In a world of high flying dunks and insane YouTube clips, there are many skills that young players never really learn (or want to learn) because they are intimidated by the naturally gifted leapers of the world. The bad news is, no matter how much you weight train, jump, or practice, some of us (myself included) will forever be grounded.
Now with that said, you can vastly improve your athleticism through hard work and dedication. I did 6 months of an intense plyometric training program in college because I REALLY wanted to be able to dunk. Upon the completion of my plyo program, I could get one down every now and again but never in a game.
This may seem like a bit of a failure for many young hoopers, but I found it to be extremely helpful. I noticed that my first step speed was significantly faster; I started pulling down rebounds that I NEVER had pulled down before; and actually started blocking TONS of shots (at least tons compared to what I was use to).
After six months and two intense rounds of my plyo training program, I gained about 6” to my standing vertical. Although I still could not throw down a thunderous dunk in a game or put the opposing player on a poster, my hard work and dedication really helped my overall game even though that was not my goal when beginning the quest for the sky. I learned a valuable lesson through the process that if you are dedicated and and keep a strong work ethic, good things WILL happen, even if it is not the exact goal you set out with.
I did not learn to fly like Mike…. But I did learn that real men finger roll.
Be your best self!