One of the most important parts of playing lacrosse is knowing what the different types of dodges are and how to do them. It can be confusing and hard to figure out which ones you need to know, as well as learning how to practice and execute them during a game.
What Dodges Do I Need to Know as a Beginner?
There are a few simple dodges that you need to know when you are just starting out. As soon as you know what you are doing with these dodges, you can move on to some more complex dodges. The first dodges you should learn are the split dodge, roll dodge, and face dodge.
1. Split Dodge
The split dodge is the foundation of just about every other dodge you will learn while playing lacrosse. It is extremely important that you understand how this move works before trying any other dodge.
You will start by squaring up with your defender, looking directly at each other with your bodies parallel. If your stick is in your right hand, step to the right. If your stick is in your left hand, step to the left. Next, step in the opposite direction while switching your stick to the other hand. You can now run past your defender.
A split dodge is a great move for you to utilize if you are naturally quick on your feet, have a lot of space between you and your defender, or you just don’t know what else to do.
2. Roll Dodge
This is another fundamental dodge that every lacrosse player should know how to do. While you are running towards your defender, take a step with the foot opposite of the hand with your stick. If your stick is in your right hand, take a step with your left.
Spin your body using that foot, and turn your back to your defender. After you do this, switch your stick to your opposite hand and sprint past your defender.
You should keep your stick close to you so your defender won’t be able to check the ball from you. Keep your head up while doing this dodge, you won’t want to accidentally bump into another defender.
3. Face Dodge
One of the simplest and most effective dodges in lacrosse, the face dodge should be used a whenever you possibly can. This is one of the moves that professional lacrosse players prefer to use.
The face dodge happens when your defender is running straight towards you. This will happen most often after you have caught the ball from one of your teammates. Let the defender approach you.
As your defender is coming at you, bring your stick in front of your face. You are going to twist your body away from your defender to protect your stick and the ball. After you get past your defender, you can make a pass or shoot.
It is important to make sure there is plenty of space between you and your defender when you perform this move. You will also need to make sure your stick doesn’t hang behind your head or your defender will be able to dislodge the ball.
4. Bull Dodge
This is a great move for lacrosse players who are big and strong. In some cases, lacrosse isn’t that difficult if you are bigger than everyone. This dodge will only be effective if you have at least 5 yards between yourself and your defender.
You need to make sure you have enough space to run towards your defender. Start running and use your shoulder to lean in and create separation. Now that you have space from your defender, you will need to make your move quickly, as defenders usually recover quickly.
What Dodges Do I Need To Know as I Progress?
As you get more comfortable with playing lacrosse, you will be ready to learn new, more advanced dodges. A few of the most important dodges that you should learn first are the hitch dodge, finalizer dodge, inside roll, rocker dodge, the toe drag, and many more.
5. Hitch Dodge
The hitch dodge is beneficial for all lacrosse players to know. If executed properly, you will be able to freeze your defender and get yourself a good shot. This type of dodge is basically a fake shot.
The best time to use the hitch dodge is right after you receive the ball. You have to be light on your feet and move as soon as you get the ball. Plant your foot as if you were going to shoot, but don’t actually take a shot.
If you fake your shot properly, your defender will most likely turn around or stop. Take off using your planted foot past your defender and shoot.
Make sure you don’t hang your stick once you get past your defender or they can dislodge the ball from your stick. You should not use this dodge all the time, as it will start to become predictable. Switch it up every now and then.
6. Finalizer Dodge
If you are able to learn the finalizer dodge, you will basically become unstoppable on the field. Your defense will not see this move coming.
Wait until your defender is about 10 yards to the right or left of the goal and make a split dodge towards X, keeping your feet as close as possible to the crease without going inside of it. Once you are a step or two past X, you will do a roll dodge back in the direction you came from.
You will need to make sure your defender steps over the triangular part of the goal. After you roll back a couple of steps, split dodge back in the other direction. Your defender will be on the back side of the goal, making it easy for you to run past them and score.
This is an advanced move, and you will risk your ball being checked from your stick if you don’t execute it properly. The triangular piece behind the goal is a very important factor to this move, use it to your advantage.
7. Inside Roll
The inside roll is similar to the roll dodge, and it can be one of the most effective dodges that you will use in lacrosse. This is another move that can make you unstoppable on the field.
To properly perform an inside dodge, you will need to get yourself to the island. From the island, you will be able to properly execute this dodge. Once you make it to the island, plant your foot and swing your body similar to how you would with a roll dodge.
The goal of this dodge is to block off your defender with your backside. If you do this properly, there is no way they will be able to grab your stick. Once you have blocked off your defender, you will have the opportunity to shoot and score.
You do not need to be afraid of getting physical with your defender. You can use your body to push him away. If you perform this dodge too often, opposing teams will notice and start to prevent you from completing your move.
8. Rocker Dodge
The rocker dodge is basically a fake inside roll. Because this move is a counter to the inside roll, you can use them together. You could do an inside roll followed by a rocker dodge that will leave your defenders confused.
Exactly like the inside roll, you will need to get to the island. Once you get to the island, plant the foot opposite of the hand your stick is in. Instead of completely executing this dropstep move, you will do a fake out and roll back to the topside.
You will then be able to make sure shot and score. This move can also be used with an inside roll to maximize the results you get from the move.
9. Toe Drag Dodge
This dodge move is a variation of the face dodge and it is extremely useful to beat the other team. The toe drag is a move that will impress every crowd you play in front of. It is an advanced move and you should make sure you are comfortable with most other dodge moves before attempting this one.
Just like the face dodge, this move is executed when your defender is running directly toward you. It is most common to use this move after you have received the ball from a teammate. As your defender runs at you, bring your stick down to your feet while keeping one hand at the end of the stick.
Once you get past your defender, you will be able to pass the ball or shoot. You will not need to switch hands at all during this move.
You will need to make sure you do this move several feet away from your defender to avoid getting the ball checked out of your stick. You will also want to make sure you don’t hang your stick behind your head when you bring it back up from your feet.
Lacrosse dodges don’t have to be difficult if you learn them in the right order. Use this guide to learn which moves you should practice first and which are more advanced. You will be able to impress any bosy with your quick feet after you master these moves.