A monster dunk is every basketballer’s dream from a young age all through school and even in the pros. Although it only earns two points for the team, it looks much more aggressive. A dunk is one of the best chances to score field goals in basketball, and a dunk is a skill worth mastering.
Some players have the desire to dunk but have the wrong impression that only the tallest players can master this art. Even though being taller is an added advantage, any individual can develop skills and build up muscles required to dunk a basketball on a 10-foot rim, regardless of experience and height through hard work on drills required for carrying out a dunk.
How long will it take me to dunk a basketball?
You can dunk a basketball in 3 months, six months, nine months, a year, it does not matter, what will determine how long you take to dunk a ball will depend on how hard you work on your vertical jump as well as your body strength and overall ball handling. Finally, it is essential to note that once you can dunk, the process must continue to ensure that you go on dunking for a long time.
Stage 1: Training to Dunk
Building Strength exercise
Physical strength is the most significant limitation for most players. It is just simple – a more reliable person will move more efficiently and easily carry their body weight as they jump in space.
Some people are natural athletes because they are born with a high percentage of lean muscles. But for other people, they’ll need to put in enough effort to increase their muscular and physical strength, and that means doing strength exercises.
The exercises include weight lifting exercise, more specifically core(abdomen muscles), lower body( hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves), and glute muscles. Some of the activities for lower body training include; back squats, lunges, calf raises, leg extensions, leg curls, leg press, and single-leg squats. It is of great importance to have a coach train you on the correct techniques to avoid injury.
Increase your Vertical Jump
The keyword is technique! To forcefully dunk, your legs will need to lift you in space and up to the rim. A good pro jump can go up to 40 inches off the ground, with the right technique. The above scenario is an exciting aspect because, unlike reach and height, which you can acquire genetically, a person can train to have a significant vertical jump, by making use of the right training program.
Carrying out the right leg workouts that will increase the flexibility and twitch strength of your lower body is necessary for increasing your vertical jump, thereby getting you closer to the basketball rim. Skipping rope is one activity that can increase your vertical leap. It increases your hop and flexibility as well.
Perform Plyometric Exercise
These are jump exercises that require muscles to exert maximum force in short intervals of time to increase power. The design complements the strength needed to jump higher by using the body’s resistance.
Although it might take some time to learn how to jump higher, focusing on the right muscles can increase explosiveness and jump height. Such muscles include hamstrings and glutes, which are around the hip region, calves that relax the ankles and develop initial hop, and quadriceps that flex the knees. This type of exercise also trains your small twitch muscles needed for a higher jump.
Related: Best Excercise To Jump Higher
Developing strength on the legs is not enough. Your body muscles need to be flexible enough to give you sufficient movement to carry out a dunk.
Flexibility can be developed by doing elastic training such as stretches and possibly yoga. Some muscle groups that need to be flexible include hamstring and hip muscles. Stretching also prevents injuries.
Run Up and Down Stairs
The act of running up and down is essential in building strength and flexibility around the legs by developing all hips, calves, and quadriceps; the workout is also affordable, as it can take place at home, school, or even on benches.
Jump on the Court
While on the court, try to jump as high as you can from one end to the other. While you build on this, try touching the net at least ten times consecutively. Set daily goals and ensure you meet the target.
Stage 2: Practice Dunking
Related: How Tall Do You Need to Be to Dunk?
Improvise Ball Handling ( grip)
Learning how to handle a ball techniquewise is the first step in learning how to dunk properly. You must ensure that you have complete control of the ball at all times. The endeavor is achieved by training your grip, whether you have a small palm or a large palm.
You will practice maneuvering and controlling the ball while in space by learning how to manage the ball with an extended arm. After getting comfortable with the ball in your hand, then you can start dribbling before dunk.
Use a much smaller ball
It is more straightforward as you start to slam with a shot that’s smaller because you can easily palm it and control your body movement, giving you a more satisfying maneuver. But remember only to use a smaller ball for the dunk practice. Always dribble and shoot with the right shot.
Dribble as you approach the basket
As you do this, take the required two steps for a regular layup and palm the ball on hand you’ll use to dunk. Control your approach while at it. It is essential first to learn how to dunk using one side before moving to a two-hand dunk, which takes more time and a higher leap to master.
- The Leap
To get a good dunk, you must have a good jump, which is achieved by training on your vertical jump as well as your technique. You need to decide where to jump and get the best rim to reach. Once in the air, one needs to know how to maneuver with the ball and remain in control. The best way to begin is through the one-handed dunk, which leaves the other arm free to balance your body.
- Have the Correct Landing
Most people only practice slamming the ball into the rim and end up landing awkwardly, which could result in an injury. It also happens to professionals. But it is best to learn the entire dunk sequence and master the art of safe landing. Additionally, it will give you a more accurate and consistent dunk.
- First Learn on a Shorter Rim
If you can get an adjustable basket, practice your dunk on that first, before advancing to a higher rim. When you lower the height of the lip, feel the dunk and then increase it gradually till you get to the standard level.
- Have Quality Shoes
A lot of players have confessed that wearing shoes that are of high quality improve their dunk ability, and also prevents them from injuries while landing.
Avoiding Injury While Dunking
Once you master the art of dunking, you will feel excited. There are some precautionary measures to take to prevent embarrassment and injuries:
- Dunk carefully: The rims in some courts may be out of touch. That could tear your arm. Take note of the court you’re playing on, and ensure the lips are perfect before attempting a dunk.
- Guard your knees and ankles: Guys that are under 6-foot can easily fall and get injured. Always remain in control, mainly when playing with other players. Your entire season could get ruined if you hurt your ankle.
- While practicing dunks, don’t use portable goals: You could quickly end up hospitalized because they are prone to tip over when you put your body weight on them.
- Don’t unnecessarily grab the rim: It’s okay only when you are trying to protect other players or yourself that you should hang on the edge after a dunk.
A hard, aggressive dunk is the most attractive part of the game for sure. But there are a lot of things you need to cover to perform it safely and with style. There is no specific time frame for mastering a perfect dunk. It all depends on the amount of work you put in. A person will need to jump approximately 24 inches to touch the rim and 30 inches to slam a standard basketball. Even though it is much easier for taller people to dance and feel the edge, that doesn’t mean that shorter individuals cannot successfully achieve this.