National Talent Squads
Thousands of children go through the English club structure every year and the ASA has a development pathway to ensure that once a young person’s talent is identified it is nurtured to help them reach their full potential as well as a specific Water Polo Talent Development Programme.
This programme takes youngsters who have already shown promise in water polo and gives them access to quality coaching, athlete educational schemes and sports science within a training camp environment that will prepare them for future international competition.
Players must achieve certain levels of attainment which includes swimming, basic technique and game awareness to be selected onto the development programmes.
They then receive varying support depending on their level but this will include training camps, anthropological measurements and lifestyle management.
National Talent Camps
A National Talent Camp takes place in January every year where trials are held for the different ASA National Talent squads.
All trialists are profiled and expected to:
- Make specific swim times.
- Show good core skills (eggbeater leg kick, passing, shooting).
- Show a good understanding and knowledge of water polo through game play.
- Demonstrate good physical ability for the sport.
From these trials, players are either selected or offered areas for improvement with a possibility of a re-trial at a later date, subject to re-nomination by their RTC.
All squads train on a monthly basis between February and June and it is envisaged they will undertake international tours.
July and August will be available for selected squad players to attend Millfield National Academy and/or travel abroad for an ‘end of season’ camp.
Regional Training Centres
RTCs will continue to be a fundamental element to the overall National Talent Programme. Players born 1999 - 2002 will initially be invited to these sessions.
For the third and final block, the 1999s will fall out in March to allow 2003 to take part with a view to this age group attending the National Academy in August along with other year groups as highlighted above.