So much of lacrosse is based around finding a good match up. If your players can not dodge or defend the dodge you will not have any good match ups there by drastically limiting your options. Every practice should incorporate dodging in some way. However that does not mean it has to be just guys taking turns going one on one.
There are many different types of dodges, all can work if done properly. As the game evolves and creativity explodes more great dodges are formed. We will take a look at a few basic dodges:
The roll dodge is one of the most effective dodges especially in tight. This move is also very commonly taught in basketball. If the lacrosse stick is in the left hand you would want to plant your right foot into the defender, turn away from the defender and as your back is to the defender put your lacrosse stick in your right hand then burst out of the dodge. The goal is to get the defender to over commit and get off balance before you roll. you also have to be very close or touching the defender to make the roll really effective.
In the face dodge you draw the defender to you with a fake shot or pass, and then quickly bring the stick across your own face to avoid the defender and then accelerate toward him to set up a pass or shot shot once you get by him. With the face dodge you are just moving your stick from a shooting or passing position quickly across the front of your face to the opposite side tucking it close to your ear. When you have the ball as a defender comes out to play you, you fake a shot and then go from a shot/pass position to protect the stick with your head and body, and you explode past the Defender to an opening for a shot on goal, or a pass to a teammate.
Split dodge is like the Face dodge in that it is a straight ahead dodge (no roll). This time instead of trying to fake the defender into thinking you are going to shoot, you are going to make him think you are trying to blow by him on one side, but instead quick plant your lead foot and switch directions. You change your stickside hands in front of your face, and then blow by on the other side of the defender. You are getting the defender off balance with the fast change of direction and stick hands, and protecting the stick near your opposite ear as you scoot by on the other side.
The Bull dodge won by running through the defender, the defender stick or there checks. You want to get close to your opponent, and run through him keeping the ball to the free hand side, away from the defender. The bull dodge is a great dodge to take advantage of a defender who is not in there proper stance and positioning. Make sure you are at full speed when you try a bull dodge. You have to be very careful with this dodge of being called for a ward. Very often upon contact the dodger will use that free hand to push off the defender. I have seen many times a successful bull dodge be called for a ward because the defender gets knocked far back and the ref assumes that the dodger used the free hand to push off. A simple solution can be to put two hands on the stick.