Learning to Dunk

March 30, 2024
David Sunnyside

Dunking involves a significant amount of risk. A player can get low-bridged and tangled up with the defenders under the basket, or simply fall off the rim at high speeds. For these reasons, it's important for a player to learn to dunk with proper technique and good form. Repetition is another key factor in dunking. Athletes who perform repetitions in their craft with proper technique and form often become world class performers. However, repetition should be varied enough to not stale motor pathways, so variety is important in the context of dunking.

For beginners, it's a good idea to start with one-foot dunks before trying two-handed dunks. The one-foot dunk requires less vertical ability than the two-handed dunk, which is more of a power move that can be difficult for many players to master.

When learning to dunk, it's important to palm the ball and control the approach toward the basket. To do this, begin by dribbling with small balls (ping-pong, tennis ball, softball) and gradually increase the size of the ball as you improve your skill. Developing the right grip is also essential for dunking because it protects the ball from defenders who can foul you in an attempt to get the ball away from you.

A popular dunk variation is the "chop" or "tomahawk" dunk, which involves bringing the ball back down over your head and slamming it into the basket, as if you were chopping a tomahawk. This is a great crowd-pleasing dunk that many notable players, such as Dominique Wilkins and Shaquille O'Neal, used to perform with flair.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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