Before I start giving you my thoughts on using this giant basketball, let me state that this review is going to be on the pros/cons to using an over-sized basketball.
I have never owned one myself, but the gym where I used to practice in high-school had a very old one that I would mess around with and use during some drills.
After using it on multiple occasions, I have mixed feelings on whether or not it is actually beneficial to the user.
Allow me to elaborate…
The General Principle
For those of you who don’t fully understand the principle of using a giant basketball, the main idea behind using one is to help both your body and hands move around a larger object more effectively.
If you can perform normal basketball actions with a giant basketball, you should have no problem using a regular sized one.
Or at least that’s the premise.
One thing that I always noticed when using the giant basketball was how light it was relative to its actual size.
Some might say that’s a bad thing, but for certain passing drills, this attribute is extremely useful for skill development.
For older players, having a lighter ball means that you have to put extra power on your long-range passes to prevent air resistance from slowing your passes down.
After a couple of passes with a bigger ball, you begin to appreciate the more aerodynamic design of a regular league ball.
If you’re a younger player who hasn’t grown into their muscles yet, using a lighter ball will help you make regular passes that might otherwise be too hard.
A great tactic for those little guys who don’t quite have the strength yet.
I don’t think it needs to much explaining as to the reasons why a giant basketball is good for your dribbling.
It goes without saying that trying to bounce a bigger ball behind your back is more difficult than trying to bounce a regular sized one behind your back.
After practicing with a giant basketball for a while, going back to a smaller one feels like a breeze.
This might come off as an unpopular opinion, but I wouldn’t recommend using an over-sized basketball to practice your shooting form.
My reason for this belief is due to two main factors: familiarity and repetition.
When players are learning or practicing their shooting mechanics, their success depends on the muscle memory that they are building within their own body.
When you practice with a larger ball, you create a type of muscle memory that is accustomed to using that giant ball.
So when you go back to using a regulation ball, everything from your hand placement to your follow-through will be messed up because you will be shooting with the right form, for the wrong ball.
I know some players firmly believe that shooting with a giant ball forces you to aim for only swishes, but I would much rather have proper shooting form than to get buckets with a ball that I will never use in a real game.
In contrast to not using a giant basketball for shooting, I would definitely recommend using one for practicing layups.
Layups are one of those things in basketball that doesn’t necessarily rely on mechanics, but rather rests heavily upon the players own feel for the backboard.
Forcing a player to concentrate on really placing the ball on the exact corner of the backboard box helps players develop their fine hand and eye coordination.
If I recall correctly, the Spalding TF1000 Giant Basketball was the same one that I used in high-school.
And while I don’t have any pictures of it, I plan on taking one when I head back there to coach my JV squad in the fall.
During that time, I intend to use it with my team for a variety of ballhandling, passing, and layup drills that they can hopefully implement into real games.
I’m sure some of them will try shooting around with the thing, but I plan on putting a ca-bosh to that in a real hurry!