How to Slam Dunk in 6 Easy Steps

When kids first start to play, the first thing they want to learn is how to slam dunk. At Douglas Forest and Garden, we have a wide range of basketball equipment, and we currently offer free home delivery of basketball hoops in Ireland for most purchases.  Many of our hoops are suitable for slam dunks and are adjustable for kids of all sizes, so with that in mind, here are a few tips for kids who are looking to improve their game.

Dribble toward the basket

You’re allowed take two steps with the ball in your hand, so be sure to dribble right up till about a metre from the hoop. You should jump with the leg opposite your dunking hand, and focus your attention on the ball and the centre of the hoop. If at this early stage you’re unable to get high enough, you might need to take time and practice to build up strength and jumping height. 

Start with the ball in one hand

While the two-handed slam offers the most control and prevents in-air tackles (and looks a lot cooler), it’s also much harder.  The two-handed slam is maybe the most dominating move in basketball, but it takes a lot more leaping to touch the rim with two hands.

Use a smaller ball

When you’re first starting out, it’s much easier to practice with a small basketball. You can “palm” it more easily, control it in your approach, and you’re more likely to get it in the ring.

This also gives you a chance to get a feel for ball control when your arm is extended. Even people with large hands who can palm a full-sized basketball will sometimes lose their grip when dunking, so you need to get a feel for manoeuvring the ball and controlling it in the air.

How to Slam Dunk: Think of the entire movie — not just the goal

While we can focus all our attention on getting the ball in the net, too much attention here can cause you to hurt yourself. Make sure you land safely. Spend plenty of time working on your follow-through and landing, thinking of it as an entire sequence. Failure to do this and you’ll be like Wiley Cayote when he realises he’s suspended in mid-air over a chasm.

Don’t hang on the rim

It looks very cool, but in most games, you’re not allowed to do this. So not only is it a bad habit, but hanging on the rim can damage your basketball hoop. And it can also throw your centre of gravity off which can lead you to fall backwards, which puts you at risk of a serious head injury. 

How to Slam Dunk: Be persistent

Any new coordination is going to take time and practice. Just be sure to keep your focus on your aims: ball in net, safe, soft landing. If you focus on your goals, your brain will figure out the best way of achieving this for you. All you have to do is practise. If you miss, fall, or don’t reach the net, that’s not a failure. It’s your best attempt in this moment. Continued practice will bring a more refined, better attempt. Do this repeatedly, day after day, and you’ll be springing at the net in no time.

If you’d like help with choosing a net for you or your kids, feel free to contact us today on 021 4965 132