By Andrew Gilstrap
I know ‘ambidextrosity’ is not an official word…yet. In fact, it is under the “New Words and Slang” page on Merriam-Webster’s site. But, after this post, we will ideally be one step closer to having it become a household word. The reason I bring up ambidextrosity today is its prominence among high scoring shooters in arcade basketball.
Today, I have a new technique for you to try when shooting baskets at the arcade. This will be supplementary to the strategies I discussed in my October 31 post — even possibly the culmination of those skills. If you want to start boosting your arcade score, you are going to want to at least attempt this ambidextrous method. In other words, you’re going to be firing up shots with both your dominant and your opposite hand. Remember in junior basketball when your coach taught you to shoot layups with the hand farthest from the hoop? Yes, you had to be able to have some “touch” with your non-dominant hand to appease your coach. It’s time to summon those capabilities when you’re in the arcade room.
Think of all the split seconds you lose while picking up the next basketball and transferring it to your dominant hand for a shot in arcade hoops. See how those might add up over the course of an entire round? You can mitigate — or possibly eliminate — that excess time by grabbing the ball with your right hand and firing it toward the hoop and, before that shot even hits the rim, grabbing a ball with your left hand and firing that straight to the hoop. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. That’s the succession you should hear with this method. No time to wind up each shoot or follow through, even. You’re practically going to extend your arm straight toward the hoop and release. You’re going to be urgent. You’re going to be ambidextrous.
As with the other tactics of which I delineated in the Halloween post, you may miss a high number of shots when first trying this out. Don’t worry; keep practicing. You’ll get better, and you’ll score higher soon. And even when you start putting up high scores, you still may miss several shots during the round, but you’ll score so high because you were getting the ball to the basket so darn quickly. The sheer volume of shot attempts will put you over the top. And when you’ve really got it down, you’ll look like this guy, as seen in a video from Youtube user ewolferman:
Okay, that might have scared you away from trying this. I don’t expect you to get that quick, nor will I expect your back to stay so upright. Being so accurate while going that fast is also rare. Nonetheless, use the video as a model for how you should try to shoot and peak at least close to that level.
The only obstacle to this method is small hands. I can’t palm a basketball, so this method doesn’t always work well when I’m on a machine with full-sized basketballs. I’ve tried it, but found out I do better shooting with just my dominant hand. And this is fine because many of the high-scorers still excel without shooting ambidextrously. But, this is no excuse for you not trying it.
So give it a shot, literally. It may just be what you need to get into the pantheon of greats. Give both hands equal opportunity, and get your shots up there quickly, even if it doesn’t look all too pretty. Ambidextrosity is here to stay — as a word and, in our case, as an arcade basketball discipline.