I sent a video of my soccer ball dunk to Todd, the #fivefivedunker, who informed me that I was leading with the wrong leg. I’d been taking my last big step with my left foot, which, as a righty, was like swinging a bat cross-handed. A few days later I encountered a blogger and 43-year-old dunker named Andy Nicholson who showed me, among many other things, that I wasn’t the only one with blood on my hands. Nicholson was one of dozens of YouTubers, young and old (mostly young), who were documenting online their attempts to dunk. “Yes!” he yelled over the phone when I told him about the open sores on my fingers. “Those are badges of honor!”
I continued to follow the program for the next few weeks, and I was dunking fairly regularly. I got a friend to film me, and then bored everyone I knew by showing them the video for weeks on end, like a proud father of my own dunk. Each one was the same: I could only do it after a couple days’ rest, and only with a ball I could palm. I approached from the left, jumped off two feet, and dunked with my right hand. There would be no cocked-back, in-your-face, two-handed throw downs; no acrobatic Russell Westbrook highlight reel slams.
Seventy-nine years later, the feat that Daley unwittingly named “the dunk” still flabbergasts. But how it felt to Fortenberry, a pioneering barnstormer whose name we’ve forgotten despite the gold medal he and his teammates won in 1936, remains a mystery. “He never talked about being the first person to dunk and all that,” says 65-year-old Oliver Fortenberry, the only son of Big Joe, who died in ’93. Indeed, the famous dunkers throughout history have been either reticent on the subject or unable to adequately express how it felt to show Dr. Naismith that he’d nailed his peach baskets too low. After more than a year of rigorous research on the subject, I’ve concluded that the inadequacies of modern language—not the ineloquence of the dunk’s practitioners—are at fault. In the eight decades since Fortenberry rocked the rim, words have repeatedly fallen short in describing the only method of scoring, in any sport, that both ignores one of its game’s earliest tenets and, in its very execution, carries a defiant anger.
Often times, basketball players have used one-leg jumping their whole life. It's just a much more natural movement because it's used every single time someone goes for a layup. On the other hand, volleyball players are often used to two-foot jumping because it is the most common way to jump when trying to block or spike. So, if you have all the suppositions to be a great two-foot jumper, but you get barely of the ground this way, it's probably because of a lack of technique.
Rope skipping is also a very basic form of a type of exercise called plyometrics. Plyometric exercises involve repetitive explosive movements, such as jumping up and down or catching and throwing a medicine ball. The idea is to execute the movement with as little downtime as possible between repetitions. This, in effect, trains muscles to be powerful and explosive, and utilize the kinetic energy inherent in athletic movements in the most efficient way.
To begin, go up without a ball first. This will give you a great idea of where you’re at and just how close you are to being able to dunk. For beginners, you should focus on dunking with one hand. Your other hand should stay by your side to balance your body while you’re in the air. The two-handed dunk is awesome, but is surprisingly more of an advance dunk and should be an approach you build up to as you work on your dunking.
With less than 2 minutes remaining, and the Grizzlies leading, 72-70, Pistons power forward Henry Ellenson appeared to have an easy dunk to tie the game. — Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Jaren Jackson Jr.'s weary Sunday caps fabulous NBA Summer League week," 9 July 2018 The high-energy guy in Game 1 was JaVale McGee, who scored a couple of times but also had a wide-open dunk blocked by the rim. — Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "It was a grim scene inside the Cavs’ locker room after Game 1 loss to Warriors," 1 June 2018 When Bleacher Report posted a photo on Instagram about Wade wanting LeBron to sign a photo of their iconic pass and dunk in Miami, Chalmers chimed in on the comment section and took credit for the play. — Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Mario Chalmers got busted after taking credit for iconic Wade-LeBron play," 22 May 2018 The game opened with George Hill having two dunks for the Cavs in the first three minutes. — Terry Pluto, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers sweeping victory reason to be excited -- Terry Pluto (photos)," 7 May 2018 Insider: Why a graduate transfer makes sense for Archie Miller, IU basketball His top highlight of the night was a dunk in the second half that rattled the rim. — Dakota Crawford, Indianapolis Star, "Romeo Langford gets McDonald's All American Game viewers fired up with highlight plays," 28 Mar. 2018 There was still 2:41 left in the first quarter when Poly sophomore forward Justin Lewis had a rim-rattling dunk in the No. 4 Engineers’ Class 3A state semifinal against Stephen Decatur on Thursday night. — Glenn Graham, baltimoresun.com, "Record-setting Mims leads No. 4 Poly past Stephen Decatur, 63-46, and into 3A state title game," 9 Mar. 2018 At the center of it all was Wooten, who matched a career-high in blocks, had several highlight-worthy dunks and jumped completely over Payton Pritchard at one point pursuing another block. — Tyson Alger, OregonLive.com, "Kenny Wooten and Troy Brown spark dramatic turnaround in Oregon's win over Washington," 8 Feb. 2018 McDaniels flashed across the baseline, collected Watson’s pass and hammered home a dunk in the 85-49 final at Viejas Arena. — Bryce Miller, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Aztecs season has chance to be defined by unflappable freshman McDaniels," 9 Jan. 2018
Secondly, in addition to the rate of force development, the size of the force itself produces a negative feedback effect on vertical impulse, because higher forces lead to faster accelerations, which in turn reduce the time spent producing force before take-off. This is *partly* why drop jumps tend to involve higher forces, shorter ground contact times, and yet similar jump heights to countermovement jumps.
Single leg jumping with it's high impact forces and dependence on the elasticity of muscles and tendons works best for young athletes. With increasing age, the tendons and muscles lose their elasticity and springiness and the risk of injury gets higher and higher. That's why a lot of basketball players start to rely more and more on their two-foot jump as they get older. And the winner of the Olympic high jumping contest are almost always below 30.
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A second, more efficient and correct method is to use an infrared laser placed at ground level. When an athlete jumps and breaks the plane of the laser with his/her hand, the height at which this occurs is measured. Devices based on United States Patent 5031903, "A vertical jump testing device comprising a plurality of vertically arranged measuring elements each pivotally mounted..." are also common. These devices are used at the highest levels of collegiate and professional performance testing. They are composed of several (roughly 70) 14-inch prongs placed 0.5 inches apart vertically. An athlete will then leap vertically (no running start or step) and make contact with the retractable prongs to mark their leaping ability. This device is used each year at the NFL scouting combine.