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How I learned to dunk at 6 foot, aged 25

Dec 30th 2015 at 8:22 AM

I've always been a big fan of Basketball, but not much of a player myself. It became frustrating to see all those crazy dunks on television, but not actually be able to perform them myself. So a few months back, I asked myself: is it possible to start dunking at my age and height?

Depending on who you are, you may either think it is easy or hard. 25 is sometimes considered the peak of male athletic ability, so that shouldn't hold me back. However, even though being 6 foot isn't exactly short, in Basketball terms it certainly is. Combine that statistic with my miserable results in high school sports, I really wasn't set up to be a dunker.

Anyway, I began looking into ways to jump higher, as that was really the only thing preventing me from landing my first dunk. Obviously, I've spent my share of time on the court, but that alone wasn't getting me anywhere. And that's when I started coming across training programs specifically designed to get you jumping higher.

I ended up making an impulse purchase - a jump training program that supposedly guaranteed an increase of 9 inches to my vertical. Given that my starting running jump was around 23 inches, if the program worked as advertised I'd have a vertical that would enable me to dunk on a regulation rim.

I stuck with the program for a total of 2 months, which is the total duration of the course. By the second week I was jumping an inch higher, with the gains coming straight after a rest day. Staying motivated was pretty easy when constant improvement could be measured. I should add that the requirements for the course were very small - just a small area where you can train (think of somewhere you'd be happy doing crunches and jumping jacks), a soft mat for some exercises, and obviously the time to commit to the program. Gym equipment is unnecessary, but each week you'll be doing some sprints, so you will occassionally need access to a large open space like a park.

Needless to say, to cut a long story short, I was able to dunk 6 weeks in. Although it was tempting to stop it at that, I persisted till the end, increasing my confidence in being able to dunk the ball. Anyway, I documented my full journey on my personal website, and you can read it here.

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