I thought I needed a rim. But what I found I really needed was a constellation of them. Having choices would prove useful because of the daytime obstacles, like elementary school PE students and our own kids’ after-school activities; and nighttime obstacles, like chain-link and padlocks, that I encountered. My training windows were narrow, so I learned to employ these outdoor rims strategically, the way the skateboarders in Dogtown and Z-Boys timed their secret sessions at drained swimming pools. The six or seven courts nearest our house featured rims that measured anywhere between 9 feet and 10' 2", a variance that allowed for different kinds of practice. The blisters and flayed calluses that soon bloodied my hands instructed me in the value of breakaway rims—the less rust the better. Because a Snap Back wasn’t always available, local residents may have spotted a sweaty fortysomething man rubbing Vaseline on his hands in the corner of their child’s favorite playground last year. Sometimes he wore a weight vest that made him look like a jihadist. What I’m saying is, Thanks for not calling the cops.
Important Update! – I have been receiving a few emails/comments on players tracking their jump during the course of their program. Please understand that what you are doing when completing a jump program is breaking down the muscle. You aren’t going to see improvements mid-week because the muscle hasn’t healed properly. That’s why I suggest only checking how much you’ve improved at the end of each rest week. Rest is just as important as the routine.
One morning a week later, the gym at the Y was empty. I picked up the same mini-ball and unsuccessfully tried to throw it down. I found the more relad I was, the higher I could jump. So I loosened my shoulders, took a depth breath, and approached the rim. I held the ball for a beat longer this time, and easily popped it over the rim. It felt incredible. I did it a few more times, each easier than the last, pulling down on the rim with unnecessary force for maximum satisfaction. But as exhilarating as it was to dunk again, I was only using a mini-ball—I hadn’t completely reached my goal.
For women's basketball, to dunk or not to dunk has long been the question. It’s the ‘wow factor’ that WNBA haters often point to as proof that the women's game doesn't deserve the fandom, fame and fortune that the guys get. Cristen and Caroline talk to two dunking superstars of past and present to sort through the courtside gender politics and controversy of stuffing the net and find out whether more women bringing the slams could settle the score.
Improve your flexibility by stretching. Stretch your hamstrings and buttocks by laying on your back with one leg crossed over the other at the knee. Pull the lower leg toward you firmly and steadily. This should stretch the hamstring of the crossed leg. For another exercise, touch your toes while seated, standing, with your legs spread, and with your legs crossed.
Using only a lifting (concentric) phase for strength training exercises could also be more effective for improving vertical jump height than traditional, stretch-shortening cycle exercises under load, for two reasons. Firstly, using only a lifting phase involves faster rate of force development through higher rate coding, and this may increase high-velocity strength more over the long-term. Secondly, doing stretch-shortening cycle exercises under load *might* cause the tendons to increase stiffness to a greater extent. This would make the muscle lengthen more in the countermovement phase of a jump, and thereby reduce muscle force for a given countermovement depth.
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:
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.