Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse National Program Director, Brian Lalley, discusses, physical dodging:
As humans, we are programed to protect ourselves. Instinctually, when someone tries to hit us, we work to shield / protect. It is natural to try to get past a defender with quickness and speed in the hope of avoiding pressure / contact. As the game evolves, we are seeing more and more physical dodgers have success at the midfield and attack positions.
There are numerous reasons why physical dodging can bring an advantage to an offensive player. One is it takes away the defender’s ability to throw checks. Defenders are taught to try to keep offensive players at a distance to allow them to close space and throw checks. Delivering a physical blow to the defender can also put him on his heels, creating an opportunity to create space.
Another reason physical dodging can bring an advantage to an offensive player is through physical patience. In the attached video, you can see Dylan Molloy do lacrosse’s version of a post-up in basketball. Getting physical on the island with your head up allows physical dodgers to be very effective dual-threat players. When the defense slides, you can step away for a quick pass. When the defense does not slide, we are able to utilize our various island moves for shooting opportunities.
There are many great players who have utilized physical dodging to gain offensive opportunity. A few great ones to watch / emulate include, John Grant Junior, Rob Pannell and Lyle Thompson.
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