How to Dunk a Basketball
Now that we've given you our honest opinion, you still probably want to know how to dunk....
Dunking is a dramatic, crowd-pleasing offensive move. Many times, a rousing dunk can turn that mysterious factor, momentum, right around in your favor. Clearly, dunking is easier if you're tall and can palm the ball with one hand, but there have been relatively short players who couldn't palm the ball who worked hard enough to be able to dunk. If you are considering adding the dunk shot to your repertoire, follow these steps:
Step #1 - Practice dunking on a rim lowered to your current jumping ability.
This will allow you to get used to the feel of dunking right away. To prepare yourself for the real thing, the basket height should still require you to jump your highest in order to dunk. If it's too low, then you won't be building the muscles or the memory needed for dunking at the regulation-height hoop.
Step #2 - Be able to touch the rim with your wrist.
You will need to get at least that high to be able to snap the ball into the basket. If you're relatively short, then you have your work cut out for you. Developing a one-handed dunk requires less vertical ability than a two-handed dunk, and, for most players, jumping off of one foot from a running start makes it easier to jump high enough to dunk. There are many things that you can do to work on your vertical leap.
To increase your vertical leap, you should do a variety of exercises and follow a strategic work out plan. The workout should include plyometrics, strength training, and stretching.
Step #3 - Use small balls to begin with, and gradually increase the size of ball that you use as you develop your technique and coordination.
Start with a ping-pong ball, then a tennis ball, then a softball, then a volleyball, then a youth-sized basketball, and on up until you can dunk with a regulation size ball. If you can't palm the ball, then you will need to learn how to control the ball with two hands until the last minute extension for the dunk with one hand, or you will have to jump high enough to dunk two-handed.
Step #4 - Learn how to finish the dunk safely.
Dunking exposes you to some extra risk of injury. First of all, you can get low-bridged or get your legs tangled up with defenders near the hoop, causing you to fall awkwardly from a significant height. You can also throw yourself off balance by trying to hang on the rim and slipping off, resulting in awkward falls. If you are in heavy traffic on the dunk, then being able to grab and hang on the rim until the clutter beneath you clears is a safety technique. If you are in the clear on a dunk, then avoiding hanging on the rim at all is the recommended safety technique (It's also a technical foul to hang on the rim in that situation). Whatever the situation, you need to come down with control and balance. Ankle, knee, neck, and head injuries await those who fail to control their momentum after a dunk.
Remember, even though dunking is dramatic and exciting, it still counts only two points. If you can't dunk, it's not the end of the world. You can be an extremely effective scorer without ever dunking the ball. In fact, dunking has very little to do with proper shooting technique.
How to Improve Your Vertical Jump
If you want to improve your vertical jump, we highly recommend you follow a program that utlizes the "Pryamid of Development" -- that you see at most of the top Div I college programs.
This allows you to develop overall athleticm, to not only help you dunk, but also improve your defense, speed, balance, and effectiveness on the basketball court. And more importantly (in our opinion), the Pryamid of Development gives you the foundation and balanced muscle growth that reduces the risk of injury.
We highly recommend the Cody Roberts Athletic Development Program to improve your vertical jump, explosiveness and agility. It's very effective program that is designed the right way.