FINA Communications Department

As part of its Development activities commitment and with the support of the FINA Coaches Committee and the World Water Polo Coaches Association, FINA has launched last week (as of Monday June 8) a series of Live Sessions designed to help the professional water polo community on its online educational tool, the Learning platform (launched in May 2018). 

Following the cancellation of the, what would have been, first ever FINA Men and Women’s World U-16 Water Polo Cup in Volos/Larissa (GRE) due to take place in September 2020, during which a grassroots and age group development water polo Seminar for coaches and managers should also have been organised, FINA decided to offer the Live Sessions with a similar content built and certified by experts within the sports industry.

Every day of last week, a 45min long Live Session was available on the platform at 4pm (Swiss time) and then available on replay free of charge. The Sessions were respectively addressing topics related to water polo training for young and junior players and goalkeeper in particular, such as their physical preparation, their adapted training programme but also covered the basic technical elements and the tactical aspects of the game. The success story of U.S. Water Polo and its youth team was also discussed in Friday’s Session to conclude the week.

The first Session on Monday kicked-off with a presentation from Zoran Kacic, Croatia Water Polo goalkeeper trainer, under the theme “Training the young goalkeepers”. Zoran Kacic successfully led the Croatian water polo team to the Olympic victory at the London 2012 Olympic Games as well as the World Championships gold in Melbourne 2007.

Other high-profile moderators last week included Dr. Mladen Klikovac of Montenegro, Physical education, Kinesiology and Sport Professor, Dragan Jovanovic of Serbia, World Water Polo Coaches Association Executive Director and Olympic Coach, Dr. Balaz Vincze of Hungary, Head Coach for Hungary U-15 National Team (2019 winners of the European U-15 Championships), and USA’s John Abdou, USA Water Polo High Performance Director.

Around a thousand people, ranging from coaches to technical directors and water polo administrators, followed each Session, while the videos have been watched about 4000 times in replay as of today.

In addition, and prior to the Live Sessions, FINA interviewed Spain’s former water polo player Manuel Estiarte who currently is Manchester City FC Head of Support and Protocol. With 22 years of experience in the sport of water polo (he played from 18-40 years) and six Olympic Games during which he was nominated three times for best scorer, Estiarte shared his views on how to effectively manage players and their relationships to their club, in particular amid the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown. The interview is available on replay here (in Spanish).

You can re-watch the Sessions and many more on the Learning Platform which is accessible from your computer and mobile devices.

A new Live Session will be aired today, Monday June 15 2020 at 3pm (CET) on the subject of Artistic Swimming. Gabor Szauder will be presenting and sharing his specific knowledge of athleticism and athletic values the discipline. Originally from Hungary, Gabor Szauder has coached multiple nations throughout his career. After working with the Greek team in the late 90s and well into the 2000s, he became the face of the Hungarian Federation and coached the 2012 Olympic duet of Eszter Czékus and Szofi Kiss. He then became the head coach of the Slovakian team, where once again he led the duet to the Olympic Games in 2016. He became the Head Coach of the Canadian Artistic Swimming Team in 2018! All Sessions available here 

Next Sessions include talks with Fernando Possenti (open water / Wednesday 17 June), Paul Wylemann (sport psychology / Thursday June 18), Ludivide Perrin (swimming / Friday June 19), Jeroen Lecoutere (swimming / Thursday June 25), Gary Hall (swimming / Tuesday June 30 and Wednesday July 1).