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Water Polo athletes revolutionise training

Coach Tony Azevedo with the Water Polo Team

Meriden girls have upped their Water Polo game by training with one of the world’s most celebrated Water Polo athletes, Tony Azevedo. The five-time Olympian recently ran a clinic that helped our players hone their technical skills and better understand their own abilities.

Mr Azevedo coached the girls with new drills and introduced them to his young athlete performance analytics app, which evaluates each athlete’s strengths and weaknesses and provides their local and global performance rankings before developing customised training plans and monitoring progression.

Year 11 student, Olivia Mitchell, impressed Mr Azevedo with her performance in the training challenges on the day, which ranked her in the top five individuals in her age group, globally.

Olivia said it was a pleasant surprise to be one of the first Australians to be ranked in the top spots on the app.

“I didn’t expect it at all, I just tried my hardest in the task that was given,” she said.

“The results are beneficial to us as athletes because they make our areas of strength and weakness clear and we can see what we need to improve upon and what to maintain whilst training.”

Olivia said Mr Azevedo provided helpful advice that improved the team’s performance but he also wanted them to keep sight of the reason they were in the pool.

“Whilst doing some shooting drills, he gave us some good pointers: one of them was to smile, because we should be enjoying Water Polo! We had a lot of fun during the session but the most valuable piece of advice I took away was that pegging the ball into the back of the net isn’t the best way to get a shot in, basing your shot on the position of the goal keeper is much more effective,” Olivia said.

Tony Azevedo has been a member of Team USA at five Olympic Games and captained the country’s Water Polo Team at Beijing 2008, where he led them to a silver medal. He is the all-time leading goal-scorer at World Championships and the first player to win five gold medals at the Pan American Games. Tony Azevedo was voted Most Valuable Player four times at the prestigious NCAA College Competition.

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