Your safety is our number one priority. So, listen to your body, listen to your coaches, and protect your body inside and outside of the gym. A heavier lift, more pull-ups, a faster WOD time mean nothing if the movements are not done properly and/or the outcome is injury.
Here's a great post, from CrossFit Roseville, related to shoulder protection, mobility, and injury-prevention:
To avoid shoulder injury make sure you stretch and strengthen your shoulder properly. Include adynamic warmup before getting in the pool and try to warm up your passing going from simple movements to more complex full body movements. Also make sure to do your SMR exercises daily so that you avoid problems, don’t wait until you have problems to start these. Water polo can cause shoulder problems for the rest of your life, end your season early, and at the very least diminish athletic performance. Learn about your shoulder now and how to mobilize it to avoid injury, to recovery quickly, to improve efficiency, and to ensure longevity.
MobilityWOD.com has great tips on understanding our shoulder injuries and better yet how to mobilize ahead of time to avoid injury. (Mobility Wod has advice on most issues athletes deal with but this page is specifically dedicated to the shoulder.)
The following videos and articles include exercises for dealing with tenderness in the biceps tendon (a common problem with overhand throwing and shooting), increasing thoracic mobility so that we can extend without loss of position when shooting, how and why to tack and sheer the anterior delt & Pec Minor, and more.
From Mobilitywod.com: How to think about the shoulder: “If we can’t get the shoulder into good position all bets are off, rotator cuff is inhibited and we see a lot of bad mechanics. In so many of these positions we need to start in a good position and finish in a good position otherwise we can’t effectively generate force and what happens in the middle is torn labrum, slap tear, etc. etc.”
“Your shoulders do you credit, but they could be made to serve the Emperor.” Lets not forget that to reduce tension you need to “control inflammation, get em off the gluten, make sure he’s on the fish oil, make sure he’s drinking water, he’s putting electrolytes in his water; we’ve got to take care of that systemic inflammation. He’s also got to restart some kind of tendon stretching… Treat that tissue, get it healthy again, 2) got to stop taking the ibuprofen, if your having this chronically inflamed state—talk to your physician about that…
Early mobilization, early recovery of range, controlling the swelling and restoring circulation and blood flow is what it’s all about, once you’ve disrupted stasis it’s hard to get out of that. Icing is an important modality for managing pain but we’ve got to get some compression on that, compression, compression, compression…”
You will need a lacrosse ball and a yoga block. Also having access to stretch bands, purchasing a compression band, and ice packs are all good recovery tools. Test, Retest, Reset the mechanics. Ice after practice but don’t ice to numb the pain so you can play through it.
Here is the best online PDF I have found for shoulder stretching, strength training, rehab and general information:
Pure Power Shoulder: Are Your Shoulders Hurting Yet?
Rotator Cuff Injury injuries can be prevented by stretching and strength training, especially the broomstick stretch aka the pvc passthrough. Helpful Rotator Cuff stretches and exercises:
Shoulder & Wrist Exercises
Stretches to Prevent Shoulder Injuries
You can also find a lot of good information here: http://www.waterpolotraining.net/