Byram Hills Youth Lacrosse

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On the Attack

part of an E-Lacrosse Interview with Trish Cummings


Dodges, Fakes and other Brilliant moves

In this article, I will provide a brief discussion of dodges, fakes and other moves that lacrosse players can use to become outstanding attackers. Let's take a moment and review the twelve positions on the field. On the defensive end, we start with the goalkeeper- point/cover point/third man. Then, we move into the midfield with left defense wing/right defense wing - then left attack wing/right attack wing and the center. Finally, we progress into the offensive end with third home/second home/first home. It is important to learn as many different positions on the field as possible. It will allow you to develop a variety of skills and have a greater overall understanding of the hottest game on two feet. Attack players should want to achieve their own unique offensive style on the field. Therefore you have to develop a number of specific dodges, fakes and other effectives moves.

Roll or Spin Dodge
Roll/Spin Dodge- A roll or spin dodge can be used by any player to get past her defender. It requires a person to plant one foot in front of the defender, giving the proper amount of space and then roll or spin off the other foot. The main idea is to finish the dodge by sealing off the defender or getting her on your back, allowing yourself a clear and open path, with the ball, heading downfield. As you begin to roll off the defender, make sure to bring your stick in tight and protect it with your body. It will prevent the opponent from having any opportunity to check your stick or force you to lose possession of the ball.

Face or Pull Dodge
Face/Pull Dodge- A face or pull dodge can also be used by any player to get past her defender. It requires a person to pull the stick from in front of her face and finish with the stick across the other side of her body. It can be done from a player's dominant hand into a weak side cradle motion. It can also be accomplished by the skillful act of changing or switching hands. It would require a player to pull the stick across her body, dropping it low to protect, and then sliding her dominant hand from the top to the bottom of the shaft. In both instances, players must protect their stick by cradling past the defender and finishing the dodge by stepping in front to cut off their opponent. 

These two dodges can be applied in a variety of practice or game situations. It is necessary to incorporate both dodges into your own style of play. They can be used at any time on the field. For example, a player who is carrying the ball in the midfield could out smart a defender with a roll/spin dodge and it may create a fast break situation for the team. Or for another example, a player who has possession of the ball on her offensive end may use a quick face/pull dodge to get by her defender and fire a shot on goal. 

Advanced Dodging
It is very critical to make the best decisions in terms of exact space and timing going up against the defenders. It is also very crucial to concentrate on a quick change of direction and pace when dodging. By focusing on these last key ideas, you will be able to execute dodges with fine precision once you've developed accurate technique. 

Faking Your Opponent
A fake is a deceptive move used to get past an opponent. It should be emphasized in practice and developed into a habit for game situations. It is quite necessary to incorporate dodging and faking into your own pattern or style of play. A fake can also be used at any time on the field. The main purpose of a fake is to catch the opponent off guard. You are the one in control; therefore you should maintain composure with the ball at all times. The ultimate objective is to get your opponent moving in one direction and you go in the opposite direction by quick movements of your feet and body. In other words, the idea is to force the defender off balance, get her to fall for your fake and take advantage of the open opportunity. 

A fake can be used in a variety of situations on the field. For example, players may attempt a pump fake-instead of making a pass, they would continue carrying the ball down field. Or for another example, players could try either a stick; body or head fake during the act of shooting on goal. It will enable them to bait the goalkeeper in one direction and then shoot it the other way right into the back of the net! Finally, I would have to say that faking requires precise timing and extreme patience of the players. Learning how to fake passes, moves and shots effectively will improve your overall game. 

A Great Move!
Crease Roll- a crease roll is an offensive/attacking move used to take your defender to the goal and shoot to score. Any attack player, usually one of the three homes, may carry the ball behind goal for safety or to set up a team play. The player with the ball is looking to challenge around the crease circle. She is going hard to goal but at the same time keeping her head up and eyes open for a free player cutting to receive the pass inside the 8M. The player who is carrying the ball around the crease must protect her stick as well as be aware of possible double teams by the defense. She needs to make wise choices by passing to the open players in tight situations. If nothing happens on the crease roll, the attacker can always bring the ball out, reset herself and work the ball around to the other players on the field. 

Lacrosse players need to realize the importance of stick work such as catching and throwing to become strong, talented attacker. They must display a confident style of play on the field, by looking to challenge with the ball and create possible scoring opportunities for the team. As one player is carrying the ball with speed down field, her other teammates should be aware of the space around them and work hard to get open and receive the pass. Confident players feel comfortable and make the best choices on the attacking end. Strive to develop your own creative and deceptive moves on offense by learning to read what the defense is giving you. For example, if the defense is giving you lots of space inside the critical scoring area, take advantage of it by driving hard to the goal. 

Finally, there is not just ONE specific technique that players can use to become top-notch attackers in the game of lacrosse. It is really a matter of understanding your own natural qualities and strengths as a player. It is also necessary to become familiar with your teammates and their abilities as well. Attackers should focus on precise timing of their cuts in small spaces and work on being one step ahead of the game all the time. 

Flexibility and creativity are essential. Feel free to try new things and experiment. You could invent the next great move!