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Meet Karl Niehaus of Santa Monica Water Polo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karl Niehaus.

Karl, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Since 2003, Santa Monica Water Polo Club has been teaching and coaching water polo and splash ball in Los Angeles. Each of our coaches has college, international, or Olympic water polo playing experience and each is highly qualified to teach boys and girls between 5 -19 years old the intricacies and fundamentals of water polo and splash ball (10U &8U).

Santa Monica Water Polo is open to boys and girls throughout the Los Angeles area with most of our kids coming from Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Culver City, Venice, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, and Santa Monica. Our players have gone on to play college water polo and represent their countries in international water polo tournaments.

Water Polo is a combination of soccer and basketball played in the water. Our club teaches skills, technique, and game intelligence through tournaments, scrimmages and game situations at practices. Multiple coaches with international and college water polo experience on deck for each practice ensure the individual attention of the highest standard. Weekly practices are held at Santa Monica Swim Center (1600 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica) and Santa Monica High School (indoor pool next to the track, 401 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica).

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We started with only one child at practice. And it was all about providing the best coaching possible to that one child and hopefully will be but would be interested in attending. Over the years with filter numbers and get stronger and stronger.

Santa Monica Water Polo – what else should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are most proud of the fact that I’ll coaches all of the highest quality. You cannot become a good athlete without the correct coaching and I’ll coach is all sorted out specifically for the experience in the game and expertise and teaching others.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
There were two levels of success. The first is having happy kids. The fact that you’re able to make the practices enjoyable and have kids enjoy the sport. The sport cannot grow if the kids are not enjoying it. The second is that the kids are actually getting better. You don’t want to teach kids that it’s all about strength and power, that will come as well but instead focusing on the finesse, the skill and the tactics as those of the tools that make athletes excellent.


  • $100/mth for Splashball (5-9 yrs old)
  • $185/mth for all age groups excluding Splashball

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 424.255.8811
  • Email:
  • Instagram: SantaMonicaWaterPolo
  • Facebook: Santa Monica Water Polo Club
  • Twitter: SM_WaterPolo
  • Yelp: Santa Monica Water Polo Club

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