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Player development with England Water Polo Talent

The Swim England Water Polo Talent team deliver high-quality training and competition for the most promising young players in England.

Three levels of the Talent Programme

1. Regional Academy Programme

Each of the Swim England regions run training sessions for their top U14, u15 & U16 male and female players, culminating in the Inter Regional Competitions.

Through the Regional Academies players will work towards England Water Polo Talent Centre Standards. Head Regional Coaches will assess against these criteria and nominate players to the next step on the pathway.

The U14 & U16 Inter Regional Championships will be used as an additional talent identification opportunity for National Academy Coaches to select from, to ensure no potential talent is missed.

2. National Talent Centre Programme

There are 4 Talent Centres geographically placed across England designed to provide young talented players with weekly access to coaches with a high level of international experience.

Selection to a talent centre will be through open trials or subsequent Talent Identification by England Talent Water Polo Coaches at national and regional events.

Players at an England Talent Centre can expect to receive high quality coaching in the skills and tactical foundations they will require to thrive at national team level across 3 x 10 week terms each year

Three times throughout the year, teams from each of our 4 Talent Centres will be selected to represent their Centre at ‘The Talent Games’ Teams will be selected from Each Talent Centre at U14 and U16. A weekend of full length matches played to LEN competition standards for that age group, and will provide players with experience of competing at an elite level whilst the programme of player and coach education will equip players with a tool kit of practical and psychological skills that they will need to succeed as a national team player in the future.

3. National Squad Programme

The national squads are the top level of the talent pathway in England. U17, U19 and senior national squads train every month and work towards competing at European and international competitions.

To be selected in a national squad, athletes must be either recommended by their regional coach or be scouted by talent coaches at The Talent Games or other National club or Regional Events. When they attend the trials, they will be selected on a number of physiological, technical, psychological and tactical factors, as well as other elements such as compatibility and work ethic.

Athletes and their coaches should have a clear understanding about the commitment required to be part of the national team and the expectations, travel and time required before considering attending the trials.

It is advantageous for the athletes to be known to the national programme staff by taking part in the Talent Games as part of the Talent Centre Programme or other competitions regionally and nationally. Athletes should be competitive and striving for the top level within the sport.

If you become a member of one of the Swim England Water Polo squads, you will continue to work with your home club programme and club coach. It is important for your club coaches to be engaged in your development and the training hours and requirements once you are part of the programme. All training is compulsory and is a mixture of camps and weekends. You can also continue to be a part of your Region.