When it comes to the sporting achievements we all hope to reach at one point during our lives, learning how to dunk a basketball is likely to be high on the list. If you’ve never been particularly tall, being able to touch that net could seem like a dream that’s just far too distant for you to ever truly get your hands on. However, average-sized men and women are just as capable of dunking a hoop as any other 6 foot plus giant. Dunking your first basketball can be an amazing and truly memorable accomplishment – but how do you go about training yourself to meet that feat?
How to Dunk a Basketball – The basics
Height is often considered to be the most crucial factor when it comes to honing your skill as a basketball player – but it’s important to remember that athleticism also plays a crucial role. There are a number of influential factors that can alter your ability to dunk a basketball – from how high you can jump, to how well you can throw. Just as a shorter guy is likely to have less of a shot unless he has some serious jumping skills, a taller guy won’t make the hoop either unless he has a little athletic ability.
Dunking isn’t something that everyone will be able to achieve with the greatest of ease, but most men – tall or short – do have a chance of pulling it off with the right training. Remember, no matter how hard you try – there will sometimes be variables that throw you off point. Sometimes, your legs aren’t up to the challenge, other days, you don’t have the right shoes for figuring out how to dunk a basketball, or the ball you choose is tough to grip. Whatever happens – don’t let yourself be worn down.
Start with Building your Strength
Being in fantastic shape is a great way to start your journey towards being a dunking pro, and there are a number of specific exercises that you can keep in mind when enhancing your fitness. Most experts suggest that when you’re learning how to dunk a basketball, you should start with building your basic strength level. This is something that can be done through a number of common leg exercises, such as:
- Hamstring curls
- Leg presses
Once your core strength has started to build, you can increase your vertical abilities by focusing on your power. For those unfamiliar with the term, power is defined as a combination of your strength and speed, the exercises that enhance these factors include squat jumps, bounding, skips, and anything that improves your leg power.
Get Ready for the Jump
The next step in learning how to dunk a basketball, is figuring out how to get as far off the ground as possible. Catching that net means propelling yourself off the floor with fantastic power – especially if you’re a little shorter than average. Usually, players can get highest from the ground when they jump from one foot and reach with one hand. If you’re right handed, this typically means propelling yourself from your left foot with the ball in your right hand. However, if you find jumping from both feet to be more comfortable, then you may find that this method works better for you – so don’t be afraid to experiment with techniques.
If you’re not sure about your athletic potential, try reaching the net without a ball to begin with so that you can get the hang of your jumping technique. Hopefully, you should eventually be able to touch the rim, and this will give you a good idea of your ability to dunk a basketball.
Controlling the Ball
Once you’ve mastered your strength and your jump, the final step in discovering how to dunk a basketball effectively is managing your control over the ball itself. Handling the ball may seem like the easiest part of learning how to dunk a basketball, but unless you know how to palm the surface properly, you’ll struggle at the final moment – a lot of players find that they lose the ball at the last moment in mid-jump, making the attempt useless.
Be careful to focus and work at your skill – the chances are that you’ll get frustratingly close to the perfect dunk a number of times before you manage to get a clean one under your belt. Try not to get annoyed with yourself if you find that your fifteenth attempt wasn’t as good as your fourth – that’s perfectly normal. Simply work hard, keep training, and keep your confidence levels high – when you finally master how to dunk a basketball and get that amazing experience, you’ll find out that it was all worth it in the end.