Lacrosse Dodges 101

Dodging your man is like a little chess game, and you as the offensive player hold all the power.  You can set up lacrosse dodges in many ways by playing mind games and changing up your tendencies. The best dodgers have a few moves in their arsenal and vary them to be unpredictable. You should work on mastering several dodges so you can be a standout player and an initiator for your offense.  Once you start beating your man you have more opportunities for free hand shots and dimes to your teammates while you draw a slide.

Lacrosse Dodging Drills & Practicing Lacrosse Dodges

You can easily work on your array of dodges in most open spaces and you can practice yourself.  Your backyard is a great place to practice if you have open grass, but any open area will do fine.  Find a tree, trash can, cone, or any obstacle and work on your dodges and approaches to dodges.  Once you have memorized a specific move you need to practice it going full speed to mimic a game situation.

Dodging In Lacrosse

You will want to work on capitalizing on the space you make with your dodges as well. No one dodges and then stops to walk back and try again, so neither should you. Instead, practice taking shots or looking to feed right after you dodge for a “game-like” approach.  Remember that you always want to keep your feet moving during a dodge. Stopping allows defenders to match feet with you and potentially land a check. So keep moving throughout the whole dodge and dodge to get your hands free for a shot or feed. This will make you a much more versatile player, but you must also understand

Remember that you always want to keep your feet moving during a dodge. Stopping allows defenders to match feet with you and potentially land a check. So keep moving throughout the whole dodge and dodge to get your hands free for a shot or feed. This will make you a much more versatile player, but you must also understand dodging to be the best. Sometimes you go left to end up right, and sometimes you must take a step back to take two forward.

Building Your Arsenal of Lacrosse Dodges

There are several dodges in lacrosse and they range in complexity and usefulness. Learning all of them can make you a diverse player, but mastering a select few is how you become a great player.  The very best players even combine dodges them to make them more deadly and much harder to defend. By dodging in combinations or in a series you give yourself several chances to beat the defender. You also give the defense several chances to get beat. You only need 1/3 dodges to work, but they have to defend all 3 or you will score. Dodging can become a numbers game and you hold the power if you can control the ball. To be able to master a combination dodge, you first must master several dodges individually.

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The Different Lacrosse Dodges

There are four basic dodges everyone should know how to do:

  1. Lacrosse Roll Dodge

  2. Lacrosse Split Dodge

  3. Lacrosse Face Dodge

  4. Lacrosse Bull Dodge

These lacrosse dodges can be used by themselves or in combinations with each other to create space on offense. As mentioned before, throughout the whole dodge you should keep your feet moving and you should also keep in mind where your teammates are.

Lacrosse Roll Dodge

The lacrosse roll dodge is the perfect way to dodge back into your strong hand. If you are right-handed and moving down the left-hand alley in your left, a roll dodge can get you a quick right-handed shot with a better angle than an on the run shot. In your left hand, use your right foot starts the process. Use your right foot to plant into the defender and drive with your right shoulder. Then use the built up pressure of you pushing against the defender who is pushing back to roll into your left hand.

You will want to take a stride with your left foot and push off with your plant foot as your switch back to your right and roll around the defender. When you are performing the actual spin move remember to use your shoulders and offhand to protect your stick. Once back in your right you should have free space to feed or shoot. You can also use the roll dodge to work back down the alley using the opposite direction the roll.

When you are performing the actual spin move remember to use your shoulders and offhand to protect your stick. Once back in your right you should have free space to feed or shoot. You can also use the roll dodge to work back down the alley using the opposite direction the roll.

Split Dodge Lacrosse

The lacrosse split dodge is one for the most commonly used dodges in Lacrosse.  You want to use this dodge if the defender is squared up to you and not forcing you in a certain direction. Start to attack to the one side of the defender and when they open up their hips switch your hands across your body. You will want to use space, your shoulders, or quickness for the switch so the defenders can’t check your stick. The switch is where the “split” comes from and since you’ll switch hands you want to start in the non-shooting-hand.

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Split dodges can open you up for alley shots as well as shots from the middle depending on your split. You can also fake a split dodge by moving your stick across your body like you are going to switch hands and then going back that way. This can be a useful variation if you are looking to try new dodges. You can also use this if you have split several times and defenders know your tendencies.

Face Dodge Lacrosse

The face dodge is similar to the split dodge without the switching of hands. It still gets you around the defender and you still will want to use the same mechanics to protect your stick. You will want to use it if a defender is coming at you out of control or you know they have bad feet. Again, attack the defenders lead foot so you can create separation. You want to act like you are continuing in your strong hand, but then switch to your weak hand side. This action is done by bringing the stick across your face like you are going to pass or shoot, but instead holding the ball. You then bring your stick back to a shooting position after passing the defender.

This action is done by bringing the stick across your face like you are going to pass or shoot, but instead holding the ball. You then bring your stick back to a shooting position after passing the defender. This is a great dodge for beating a slide or a quickly approaching defender so use it in a combination. You can also see this dodge in box lacrosse very often, so use it in tight spaces.

Bull Dodge Lacrosse 

While speed is always useful, power comes in handy too. The bull dodge is all about muscle and force. If you want to use this dodge you better be bigger than your defender, or at least braver. You basically want to drive into the defender to knock them off their line and then run by them. Using all of your weight and force you should be able to create enough separation for a shot. If you don’t, you should draw a double and be able to pass or create a lane to run by them. This is a favorite of players like Myles Jones who have strength and speed on their side.

Advanced Lacrosse Dodges

A few more dodges that require a bit more skill are the swim dodge, S dodge, question mark dodge, ninja dodge, and the hitch. All of these are useful and can create offense, but not all players can pull them off. More coaching and training advice will be coming soon so don’t forget to check back in on the site and our social media. These dodges will help you become a facilitator and creator on offense but master the basic ones first.

Everyone has to start somewhere so don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way. Just be sure to make sure that you make mistakes at full speed and hustle to make up for them. For now, pick some dodges and practice them as much as you can until they become second nature. Finally remember this quote when working on your dodges, “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Keep up all the hard work and always make sure you are learning.

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