Switch and decoy


Turn predictable moves into defence splitters

By Colin Ireland

Ever get that feeling that your tactics just aren't working?

We practiced the scissors move all week and then in the match it just didn't work. The opposition read every one.

Sound familiar?

Well here's a plan to pep up those scissors moves and make them something that is really deceptive. Deception happens when a defender or defensive unit finds it difficult to follow or read an attacker’s or an attacking unit’s intentions. A switch can become predictable if it is over used in a game, so try some of the following variations to keep the opposition guessing.

  • Instead of turning towards the support player, the ball carrier turns away from them and passes the ball on the opposite side.
  • The ball carrier turns towards the receiver but passes the ball over the right shoulder, or turns away from the receiver and passes the ball over the left shoulder.
  • The ball carrier does not turn, but instead holds the ball with all the fingers pointing to the ground. They “flick” the ball back to the right or left hand side.

switch decoy

Deception Understanding and Training

  • Practise the variations to see which work best before adding a defender to the practice. This will help to build your players’ confidence.
  • Make sure you build the skill levels and practise at game speed for greatest effect.
  • Encourage your players to sometimes dummy the defenders rather than just always pass.
  • Develop your drills into three versus two situations as soon as possible.

What Helps Players Create Gaps and Space?

  • Possible receivers looking as though they are to get the ball.
  • Possible receivers calling for the ball.
  • Possible receivers running fast.
  • The ball carrier changing pace.
  • The ball carrier hiding the ball behind their body.
  • The ball carrier moving the ball about in their hands.
  • The ball carrier looking at possible receivers but dummying or passing to another player.

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