Dodging

The lacrosse dodge is a fundamental skill of lacrosse. Developing good dodging skills is critical to the ability of your team to score. The goal of any dodge is to protect the stick for a pass or shot. All dodges share a common goal which is to keep the stick and ball away from the defender to set up your next move, be it a pass, or a shot.

[readon1 url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfLx27Zg4wI&autoplay=1" rel="rokbox" title="Skills :: Lacrosse Dodges"]Check out this video on dodges![/readon1]

There are many different types of dodges, but the thing they all have in common is that when you dodge you are trying to avoid the opponent. The dodge is a an offensive attempt to evade the defense. There are many different dodges. Here are a few of the most popular:

Face Dodge
The easiest dodge is probably the Face Dodge. It's just straight forward you draw the defender to you with a fake shot or pass, and then quickly transition the stick across your own face to avoid the defender and then accelerate toward him. to setup a shot or pass once you get by. With the face dodge you are really just moving your stick from a shooting or passing position quickly across the front of your face to the opposite side tucking it close to your ear. When you have the ball as a defender comes out to attack, you fake a shot and then transition from a shot/pass position to protect the stick with your head and body, and you accelerate past the Defender to an opening for a shot on goal, or a pass to another teammate.
Split Dodge
Split dodge is like the Face dodge in that it is a straight ahead dodge (no roll). This time instead of trying to fake the defender into thinking you are going to shoot, you are going to make him think you are trying to blow by him on one side, but instead quick plant your lead foot and switch directions. You switch your stick-side hands in front of your face, and then blow by on the other side of the defender. Basically just getting the defender off balance with the quick change of direction and stick hands, and protecting the stick near your opposite ear as you scoot by on the other side.
Video
Roll Dodge
No doubt the roll dodge is one of the most effective dodges,especially in the open field. Let's say that you are stick-side left, stay fairly tight to the defender and get him to commit a little, and then spin to the left keeping your back to the defender, rolling off of him protecting the stick with your body, while switching to right hand. The goal is to get the defender to over commit and get off balance before you roll. you also have to be very close or touching the defender to make the roll really effective.
Bull Dodge
Is generally for bigger stronger players. The key to a Bull dodge is that it really isn't a dodge in the true sense of the word. Unlike the previous dodges, the bull dodge is really won by getting close to your opponent, and running by him, always keeping the ball to the free hand side, away from the defender. Make sure you are at full speed when you try a bull dodge.

Some great tips to get you going:

Zigs and Zags

Zig your cuts, fake left - go right, fake right - go left. Don't always run at the same speed, change of pace is a very effective method of getting open.

Fake Passes

When you have the ball, be constantly faking passes - keep your defense man's stick moving. Go ahead, throw that sky-whammy.

Don’t Force it

Never try to force in, with the ball or by a pass, if the defense is drawn in. Pull them out first.

After the Pass

If you receive a pass after cutting and haven't got a good shot, hold onto the ball.

Away From the Defense

In moving the ball around the circle, make all passes sharp, short, and to the outside, away from the defense man.

Never Pass to a Covered Player

Never make a pass to a man who is covered just to get rid of the ball.

Make Passes Hard

Make feed passes hard.

Time Your Cuts

Time your cuts, don't cut if the man with the ball is not watching or not in position to pass.

Make Good Passes

Take pains to make every pass a good pass.

Be an Outlet

If an attack man is being ridden hard and can't dodge or get away - the nearest man on each side goes to help him.

Never Stand Still

When you have the ball, never stand still - keep moving all the time - if necessary run backwards and forwards - but keep moving. When you are ready to make a pass, take one step back quickly and move. If you are standing still, you're wrong.

Keep Proper Spacing

Never stand so close together that one defense can cover two offense.

Pick a Corner

Place all shots, usually for a far corner, and shoot hard. When within five yards of the goal, the shot should be for a top corner.

Make Him Play You

Make your defenseman play you and you alone every second you are in the game. Keep moving all the time so that he must center his attention on you an not be in position to help out his fellow defensemen.

Outside Shooting

On all long shots, a man must be on the crease.

Move the Ball

Don't dodge if there is an open man. Don't hold the ball long unless you are planning a dodge. Keep it moving with quick, short passes.

Feed Passes

All feed passes must be thrown crsiply and accurately. If it's a bad pass, do your best and make a great catch to help your buddy out.

Take Quality Shots

Shoot plenty, but only if you feel you have a good shot. Shoot to get hot, shoot to stay hot.

Back Each Other Up

Always be in position to back up shots and feeds. When a cut is made, or a shot is taken, the whole attack must play a part, moving to be in a position to backup a pass or a shot. Control the ball!

Back Up shots

Always have one, preferably two, men behind the goal to back up shots.