Did you ever spend time as a kid on a basketball court wishing and pretending you could dunk?
Jumping off a chair or a fire hydrant lid or nailing a 'backboard slap' and pretending you were in the NBA?
Ever get lost in a day-dream where you were flying over the opposition and hammering one through the ring?
As you got older, did you watch someone make it look effortless on a full height ring?
Did that give you a pinge of jealousy?
Did you secretly mourn the fact that that you were not born with elite athleticism?
Dunking is one of the most beautiful parts of basketball.
And it's achievable.
Having been fortunate enough to know some supremely gifted athletes, what I have observed is that when they make dunking look easy too you, it's actually because they have practised way harder then you have.
I'm proud to call Chand 'Area 51' a friend.
Chand is 5 feet, 8 inches tall...
I feel like a giant standing next to him. And he's possibly the best dunker in the world.
Watching his mixtapes is an almost surreal experience. They are some of the most motivational and beautiful sequences I have ever seen.
Chand was obsessed with dunking. He was also a local legend in Melbourne basketball scenes from 2003-2008.
At the annual Melbourne Uni 3 on 3 competition one year, I recall whispers in the crowd that Chand would be turning up for the dunk comp.
Having heard about him through friends of friends and listened to others describing dunks he had performed at MSAC, I was pretty excited to finally see him.
When he entered the sports centre, it was almost like a let down.
I thought to myself, this guy is so tiny. I'll be impressed if he can get close to a dunk but i'm not expecting much here.
And then when the competition started, Chand got up so high, he crammed one down and stuffed his whole arm through the ring in a classic 'Vince Carter elbow dunk'. And I, along with everyone else in the stadium, flipped my lid.
As I have got to know Chand and other super athletes better, I learnt that performance like this was not innate. Guys like this train so hard and so often that you would not believe it. I've heard stories about repetitive jumps up and down blocks of stairs, plyometrics training programs until passing out and of course, the infamous 'Baylor workout'. They make me want to sit down and rest just thinking about them. Guess that's why I was never an elite dunker.
Michael Jordan managed to add an extra 10 inches to his vertical leap while he was in the NBA by working hard.
You can too.
Here's some resources that'll get you started.
Baylor 12 week training program
This is the 12 week program that turned Aaron Bruce from a skinny kid from Horsham into a herculean tank. He sent it to Liam Norton at Melbourne Uni basketball and it became the blueprint for an offseason of enormous physical improvement at our club.
[Weights program - 571kb PDF]
[Speed & Agility program - 2mb PDF]
Bonus Chand 'Area 51' vids
If you ball in Melbourne, you'll recognise MSAC in most of these vids. Recognise any of the other stadiums?