March 26, 2009

This article appears in the "Your Edge" (formerly "Classroom") section of the March issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Get tips in your mailbox each month: Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription to LM.

Get Your Fake On

by Matt DaSilva | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Jen Adams demonstrates "triple-threat" stick position. From here, you can cradle, pass or shoot -- and keep goalies guessing.
© John Strohsacker/

Ever wonder how Jen Adams made it look so easy at Maryland, or how the Australian effortlessly dismantled the U.S. women’s team in 2005?

Let’s put it this way: it wasn’t for lack of effort.

Adams, now the head coach at Loyola College, said she worked hard to master the elements of deception in shooting. “It’s about body language,” she said. “You’re like a puppet on a string, moving the keeper the whole time.”

We asked Adams to put a little English on that body language, and arrived at these five points for fakes.

1. Set the ball on your shooting strings.

This is particularly important for a quick release. “As opposed to the men, where you see them come out and throw a big wide fake and come back with a quick release, the women’s game has slightly different pockets,” Adams said. “We want to make sure we can get rid of the ball quickly.

2. Approach with your stick in “triple-threat position.”

It’s called the triple-threat position because you can cradle, pass or shoot from it, which keeps goalies guessing. The stick head should be above your shoulder and parallel to the ground, with the butt end pointed at the goal. Stick movement is most effective within inches of this position.

Adams fakes goalie (for our purposes, anyway) Dana Dobbie with her butt end, pointing it left while she shoots right.
© John Strohsacker/

3. Move the goalie with a hitch fake.

There are two components of a hitch fake – upper body and top wrist.

A hitch of your upper body allows you to fake high or low. Curling your top wrist in a half-moon shape allows you to fake left or right.

For instance, if you approach right-handed from triple-threat position and curl your top wrist down, this will slide your butt end pointing right, but you can still get enough on your shot to push it left – and vice versa if you curl your top wrist back. “Just this movement alone is going to move your keeper,” Adams said.

4. Keep your body on an even plane.

“Most people, when they fake low, their whole body goes low, and then they have to come back up to shoot,” Adams said. “Just stay put.”

You can fake high and low by changing the plane of your stick, but keep it flat and in triple-threat position.

5. Shoot around the goalie.

Just because you fake in one direction does not preclude you from shooting there, especially if the goalie does not bite on a hitch fake. Go in with a plan and pick your spot, but be able to adjust.


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