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Air Up There And1 Or How To Increase Vertical Jump

Since the term “dunk” was born in 1936 millions of basketball players tried to add this “move” to their repertoire or at least to learn it. Back then the New York Times journalist Arthur Daley watched some basketball players of the McPherson Oilers bringing the ball above the basket and throwing it through the rim. He compared this motion with dunking a cookie in your coffee and the most popular move in basketball was born.

Since then there has been an incredible evolution of the “move” called dunk. Julius Erving, Michael Jordan, Vince Carter – they all took the dunk to the next level. Last year TJ Fontenette, aka The Air Up There from the streetball crew called AND1

became the first man to complete a 720-degree dunk – that’s two complete rotations in the air!

So nowadays every kid wants to dunk long before he can even make a layup. But why is the dunk so popular? Let’s ask Vince Carter, arguably the best dunker in the world:

“Because most of the people who watch or play basketball in their spare time can’t do that stuff. But they want it. A lot of guys have a killer crossover, everyone can deliver a behind the back pass and hit from halfcourt. But how many people can throw down a 360?”

It is simple – once you can dunk you never want to loose the feeling you get rising up in the air, throwing the ball through the rim, the nylon or the chain net, hanging at the rim and looking down on your embarrassed opponent who seconds ago was trying to block you…

“Dunking the ball is better than sex!” – Shawn Kemp, one of the best dunkers in NBA history

This comparison gives you a roughly idea what kind of feeling it is to dunk. Ok, but now let’s have a look why the most people who play basketball and want to dunk actually don’t make it.

The most popular excuse goes like this: “I’m just too small!” And this one is definitely wrong. Why? Because if you’re over 5’7″ – that’s the height of the smallest NBA slam dunk champion Spud Webb – and have no chronic health problems (knees, ankles, back) you definitely can learn to dunk!

So, if it’s not the height, what’s the secret about dunking? Why do so many people, even guys who play basketball regular actually fail learning to dunk?

Because the only thing they think about is how to increase vertical jump. They simply disregard that there are some basic but decisive principles that determine your success and besides the concrete exercises you have to be aware of:

1. Discipline. You have to work constantly on your jumping ability. Without discipline you won’t reach your goals and will loose your motivation.

2. Motivation. Wanting to dunk is just not enough! Face it: Every basketball player wants to dunk. You gotta have the right motivation. Dunking the basketball has to be a real goal for you – and an important one.

3. Workout plan. Write down a concrete workout plan and stick to it. For example: week one: losing extra pounds, running, stretching; week two : Squats/Jumps, Calf Raises/Jumps, Jump Rope aso.

4. Concrete Goals. You must have some concrete goals. For example: Gaining some inches in your vertical every week. Just check and note your progress. You also can concentrate on touching the rim with one hand first, then with both hands.

5. Patience. A lot of people think that they can learn to dunk in two weeks or less. That’s rubbish! Just notice the progress you make every week, your highlights (maybe you already can dunk with a tennis ball?) and the motivation will last.

P.S. If you take the whole thing seriously you will have serious results!

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