Each month, Lacrosse Magazine's "Your Edge" brings you tips from the best players in the game. In the April edition, former Team USA and MLL great Mark Millon shows you a progression for mastering the split dodge, a move he calls "the most important dodge for an offensive player." An edited transcription from the video follows below.

 

Hi, I’m Mark Millon, two-time member of Team USA, and today we’re going to talk about some of the methodology and skills it’s going to take to be a good split dodger.

The split dodge is, I think, the most important dodge for an offensive player. The reason I feel that way is it’s just so hard to cover. A split dodge is considered a north-south or a downhill dodge, and the reason people say that is because you’re square. Your shoulders are square, you’re looking right at the goal and you’re attacking in a downhill fashion, so it’s really hard for a defender to cover you.

The split dodge is a two-part dodge. The first part is really your hands, making sure you have good, quiet, calm hands. You’ll notice I don’t flip the stick over my head like a lot of young players do, and I don’t bring the stick all the way across [the front of my body]. Keep your hands nice and tight across your chest, I’m sliding the stick over and my bottom hand is coming up.

The next part of the dodge is the footwork. There’s a little drill I like to do to show the footwork. I put a stick here, with the head of the stick down toward my left foot, and then I have a defensive stick to show that you have to start this dodge pretty early, pretty far away from your defender. I’m taking my left foot, as I’m running to the head of the stick, and my right foot’s going to go to the butt end of the stick. So I’m going left, right, and then split across, turn my feet over really quickly and attack out of the dodge. Notice when I do this, I’m staying really square, my head isn’t swinging all over.

The way I recommend starting is first, you can see I’m about two or three feet from my stick, go through the progression [at a walking pace]. After you start to feel comfortable with the hands and the footwork, I want you to [take a few steps back and] walk into the dodge. Once you feel comfortable walking into it, now you can start to jog into it. Again, nice tight hands, quick feet, and I think that progression will get you on your way to being a great split dodger.

If you do the progressions that I’m teaching and you work on your hands and spend a lot of time working on this, you’re going to become a really dangerous player.

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