Happy Holidays, and I hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend! Today’s blog will be the final blog of 2014 (we’ll be in back in 2015) and will discuss the three different dodges players can use to beat a defender.
When to consider a dodge- as you dribble down the field and a defender is pursuing you need to make a quick decision, to pass or dodge. When dodging a defender you need to be aware of your field position, if you are double teamed, and the strengths of the defender. These elements will define on which of the three dodges are most appropriate for the situation.
The pull dodge is a basic fake out used to get passed the defender. While on offense, the player will keep the ball on their stick and in one motion will fake step in one direction and pull the ball in the opposite direction. A pull needs to be completed about 3 feet away from the defender, which provides ample room to perform the pull and not enough room where the defender can get in a new position. Pulling to the right is more common because it forces the defender to reverse her stick and try to block you, which is a difficult move. A pull back is used when you find yourself in a position when going forward is not the best opportunity. A pull back will slow down your momentum and give you more time to look at different field options. When pulling back you keep your body facing forward which allows for full field vision, and the ability to make the best pass, dribble, or shoot decision.
The Y dodge is used for players who are quicker and have astute field awareness. The Y dodge is- when an offensive player has the ball about one stick length away from the defender, the offensive player will push the ball to the right of the defender and run to the left of the defender. This needs to be performed quickly to ensure the defending team does not intercept this brief loose ball.
The circle dodge is performed by dribbling into the defender and then pulling the ball back around your body while turning away from the defender in a circle. It is important to keep the ball moving to make sure you do not get called for an obstruction foul. This dodge allows you to create more back space and opens up to new passing options that ceased to exists just seconds earlier.
I hope everyone will join us after the new year to learn more about the sport of field hockey!