The dodge is one of lacrosse’s most fundamental aspects. This is an offensive attempt to elude the defense, protect the ball and set up your next move (whether it be a shot or pass). Because so many aspects of the game incorporate dodging, it’s a critical skill to learn. Plus, successful dodging enables your team to score goals. And while speed is a key element to a successful dodge, players also need to be explosive, quick and physical.
With Ohio State men’s lacrosse head coach Nick Myers leading the way, check out the following dodging drills that incorporate the speed ladder. See how you can implement the key tips with your squad this season so they can improve their dodging skills and overall explosiveness.
Speed Ladder Ground Ball Drill
One at a time, players will sprint through a ladder positioned on the field. Then, as the players approach the end of the ladder, the coach will roll a ground ball somewhere in the vicinity. The players must explode out of the ladder and scoop the ground ball and continue with a dodging move.
Each time through the ladder, the players should vary their footwork. This is a great way to work on ground ball repetitions as well, in addition to footwork, speed and quickness. For the ladder, anything from cariocas to quick feet or high knees will ensure variety and the use of different movements.
Speed Ladder w/ Ball Drill
In this drill, we’re really working on footwork, coordination and agility. Players will now start with the ball in their stick. When the players come out of the ladder, they will explode, address a cone, square their shoulders to the cone, and finish by putting a hard dodge on the cone.
Really try to focus on exploding out of the ladder and to the cone. Remember, an effective dodger is always explosive at the point of contact. Also, work on keeping your head up at all times. Adding full gear and a ball allows the players to get better reps when using the ladder, as well.
Don’t forget to vary your footwork within the ladder in these drills. For beginners, focus more on form than speed when utilizing the ladder. You can always speed things up when the players become more comfortable overall.
The following drills can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Explosive Skills and Drills for Offensive Lacrosse” with Nick Myers. To check out more offensive videos from our extensive collection, click here.