Lacrosse Question Mark Dodge Drill
A well-played lacrosse game requires high levels of agility and light speed direction changes, and these skills are especially necessary when offensive players are searching for ways to work around defenders directly in front of the net. Reading the intentions of a defender isn’t always easy, and when an offensive player recognizes an opportunity to convert, dodge the defender, and clear a path toward the goal, he needs to move fast to take advantage of the moment.
This drill, called the lacrosse question mark dodge drill, can help offensive players maintain strong pressure in the direction of the goal, despite the defender’s best efforts to distract the player and block the shot. This drill can help players increase the strength of the core and hip flexors, which contribute to speed and agility. But just as important, it helps athletes gain a feel for deception and fast direction changes as they occur in game situations. This kind of practice can help lacrosse players sharpen their reflexes, and it can also help them make the best use of opportunities to thwart defenders and send the ball into the net.
Lacrosse Question Mark Dodge Drill: Setting Up The Drill
This drill will require a standard set of lacrosse equipment for each participant including sticks and protective gear. Each player will also need a set of Kbands resistance bands attached to straps placed around the upper legs. The added tension of the bands will help activate the muscles of the quads, hip flexors and core, which will generate strength and speed. The drill will also require a set of two speed and agility cones, a net and a scoring area.
The first cone can be placed just outside of the GLE, where the defender will be working to cut the field in half. The second cone will be placed further in front of the net, in a hot spot where the offensive player will be making a decision about whether or not to attempt a shot at the goal.
As the drill begins, the offensive player will be starting at the first cone, sprinting to the second, and facing off with the defender before executing a scoring attempt.
Lacrosse Question Mark Dodge Drill: Executing the Drill
As they leave the first cone and move toward the second, offensive players should keep in mind that burning the defender isn’t the primary goal of this drill. Instead, they should focus their attention on looking for openings and opportunities to execute a pass or take a shot at the goal.
Offensive players should keep in mind that as they engage with the defender, the defender will slide with them, making a high-pressure attempt to cut the field in half and keep the offensive player from entering the top side, or the half of the field that contains the goal.
As soon as the slide creates pressure on the defender’s hip, he’ll change direction, switch the stick from one hand to the other, identify the target, and take a shot.
To make the most of this drill, offensive players should keep some elements of footwork and technique in mind as they move through the question mark sequence. At every step of the sprint and then the split doge, players should be actively driving forward with the hips. Making a conscious effort to stay explosive will keep the pressure on the legs and core, help players work against the resistance of the bands, and build strength and speed that will be clearly evident when the bands are removed.
As the offensive player comes into the question mark dodge and begins to feel pressure from the defender, the hips and core should still stay in focus. The athlete should rotate from the hip and stay explosive in the torso and core while lining up and executing the shot.
Players should repeat three to four reps of this drill with the bands in place, followed by two more with the bands removed. All reps should take place on one side of the field in order to keep the pressure on the defender and maximize the benefits of the drill.
Lacrosse Question Mark Dodge Drill: The Rocker Dodge
After a complete set of resisted and unresisted reps, players can move on to a modification of this drill called the rocker dodge. For the rocker dodge portion of the drill, the cones will stay in the same orientation on the same side of the field, but as the offensive player engages with the defender, he’ll look for an outlet in a different direction. Instead of turning inward and taking a shot at the goal, the player will rotate the hip in an outward direction and move across the field away from the net.
As with the standard question mark dodge, players should complete four reps with the resistance bands in place, followed by two reps with no resistance. This entire drill sequence can be executed one side of the field, and then the cones can be reversed and the drill can be repeated on the other side. Adding this sequence to regular training sessions a few times a week can help players develop strength and agility and also learn to read the intentions of a defender and recognize openings and opportunities during game situations.
Lacrosse Question Mark Dodge Drill: Final Notes
For a complete and comprehensive seasonal training program, lacrosse players and coaches will need to focus on more than just strength, speed, timing, teamwork, and shooting and passing skills. All of these elements will need to be combined, and players will need to face complex game-like challenges during practice sessions so they’ll be better prepared for these situations on the field.
Kbands Training can help. Coaches and lacrosse players can visit the Kbands Training.com website and explore the lacrosse training section for a growing list of video tutorials and drill demonstrations like this one. The site also offers purchasing resources for training tools like Kbands resistance bands, agility cones, and strength training equipment like the KB Duo and KB Powerbands.
Lacrosse Training Equipment