I grew up watching Micheal Jordan’s superb grip on basketball and started playing basketball with a desire to control the basketball just the way he does every single time. However, I felt that most NBA players could not dunk the basketball as smoothly as MJ, except K. Leonard. When Leonard started his career in 2010, every basketball specialist noticed the exact grip on basketball as MJ’s, so as I.
By watching these legends play, I was sure about two things in particular:
- Basketball palming is not easy at all since most NBA players can not do it
- Basketball palming is also not impossible, and one can master it with proper training and exercises.
After consistent training for a few months, I’m now able to grip and dunk the basketball with one hand, and my shots are also improved. So if you’re not a surrenderee and have a passion for mastering basketball palming, you must practice the techniques and exercises that I will discuss further. However, keep in mind that “Consistency is the key to success.”
Requirements OF How to Palm a Basketball ?
There are three major requirements to learn How to Palm a Basketball.
- Hand Size.
- Type of Ball.
- Grip Strength.
1. Hand Size:
The first and foremost requirement to learn basketball palming techniques is your hand size measurements. Your hands should be slightly bigger than a regular male hand’s length. It’s not just the length that matters but also the width of your hand. If your genetics fails to develop bigger hands, it is probably harder to learn to palm the ball but not impossible.
However, there are no exact measurements with which one can determine whether they are capable of palming the basketball. If you notice the NBA draft combine, you will observe that the typical hand length is around 7.75’’-7.8,’’ but players with the hand length of 7.5’’ have also been playing for a while now.
To measure your hand’s length and width, you need a standard ruler.
First, place the ruler where your wrist begins and measure up to the tip of your middle finger. That will be your hand’s length.
To measure your hand’s width, you should spread your hand on the ruler as much as possible and measure the area under your pinky and thumb.
2. Type of Ball:
The second requirement for learning this skill is the type of basketball you choose for the training and practice. Professional basketballs are hard to handle, especially if you are a beginner. Start with women’s basketball or handball, which is slightly smaller than regular basketball. It will help you quickly improve your grip over the ball and increase your palming time. Also, the basketball texture is essential as the rubber ball provides more grip than the leather ball.
3. Grip Strength:
There is more to hand size and type of basketball in order to improve your palming skills. The strength of your hand muscles and ligaments also plays a significant role. The grip strength can be improved, but before that, you should know that there are three types of it:
- Crush Grip is used to squash something between your fingers and palm, like squeezing a soda can or crushing a piece of paper.
- Support Grip is used to hold on to things or support your weight during pull-ups.
- Pinch Grip is used to hold something between your thumb and finger. This is the main type of grip you should focus on to learn to palm a basketball.
Once you have established your primary focus area (pinch grip), you should start exercises and drills to strengthen that. Remember that never begin with heavy weights or excessive workouts as it might cause injuries to your fingers. Take a start with small weights and then gradually increase them.
There are some exercises that you can do to palm basketball effortlessly.
- Fingertip Pushups
- Horizontal Basketball Palming
- Plate Pinches
- Plate Curls
As the name suggests, these are like regular pushups, except you must use your fingertips to support your body weight. It sounds a little tricky at first. You can begin the pushups by using your knees instead of your toes to make it easier.
Furthermore, you can also start by doing pushups while standing against the wall. Place your fingers on the wall and lean towards it until your chin almost touches the wall. Then slowly return to the starting position.
Horizontal Basketball Palming:
For the starter, you can palm your basketball horizontally since it is easier to palm that way due to the support of the upward forces of the bottom half of your hand.
You will feel an itching sensation along your forearm after exercising for too long. However, please do not go too far since it might cause spasms due to high muscle tension.
Record the maximum palming seconds every day, and you will notice a gradual improvement.
Another drill to increase your pinch grip is plate pinching, in which you need two plates with a small weight. Hold them together for about 15 seconds so that the smooth sides of the plates face outside. Continue doing this regularly. You can increase the weight of plates when you feel no pain while doing this.
However, keep in mind that you should use only one plate to avoid any injuries for havier plates. There are also other options to extend this exercise:
- Walk while carrying the plates as the body’s movement will require more finger work.
- You can also use only your thumb and fingers to hold plates to improve the pinch grip.
To do the plate crush exercise, grip the weight plate with the help of your fingers on the bottom of it and the thumb on the top side of it. Begin to do bicep curls this way.
Furthermore, you can extend plate curls by holding the plate with the thumb on the bottom and fingers on the top. Keep the plate straight out from your body and begin lowering and raising the plate in front up to shoulder height.
Wrapping up Things: Palming a Basketball
There are a lot more exercises and drills to strengthen your grip and help you master the palming skills. However, I only mention those exercises that helped me learn basketball palming. I hope that you will also learn how to palm a basketball just like Micheal Jordan or other professional basketball players with continuous practice and hard work.
Once you control the rubber basketball, grab the leather basketball and give it a shot. At first, you would find it a bit difficult to palm the basketball with it because the leather basketball is smoother than the rubber basketball. But with time and enough practice, you will have control over it and palm the basketball like professionals.