Less helpful was my early realization that I was a two-hand dunker, in light of my inability to palm a basketball on the move. It’s common knowledge among dunkers that throwing down with two hands is typically harder than with one; the former requires a higher vertical leap. So as I flailed haplessly at the rim last spring with one hand, I felt not just discouragement but also fear. Fear that I would miss big chunks of my kids’ ninth, sixth, and first years on earth just so I could come up embarrassingly short on a senseless goal that my wife and I would later estimate consumed 15 to 20 hours a week, on top of my normal work hours. And fear that I had shared this idea with my editors way too soon.
James Naismith, I learned, was a bit different. “I was only three when he passed away [in 1939],” said his grandson, James Naismith, 78, of Corpus Christi, Texas. “He was known as a tenderhearted man, but he also had”—the doctor’s namesake pauses—“the polite term is ‘firmness of mind.’ It’s kind of a family trait. He devoted his life to improving the lives of others through physical activity, through games. That took time.
Since the magnitude of the effect derived from observational studies can be misleading, we opted for a sequential trial design with two-sided alternatives20; the trial design called for analyses to be performed after inclusion of the first 50 and 100 patients, and then after inclusion of each additional 100 patients, and allowed for the discontinuation of the trial according to the following predefined boundaries: superiority of norepinephrine over dopamine, superiority of dopamine over norepinephrine, or no difference between the two. An independent statistician who is also a physician monitored the efficacy analyses and the adverse events; on October 6, 2007, after analysis of the outcome in the first 1600 patients showed that one of the three predefined boundaries had been crossed, the statistician advised that the trial be stopped.
But you know what? Because these help with your jumping, you will become an amazing rebounder, blocker, and, well, dunker! In 2016, according to MaxPreps, I was 14 in the country in average blocks per game (National Basketball (2016-17) Blocks Stat Leaders, I’m 14th ;P). I had two triple-doubles. No, not points, rebounds, and assists, but points, rebounds, and BLOCKS.
An important component of maximizing height in a vertical jump is attributed to the use of counter-movements of the legs and arm swings prior to take off, as both of these actions have been shown to significantly increase the body’s center of mass rise. The counter-movement of the legs, a quick bend of the knees which lowers the center of mass prior to springing upwards, has been shown to improve jump height by 12% compared to jumping without the counter-movement. This is attributed to the stretch shortening cycle of the leg muscles enabling the muscles to create more contractile energy. Furthermore, jump height can be increased another 10% by executing arm swings during the take off phase of the jump compared to if no arm swings are utilized. This involves lowering the arms distally and posteriorly during the leg counter-movements, and powerfully thrusting the arms up and over the head as the leg extension phase begins. As the arms complete the swinging movement they pull up on the lower body causing the lower musculature to contract more rapidly, hence aiding in greater jump height. Despite these increases due to technical adjustments, it appears as if optimizing both the force producing and elastic properties of the musculotendinous system in the lower limbs is largely determined by genetics and partially mutable through resistance exercise training.