How To Work On Your Basketball Jumper In Class
In high school, I was voted “Most Athletic” as a senior — but could you guess why?
No, it wasn’t because I could beat my boyfriend one-on-one and it wasn’t because I was actually a pretty good point guard on a successful team. I was voted Most Athletic because I got trash can buckets! Yes, you read that correctly: trash can buckets.
Let me explain:I earned respect from my peers because I could ball up a piece of old homework and shoot it into the trash-can when the teacher gave us permission to have a bit of fun. I swear, some guys thought I hung the moon because of my beautiful flick of the wrist from the back row. I’d shoot it, watch the flight of the paper ball, hold my follow through like Monica in Love and Basketball and whisper, “Swish”!
Here are a few lessons I learned from shooting paper balls into trash cans:
It Works On Touch
I think one reason we love shooting into trash cans is because it’s not easy. It’s a challenge. Consider the odds… the can is smaller than our usual rim, it’s lower than 10 feet tall by a large margin, we’re often sitting down, and you shoot with only three fingers.
It takes touch! When you watch Stephen Curry drain 6 three-pointers in a game, you’ll hear Mark Jackson comment in that raspy voice he uses before the commercial break, “that’s called shooter’s touch!”
Every player needs touch and when you don’t have a ball and hoop, find some paper and a trash can and get buckets.
It Helps You Shoot Under Pressure
I wasn’t great at trash can buckets because I could just throw some paper in a trash can from fifteen feet away and make it look easy. No, I was great at it because I could do it with 30 people staring at me. If you’ve never experienced someone say to you, “I bet you a Snickers you can’t make this into the trash can” in front of a noisy class, then you don’t know pressure.
I think it’s more pressure than Dwight Howard feels every time he steps up to the line. Perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s a great way to learn to shoot under pressure. When you knock down a clutch game-winner, you’ll envision telling the reporter about your trash can bucket victories.
It’ll be a headliner and social media will quote you more than they do Swaggy P!
It’s Ridiculously Fun
There are some players who take their basketball training too seriously. They’ll say things like “I never train outside,” or “I only workout with my trainer,” and even “I hate shooting into trash cans.” That’s the player who’ll be miserable once they get to college or the professional leagues — they don’t know how to have fun!
If you have a teammate like this, challenge them to a round of trash can buckets and get that poor chap into a better mood.
For an added challenge, have a friend or teammate try to defend and block your shot. There’s a thrill that comes with scoring on a defender or blocking a balled up piece of paper and watching it fly across the room. Try it, just trust me.
One last reminder: Please make sure you receive permission from your teacher before practicing in class. Nothing would be worse than having to miss an actual game because you disrupted students learning and teachers teaching. Be wise, young grasshopper, be wise.