The only thing that is going to help you dunk, is to dunk

February 7, 2011

For the last 18 months I’ve been training to dunk a regulation height basketball ring. Like most Saturday mornings I was at a Melbourne basketball stadium running the courts, wearing ankle weights and “backboard slapping” in an attempt to improve my vertical jump.

A regular to the courts walked in and began warming up. After 10 minutes he was getting serious air, hitting reverse and 2 handed dunks. This guy had phenomenal dunking ability, at least a 50” vertical and stood at 5’7″. Everyone else in the stadium stopped what they were doing and watched in awe.

I respectfully walked up and was keen to learn how he trained.

“How do you train to increase your vertical?”

His response was simple. “I dunk. Thats all I do.”

“What do you do?” he asked.

Without hesitation I answered “I run for 30 minutes 3 times a week, spend 2 days a week doing plyometrics and play ball Monday nights and Saturday mornings. My diet mainly consists of beans, carrots and tuna.”

“Why?” he asked.

I responded. “Because I’m training to dunk.”

“The only thing that is going to HELP YOU dunk, is TO DUNK.”


I stood there in silence and thought about what he just said.

My training regime had been all wrong. By concentrating on training techniques and tips I read from books by so called experts I had just been getting better at running, doing fancy exercises and playing basketball whilst risking injury.

My only goal was to dunk. Why wasnt I just concentrating on that?

On this day I learnt that Mark Susters advice on what makes a great entrepreneur, “Just Fucking Do It” applies to more than just being an entrepreneur. It applies to everything that I’m trying to get better at.

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