over 10 hours. Nevertheless, the exact duration can vary depending on several factors such as a player’s fitness level, body composition, and hydration status.
Technique is another critical factor that affects a player’s treading water ability. Water polo players need to use efficient and effective techniques to minimize energy expenditure and maximize endurance. The most common treading water technique used in water polo is the eggbeater kick.
The eggbeater kick is a circular motion that involves alternating the legs in a scissoring motion while keeping the toes pointed. This technique generates a vertical lift that allows players to maintain a stable position in the water with minimal effort.
However, proper technique requires practice and experience to master, and players need to focus on maintaining a consistent rhythm and avoiding unnecessary movements.
Experience is a crucial factor that affects a player’s treading water ability. Water polo players who have played for several years develop a higher level of skill and endurance than beginners.
Experienced players have better muscle memory, coordination, and balance, which allows them to tread water with less effort and for more extended periods.
According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, experienced water polo players have better throwing speed and accuracy than beginners.
The study also found that experienced players have better muscle-skeletal strength and coordination, which allows them to generate more power and speed during throwing and treading water.
Average Treading Water Time for Water Polo Players
Water polo is a physically demanding sport that places great importance on treading water for extended periods. To be considered an average water polo player, one must be capable of treading water for a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour without using their hands.
However, this can vary depending on the player’s fitness level, experience, and position on the team.
Goalies, for example, are required to tread water for longer periods of time than other players. They need to maintain their position in the water to block shots and defend the goal. As a result, goalies are often the strongest swimmers on the team and can tread water for up to two hours without using their hands.
Experienced water polo players can also train to improve their treading water time. They use a technique called the eggbeater kick, which allows them to maintain their position in the water with minimal effort. With practice, players can increase their endurance and tread water for longer periods of time.
It’s important to note that the ability to tread water for long periods of time is not the only factor that determines a player’s success in water polo. Players also need to be skilled in passing, shooting, and defending to be effective on the field.
Overall, the average treading water time for water polo players without using their hands is around 45 minutes to an hour. However, this can vary depending on the player’s position, fitness level, and experience. With training and practice, players can improve their endurance and tread water for longer periods of time.
Tips for Improving Treading Water Ability
Improving treading water ability is essential for water polo players. Here are a few tips that can help:
- Practice regularly: Regular practice is key to improving treading water ability. Water polo players should aim to practice at least 3-4 times a week to build endurance and strength in their legs and core.
- Use proper technique: Using proper technique is important to reduce energy expenditure and improve efficiency. Players should keep their legs and arms close to their bodies, and use the eggbeater kick technique to keep their heads above water.
- Build leg strength: Building leg strength is crucial for treading water. Players can do exercises such as squats, lunges, and calf raises to strengthen their leg muscles.
- Use resistance training: Resistance training can help build endurance and strength in the legs. Players can use resistance bands, ankle weights, or a weight ball while treading water to increase resistance and improve their ability.
- Improve cardiovascular fitness: Improving cardiovascular fitness can help players tread water for longer periods. Players can do cardio exercises such as swimming, running, or cycling to improve their endurance and overall fitness.
By following these tips, water polo players can improve their treading water ability and perform better in games and practices.
According to HydroPursuit, water polo players are famous for their exceptional fitness level and their capacity to tread water for extended periods without using their hands. On average, they can tread water for up to 8 to 10 hours in total.
However, this is just a reference point, and individual players’ abilities may vary based on their fitness level and experience.
Without weights or holding their hands up, an average water polo player can tread water for a whole practice, which is about an hour to two hours, according to a Quora post. With a weight ball or with their arms out, the time may be shorter.
Treading water in water polo is not easy, and it requires a lot of practice and fitness. However, with the right training and conditioning, players can improve their ability to tread water and perform well in games and practices.