Dodging is a locomotor skill that involves quick and sometimes deceptive changes of direction to evade or catch an opponent. Dodging takes the skill of running and incorporates dynamic, fluid and coordinated movement, allowing the pupil to change direction proficiently. Good balance and stability is essential to perform dodging, with a low centre of gravity achieved by bending the knees, thus allowing the body to rapidly shift from one side to another. This low stable position enables the muscles in the legs to generate maximum force in a sideways direction to create the dodging action.
The skill of dodging is evident in a wide range of playground activities and is a central component of most team sports. From as basic an activity as playing chase, to evading an opponent on a hurling pitch or avoiding a punch in the boxing ring, the dodge is an important skill in the pursuit of success in many sporting activities.
Things to consider
It is important that pupils practise dodging on both sides. While one side may be more proficient than the other, both sides should should receive equal focus. Non locomotor skills such as twisting, turning, bending and swaying are useful skills to address in the lead up to dodging, while good running technique is essential as running at speed is a key component in mastering the skill.
If cones/spot markers are used to practise dodging in isolation, ensure that pupils do not simply run around the makers. A deliberate dodging action should be performed at each marker. Often it can be useful to instruct the pupil to touch each marker with the outside of their foot to promote good technique.
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