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Tip of the Week#2

Posted Sunday, December 28, 2008 by Cliff Hedges
Tip of the Week #2 will focus on Attack:

Attacking moves are a great way to beat a defender.  However, it is not necessary to know every move in the book to be a great attacker.  Instead, focus on matering 1 or 2 moves. If you as a South Hadley Tiger can master just a couple of moves, you will become a very effective attacker.  Our offense works around a motion offense.  Here are some basic dodges you can work on.
  1. Split Dodge:  The split dodge is a basic offensive move that uses change of direction-right to left or left to right to beat a defender.
  • Run straight at your defender.  Veering off to the left or right will allow the defender to step up and slow you down.
  • When you get about a stick's length away, start your move by faking in one direction (rt or lt.) If you fake right: Turn your shoulders slightly to the right and drive your shouulder in that direction as you plant with your right outside foot, once the defender commits to you , pull you stick across your body(to the left), switch hands, push off your right planted foot, and accelerate toward the left, past your defender
  • After you beat your def, cut her off by boxing her out (stepping in front of her). Do not veer off to one side. Protect your stick by keeping it in front of you.
  • If you are right handed , condsider starting with your stick in your left hand(fake left, cut right), so you end up shooting right handed. 
         2.    Face Dodge/Stutter step:  The footwork of the face dodge is very similar to the split dodge.  With this dodge, you do not have to switch hands.  If your rght handed
  • Run stright at the def
  • When you get about a stick's length away, pull your stick across your face to the left side of your body, as if you plan to beat your defender on the left. Make sure your stick is well protected and not out in front of you.
  • Turn your shoulders slightly to the left and drive your left shoulder in that direction as you plant with your left (outside) foot.
  • Once the def commits to you, pull your stick back across your body and accelerate past your def. on the righ side
  • After beating her, cut her off by boxing her out.  Kelly T is very good at this dodge.
       3.    Roll Dodge:  The roll dodge is a challenging move for many players to learn. The footwork can be difficult at first.  However, it is a great move when your defender pressures you out aggessively to one side( both Meadow and Chaug will do this to us)
  • Run at your defender
  • The objective is to force her to over commit to your right side.  Again, turn your shoulders slightly to the right and drive your right shoulder in that direction.
  • When you feel the def begin to commit, plant with your left (inside) foot on the right side of the defender( this is where Martha would fall on her ass, jk)
  • Turn your back to your defender, stepping with your right foot across the def body. Remember to keep your stick in between your shoulders so the def cannot get a check off.
  • Your next step should be forward, around the defender's left side, with your left foot.  You should roll right off the defender's right shoulder, cutting her off so she cannot recover and get back into her defensive position, in front of you . Sam S is very strong with this move.
       4.    Rocker dodge:  The rocker dodge is a spin off of the roll dodge.  If you are known to do  the roll dodge, the rocker dodge can be a great way to keep the def honest.  If your rt handed:
  • Run at your def
  • The dodge starts just like the roll dodge. Turn shoulders slightly to the right and drive your rt shoulder in that direction. Plant with your left foot on the rt side of the def body.
  • Turn your back to the def, stepping with your rt foot across the def. body. Drive your right shoulder back and then your left shoulder forward as if you plan to cont the roll. Once again keep your stick inbetween your shoulders.
  • When you lfeel the def commit to the roll, push off you rt foot, and roll back toward the left, stepping around the def. left side
  • Your step should be forward, around the def with your rt foot. Roll right off the def left shoulder, cut her off so she can not recover. 
        5.      ?mark :  The question mark dodge is helpful for attackers who play around the CREASE.  If you come from behind the net on the right side(gk perspective):
  • Drive around the crease rt handed with speed, as if you will attempt to beat your defender over the top with your Rt hand (Katie Phillips was very good at this)
  • Drive hard; drop your shoulder to make the def believe that you want to beat her.  This will force her to step up to your stick to force you out.  It is important that you drive far enough across the crease so that when you make the move, you have enough room to take a good angle shot(Ummmm Kelsey and Nora)
  • When the defender commits, quickly plant off your left foot and roll back to your left; switch your stick into your left hand and take a quick shot.  (Mack and Lindsey you need to visualize how this is done and shut them down)
  • Be sure to take a step or two after you roll toward the left to create space between you and the def. This will allow you enough space and time to take the shot.
Most people consider attack to be a finesse position.  This is true in part; attack certainly requires stick skills.  However, it is important to avoid being too fancy( the ole jiggly wiggly move, Meadow Chicks think they are good at this) when making an attacking move. Three keys to making effective attacking moves:
  1. Speed- Speed is the key to beating a defender.  Keep your feet moving throughout the entire move.  When going to goal, GO HARD!! Speed is especially effecgive when going to goal from midfield and from the top of the 8m area.
  2. Space- Make the move earlier then one might think. Moves should be made about a stick's length away from a defender.  Waiting too long wil eliminate the space needed to execute the move properly.  It also allows the def time to make a stick check, as you bring your stick into your def as you make the move.
  3. Time- More space allows for more time to make a move. Neither dodges nor shots should be FORCED.  When an attacker has the ball, she should have control over her situation.  Take your time. We often rush shots and force un-necessary turnovers.  If there is not an opening, the attacker should see this,and pull out and move the ball to another player.  This is the beauty of our motion offense,, were everyone is a threat.
GETTING OUT OF PRESSURE:   Often when a player goes 1v1 and gets into the 8m, they run into a lot of pressure from the opposing defense.  (WE WILL DO THIS). It is important to STAY COMPOSED and run out of pressure.
  • Turn and Run out of pressure:  Seems simple, running is the fastest way out of pressure.  Do not Shuffle backward, Turn your feet and pop smoke.
  • Keep your Feet Moving: more often than not, when a player runs into pressure, they stop thier feet (not good) When under pressure, it is essesntial that a player keeps their feet moving.
  • Keep your Head up: Even when a player is running away from pressure, they should keep their head up, looking for open pass.
  • Don't force it. When under pressure stay COMPOSED, don't rush a pass or a shot.  (This hurt us last year, but we got better at it.)If an opening is not there, run away from pressure and wait for teammates to pop out or create space.  Try to avoid making that first pass.  We have time.
LAST FOR TODAY, Making an Effective pass: Making an effective pass is one of the hardest things to do. To make a good pass it is essential to:
  • Be a threat: Being a threat of the field is important in every situation - going 1 v 1, moving off ball, passing, etc.  Even if a player plans to pass, it is important that they are still a threat to go to goal/shoot; attackers that are always a threat keep the def honest.  Being a threat will cause the def to pay attention to ball carrier, consequently, opening up the middle cutters, and when this works it is a thing of beauty!
  • Keep Feet moving: When you stop your feet your no longer a threat on attack.  It becomes quite obvious that you are going to pass.  Stopping your feet makes it easier for the def to ket a knock down or force a turnover.
  • Throw a Fake: Just like when shooting, throwing a fake helps to throw the defense off. It allows for the time and space needed to make an effective pass.  When defense is playing well and marking cutters tight, a little fake will help to get the def off balance and open things up enough, often allowing for a pass to slip into the middle and WE SCORE.

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