Watch this slide show to see some images of a typical Duke City Aquatics water polo practice.
The Duke City Aquatics team practices at three different pools: West Mesa High School, Highland High School, and Sandia High School. Janet Lyon-Huffman’s branch of the team practices at West Mesa High School.
Coach Janet’s swimmers and players begin practicing water polo regularly in March. They focus mostly on water polo on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. They begin with basic drills and move on to scrimmaging later in each practice. Every day, practice ends with a team cheer.
Because of Janet’s heavy involvement in water polo, her swimmers play water polo off-and-on throughout the entire year, rather than just during water polo season. These extra chances to play water polo provide swimmers with a needed break from serious swim training, cross training, an opportunity to keep improving skills and a chance to experience water polo to see if it is something they would want to play during the water polo season.
Swimming is truly a year-round sport. The Short Course season (so termed because races are swum in 25 yard pools) takes place from early fall through early spring. Swimmers can take off part of March and some of April and then the Long Course season (so termed because races are swum in 50 meter pools) begins, and carries through until the end of July. After a short rest, it all begins again with Short Course. Water polo season begins in the spring, after Short Course and before Long Course. Water polo continues on throughout the summer, overlapping with much of the Long Course season.
Because of the lack of breaks, many swimmers do not like the idea of both swimming and participating in the water polo season. However, if they enjoy water polo when they play it during the swim season, they are more likely to play it during the water polo season.