San Jose Express on hiatus...
SJX is doing remote training until at least June 22.
This is a difficult time for all of us, but we will make it and come out even stronger.
I will be blogging frequently during this time.
San Jose Express is more than just a water polo team.
We are a community and family.
Stay safe and strong!
There's lots of choices when picking a sport for your child.
To be honest, there's many good choices. Of course, I'm prejudiced when it comes to picking water polo...and San Jose Express.
Right now, I'm going to pick just water polo. I'll get to the specifics of why I think San Jose Express is the best team for you.
Water Polo Reasons to Play
Reason #1: It's a Combination of Many Sports
Water polo is a little bit of swimming, basketball, soccer, team handball, and wrestling.
Many of the skills and strategies those sports use, water polo combines them.
Obviously, it requires swimming skills. But the strategy and tactics are very much like basketball and soccer.
And the throwing and catching is like team handball. Do you know that at San Jose Express we have a lot of team handballs to help the kids learn how to catch and throw?
And then there's the wrestling part, especially for the older and more experienced players, wrestling becomes a big part of the game.
Reason #2: Water Polo Develops the Whole Body
Some say swimming develops the whole body. Well, I say water polo is way better than swimming for developing the whole body.
Water polo uses the same skills as swimming and then multiplies it by ten.
Reason #3: There's Rarely Cuts in Water Polo
In many youth sports (and most when you get to high school) teams have to have cuts. That means unless you're the best...you don't get to play.
Now, this is a big pet peeve of mine. I don't think it's fair or right that kids don't get to play a sport they love and have worked hard at.
This almost never happens in water polo because there just aren't enough kids to play.
Kids can get cut. Goofing off, not coming to practice, being a bad teammate. These are reasons that kids should get dropped from a team.
With water polo this rarely happens especially here in Northern California.
Reason #4: Water Polo Players Are Usually Very High Academically
Reason #5: Water Polo Can Be Very Physical
Now, this might not be a reason as a parent you want your child playing water polo.
And if they are just getting started water polo isn't more physical than most any other sport.
At higher levels it does become more physical. I think for girls, it's the most physical sport there is.
And for boys, it's the second most. Football is the the most physical.
I like the physicality of water polo for kids. It teaches them how to handle others and how not to be intimidated. They get used to being held and grabbed.
As a teacher I see so many kids who have no idea what it's like to make contact with another human being. Water polo players are used to it. It's part of life.
This gives water polo players a toughness and a self-confidence that they don't get in other sports.
Reason #6: Water Polo is Also Relatively Safe
With the physicality of the sport, it is also relatively safe.
You tend not to get over use injuries because it requires so many movements.
Broken bones and limbs are very rare. In 30 years of being around the sport, I don't know of any at the high school level.
As a parent you must know that there are risks with any sport and water polo is no exception.
We at San Jose Express work hard to make sure that your kids are in a very safe environment. It's something we talk about at every coaches meeting.
Reason #7: Many Other Sports Are Great Lead-ins for Water Polo
With all the youth sports being heavily impacted and competitive, kids frequently don't make the team.
So families look for something else.
And that's how they found water polo...and San Jose Express.
But the experiences of playing other sports goes a long ways to being a good water polo player.
Basketball and soccer teach ball movement and spacing.
Baseball and softball teach how to throw the ball with accuracy and power.
Swimming obviously teaches how to swim and move your body in the water.
So, if your child didn't make the team or get to play in another sport, chances are they will with water polo. Especially with San Jose Express. We want all kids to be able to play.
Reason #8: Water Polo Sure Is Fun!
There's something about being outside, in a pool, playing with friends.
Working together as a team to improve.
Winning as a team. Even losing as a team.
I remember many specific moments of playing water polo in high school. I remember passes and shots. I remember many of my teammates and even opponents.
It was just so much fun.
Maybe that's with any sport, I don't know.
I do know its true for water polo
If you're thinking of having your son or daughter play water polo, I encourage you to give it a try.
If they are already playing and loving it, leave a comment. Tell us what you think as a parent. Or an athlete.
Coach Ron Usher