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How To Slam Dunk
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How to Slam Dunk

Being able to slam dunk is one of the mostly advanced and highly sought after skills in Basketball. Slam dunking a basketball instantly demonstrates your expertise, giving you credibility as a player. Over the years entire exhibitions and competitions have been created, revolving around dunking, amazing athletes and spectators alike. Top athletes and performers make dunking look effortless, but it's anything but easy. A player must poses a series of skill in order to pull off a successful dunk. With a little work, you too can dazzle bystanders with your amazing basketball acrobatics.

Dunking involves three components, the approach, the jump, and the dunk. I will look at each one of them individually and how they all come together. Once you master these three elements of dunking you can add a fourth, tricks. Since this is a how to dunk article I won't spend much time discussing tricks. I will say however that your ability to do tricks will be directly related how high you can jump.

Dunking a basketball begins with the approach to the basket. While learning how to dunk I recommend using the three step approach. Sprinting toward the basket or, using a faster approach will result in unnecessary sideways movement through the air, making the dunk more difficult. After you have mastered the basics of dunking you can begin working on increasing your approach speed. You can jump off of one or both feet, which ever is most comfortable for you, or gives you the highest vertical. Be careful that you don't end your approach directly under the basket. Jumping from underneath the basket will result in you having to stretch to reach around the rim making the dunk more difficult. While you are learning try and be consistent with your approach. Making the same approach each time will help you to develop your dunking skills more quickly.

The jump is easily the most important component to dunking a basketball. This one skill is the primary obstacle preventing most people from being able to dunk. Don't worry, no matter how high your vertical is you can always learn how to jump higher. As you develop your jumping skills start with small goals. First try and touch the net, this is often the first goal of many players. Once you can touch the net, try for the rim. In order to dunk you will need to be able to get your wrist above the rim. The fastest way to increase your ability to jump higher is by working a high quality vertical jump training program.

Once you can get the ball up above the rim all it takes is a little bit of timing and coordination to slam dunk that ball. It won't be easy, but if you stay focused, work hard, and increase your vertical jump, you will be dunking the ball in no time. Have fun and good luck.


Street Talk

Kyle  

I do agree being in your 30's it is not too late to make gains in your vertical. I just think that the older you get, the more injury prone you become when trying to perform "boot camp" style exercises that can help you with your vert and speed. Thanks for your response... you know your stuff.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

@ Kyle Hang time (the amount of time you are in the air)is simply a function of gravity, so the higher you can jump the more hang time you will have. While it is true that some people will have an easier time developing (genetic gifts) anyone can improve their vertical, and dramatically. As for age, even into your earlier 30 you can make substantial gains with strength and power training. If you want it that dunk could be yours ;)

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Kyle  

I wish I could have at least thrown down at least one dunk in my b-ball career, but I am getting to an age where I think it may be too late. Some of us I think are born into a big vertical whereas others have to work very hard to gain just a few inches on their vert! What are your thoughts on hang time versus vertical?

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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