The best College and Pro Dodgers are also the best at setting up the play to get their Defenders off balance. Use this great dodging drill with your players to practice dodging in game situations, plus how to approach the ball on Defense.
This is one of our favorite dodging drills of all-time! It's fast-paced, your players get to practice all their "moves", and it's up-to-date with the style of play that top coaches are using with their teams.
College and Pro teams spend a lot of time drawing the Defense to one side of the field so that they can move the ball and attack the back side of the field. Some of the most exciting moves you see on TV happen when the Offense dodges on the Defender coming back out to guard the ball after helping cover the middle of the field.
Make sure all your players know when it is a "Good Time!" to Dodge. Dodging against a Defender coming out at you is much easier than dodging against a Defender that is in position, ready to play Defense.
"Lunging" is one of the easiest Defensive mistakes to exploit. It's very difficult for Defenders to move their feet and "Drop Step" to stay in front of the man with the ball when their weight and momentum are going forward.
Use this great drill with all your Defenders to work on good "Defensive Approach"- get out to the ball quickly and be ready to move their feet to stay in between the ball and the goal.
Here's THE DRILL:
Start your Attackers in positions where they would be dodging from in games based on your team's Offense. Field spacing is important.
Here we have set up the lines in the classic 2-3-1 Formation: Two lines of Midfielders at the top corners of the box and two lines of Attackmen on the wings at Goal Line Extended (GLE). To keep things simple, we are ignoring dodging from "X" for right now.
Have one line of Defenders in a line up top.
Figure 1.) On coach's whistle, the first Defender (Red 1) will drop into the "Hole". Teach your players to get back to play Defense "from inside out." Cover the middle of the field first, then come out to guard the ball.
- Send in 2, 3 or 4 Defenders to practice the same Dodging and Defensive Approach in a 2-on-2, 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 situation.
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS:
- This simple Defensive Footwork Drill works on your Defenders getting out to cover the ball, then back to help cover the middle, plus it gives your players some fitness and conditioning work!
- The Bucket Game: Teach all your players good Body Defense with this classic practice drill.
- 1-on-1 "Revenge" Clearing & Dodging Drill: Use this great practice drill to work on Clearing, Dodging, and 1-on-1 Defense, all in the same rep!
- The T-Shirt Drill for "Inside-Out" Defense: This classic Hopkins drill for Defense teaches your players to get back into the "Hole" to cover the middle of the field first, then come out to guard their man.
- 5-on-4 "Spider" Defense Drill: Another great Passing, Dodging and Defense Drill, practice getting out to cover the ball, then back in to help cover the middle!
Make sure to let us know if you see your players having more success dodging against their Defenders after using this great drill with your team!