by Xabi Gómez.
For those who are outside what happens in the old continent, the first impression of European dominance can be a bit skeptical. But there are data to counter the claims herein will do.
The United States has participated in almost all Olympic and World Cup competitions, but despite the undeniable potential of this country in aquatic matter, unable to climb to the top of the podium in the last decades. The beginnings were bright in the early twentieth century, also highlight two silvers in the eighties, but generally, have always been lagging behind the dominant countries in the men’s water polo.
Perhaps the women’s national team has been in that sense, as a special case, since in 2000 (Sydney) girls can compete in the Olympics, the American have been a sure medal for the nation. In recent years, the emergence on the international scene selections other especially in the case of Spain have put into question the hitherto intractable American.
One of the factors that most affect this result is, in my opinion, the system in which the US water polo is based, as it is the “thorn vertebra everything else” in the words of Denja Udovicic current coach of USA. “There is no country on earth with more potential than the United States,” added the Serb.
Some differences in water polo: USA vs. Europe
And the truth is it’s hard not to agree with the statements of American selection. United States has more sub-16 players anywhere in the world, but beyond competitions High School or College, nothing more.
In Europe, by contrast, the club system allows the player to ‘ascend’ rapidly to be able to play matches with the first team -if the talents- at age 16. In USA, the player would have to wait until college to excel.
The dimensions of the country are also an element against. The competitions are concentrated in two or three days and except California, where most concentrated water polo, contact with other High School, College or University is scarce.
In contrast, one of the European cities where most clubs proliferate is Barcelona. The relationship between them is very active and can play games and training quality in a small ratio of action. A win win within reach of few cities in the world.
The arrival of European and Dejan Udovicic structures of American water polo can also be read as a gesture of approach to a system in Europe, despite the ailing economy of clubs, works in sports. Brazil has also opted for a Croatian an unblemished reputation as Radko Rudic for the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
What if the American giant wakes from his dream? …?