How To Properly Perform A Dunk
Photo by Production Team

How To Properly Perform A Dunk

By Kaitlyn Fedor

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Basketball is a game in which several amazing athletic maneuvers can be displayed. One such action is dunking. This activity, however, is an art and requires the execution of specific steps in order to be performed properly.

At Hoop Group, we’re focused on delivering basketball skills training to players and coaches of every type of experience level. Our basketball training camps are designed to teach everything from the fundamentals of the game to more advanced concepts and techniques.

The Dunk's Benefit

Most basketball fans can recall moments from specific games when their favorite college or professional players leaped off the ground and slammed the ball through the hoop. These plays are often game-changing events that amaze those who witness them. Though height and natural athletic ability are often prerequisites to pulling off these awe-inspiring actions, certain other steps go into proper execution.

The art of good dunking typically begins by performing activities that might include the following.

Mastering Basic Basketball Skills

For many players, dunking is the "cherry on the ice cream sundae." This means that, before said performers became good dunkers, they mastered the sport's basic fundamental skills, most notably dribbling and ball control. Many athletic trainers and basketball coaches opine that attaining a solid handle on basic skills should be learned before attempting more intricate maneuvers.

Improving Vertical Leap

Again, it is important to reiterate that good dunkers are often quite tall and possess superior athletic talent. That said, even players blessed enough to possess these attributes must master proper jumping techniques before they can become proficient dunkers. Athletes who yearn to execute highlight reel dunks must first improve their vertical leaping capabilities. One such leap-improving activity trainers recommend is skipping rope. This action enables players to learn to jump higher and higher in a timed rhythm.

Train Using A Lowered Rim

This advice holds true for all players, even those who are tall enough to dunk using a regulation-sized hoop. However, honing one's skills on a lowered rim enables prospective dunkers to build their muscle strength, master their ball control skills and time their jumps.

Once a player has conquered the basics, said individual may be ready to attempt the art of dunking. Skills necessary to perform a proficient dunk include:

Proper Ball Gripping

A firm handle on the ball is paramount to dunk execution. Solid grips are vital to catching the ball and raising it over one's head as the player enters the dunking motion.

Timing The Leap

As previously discussed, leaping is arguably the most important aspect of dunking. Proficient dunkers often time their leaps perfectly. Orchestrating the proper timing often takes practice. Moreover, it is difficult to advise an individual of the proper time or circumstances for which they should enter a leap. In many instances, the player will "know when the time is the right," especially after their skills continue to improve.

Positioning One's Body

One of the most challenging aspects of a dunk is the mid-air acrobatics. The most important thing to remember is scoring the basket should be the primary objective. Wild trapeze-like moves are entertaining but might take the dunker's concentration away from the maneuver's primary goal, which is to score.


Improper landings could lead to injuries. Players should aim to come down on both their feet and avoid tumbling to the ground or landing awkwardly at all costs.