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How to Do a Between-the-Legs Dunk

By Erick Kristian

Dunking in basketball is very challenging for those who aren't tall. Still, with training even shorter people can learn to dunk. A between-the-legs dunk adds a level of complexity, which is seldom executed successfully by amateur athletes. The dunk, when performed correctly, has the player jump into the air and pass the ball between his legs from one hand to the other and into the basket. The dunk requires significant hang time, which is basketball parlance for time spent in the air after jumping.

Practice the dunk in slow motion first. Map out the steps required first before attempting the dunk. Select which hand will put the ball in the basket and which foot will lead the jump. Test the steps in slow motion first, then test the steps at normal speed without a ball to practice coordination.

Get a good running start. Begin approaching the net from the three-point line.

Grip the ball at the point of takeoff with the hand that won't be used to dunk. The ball should rest as low as possible on the body to save time in the air.

Jump from the lead foot a few feet from the net. The distance will vary with player size and ability.

Spread the legs immediately after takeoff. The lead leg should go backward and the other leg should go forward. This stance can be anticipated prior to takeoff, which will make it easier to execute.

Move the ball under and between the spread legs while bringing the lead hand to the other side of the legs.

Pass the ball to the dominant hand.

Raise the hand with the ball as high as possible immediately and direct it toward the basket. The arm holding the ball should be at maximum extension when the summit of the jump occurs. This helps the player reach the basket.

Dunk the ball into the net.

Prepare for landing once the ball is in the net. Look down, square both feet and slightly bend the knees.

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