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:

Take Quality Shots

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

Back Up shots

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

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.

Move to Meet the Pass

Always move to meet every pass, and circle away from your defenseman.

Never Pass to a Covered Player

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

Outside Shooting

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

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.

Dodging

Never try to dodge when men are in position to back up.

Try Some Dodges

Every man on the attack should try at least two dodges every game. Learn at least three different types of dodges.

Cut Hard and Fast

Make full cuts - go through and out - don't cut at half speed or hang around the crease after your cut.

Don’t Rush at Him

Don't rush at a man when riding - particularly behind the goal. Force him to pass - force him in the direction where there is help. Talk all the time and run hard. The success of an attack depends on their riding ability and their desire to have the ball.

Make Passes Hard

Make feed passes hard.

Possessing the Ball

When in possession of ball, make the defense man play your stick - watch his stick - the position of it will determine the direction of your feed and the type of dodge you might try.

Make Good Passes

Take pains to make every pass a good pass.

Time Your Cuts

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

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.

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.

Teamwork is Key

Always remember that teamwork is the key to a good attack.

Crease Play

On every screen shot the crease man should check-up on the defense man's stick, and immediately face the goalie, so that he is ready to bat in a rebound.

After the Pass

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