St. Louis Area Polo will be a club that positively impacts development of the athletes in, both in and out of the pool, and one that positively impacts its community.
We will take water polo out into the Greater St. Louis Community and provide players, regardless of age, gender, or ability the opportunity to learn the sport of water polo and be a part of a team. Our goal is to help any SLAP player that puts forth his or her best effort at practices transition from age group club water polo to collegiate club water polo.
The SLAP coaching staff believes we are teachers of a sport and we are to take a holistic approach to athlete development. Through water polo, we are not just developing an athlete. We are helping our athletes develop the real world, enduring life skills of problem solving, teamwork and above all acting in a manner that demonstrates strong character.
We will view each athlete as a unique individual that comes to us with varying skills sets. We will identify the skills sets the athlete possesses then meet that athlete where they are at in order to develop the athlete so that they can grow and reach their personal potential in game of water polo.
We will ensure that our player’s do not fear making a wrong move. In doing so they will be more willing to take risks and become better problem solvers both in and out of the pool. We will do this through providing instruction during training sessions and then make decisions based on that instruction in scrimmage and game settings. We will then guide athletes to analyze their decision to determine its effectiveness.
We will also develop the athlete’s sense of sportsmanship and character through leading by example and looking for teachable moments. We do play to win, but we will be ever conscious of playing with character so that SLAP, our sport, and our community will be represented well.
We will make sure that the players have serious fun! Water polo is a game that we have a passion for and have enjoyed playing. The joy of the sport comes from having a good work ethic, being teachable and learning how to work well with others. We want our athletes to share in this experience as they develop relationships with their teammates and SLAP family.
Who We Serve
SLAP trains *U-14, U-16 and U18 co-ed groups. We also have a group of girls that will train separately for various events.
*Note: U14 emcompassess any grade school age child through 8th grade.
St. Louis Area Polo (SLAP) began in 2001 as the club team for U. City High School players. The team practiced at Heman Park in University City during the summer and the U. City Natatorium during the winter & spring.
In the summer of 2002 the team began practicing at Clayton Shaw Park. That same year Coach Miguel moved from Assistant Coach at University City to Head Coach at DeSmet Jesuit High School. Players from Clayton High School, DeSmet Jesuit High School and University City High School all joined SLAP. In 2006 SLAP expanded from just a high school team and added and 8th grade and under program.
Coach Miller began coaching the Middle School Team, which eventually became the U14 program. In 2009 the high school program grew so large that the club had to split into a 9th/10th grade (U16) and an 11th/12th (U18) grade program. Since 2011, with the addition of Coach Colleen, Coach Andrew, Coach Taylor and Coach JD, the program has exceeded 100 players, added a Girls Team, sent teams to the International Tournament in Florida and the Junior Olympics in CA.
SLAP has trained several athletes to play NCAA Varsity Water Polo and has sent many more on to play collegiate club, hopefully giving all of them the tools to compete at the highest level possible for each individual as well as preparing them mentally for the challenges that they will face both in college and beyond.