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Drumming for Basketball



Drum Circles aid Basketball Rhythm, Ball Handling, Team Communications, and Health & Fitness

Basketball would seem to be the most unique team sport in America, with its sports science and brain science only partially explaining the extraordinary performances of players. Where does the basketball shot come from?

There appears to be some yet discovered science at play on the basketball court! When I examine epic performances of basketball players to athletes of other sports, what stands out are seemingly impossible shots, not supported by sports science. We see this in all sports, but we see way more of it in basketball. We see extraordinary occurrences and behavior in drum circles too. Our drumming for basketball workshops are designed for sports programs, health & fitness groups, spiritual organizations, churches, and individuals wanting to advance their quality of life.

Drumming with Basketball: Background

There are unseen influences in life as described in psychology, anthropology, mindfulness, faith & belief, shamanism, and trance heightened states. Rhythmic progressions are pivotal in basketball and other sports, and in drumming. Hand drumming is uniquely involved in tactile perception of the hands and fingers while you play, and this skill can be applied to basketball, and balance and cognitive skills needed for everyday life.

Basketball, like drumming, invokes team brain wave entrainment, or BWE. BWE is a mirroring of “brain waves” between members of a group in a heightened and connected similar activity. Brain waves normally occur in five (5) frequency ranges: delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma, as measured by EEG instruments and brain wave sensors available for mobile devices. BWE determines in part how we learn in a classroom, and how we communicate and influence one another in life. It explains why women who live or work together can synchronize menstrual periods to one another.  We discuss more about the science of brain wave entrainment, or BWE, on Drum Circles in the Workplace.

Drum rhythms define a very precise pattern, and are often remarkably similar to an athlete’s movement on the basketball court. If you play or shoot baskets for fun or fitness, you will experience rhythmic progressions in your shooting, passing, and dribbling. This can put you into an altered state of consciousness, or Nirvana of sorts, I find on the basketball court. You might even enter a trance heightened state. The main difference is with drumming, that you can enter into these mind states without being an expert drummer or musician. Trance heightened states and rhythmic patterns are indigenous to us all. You need only find the right discipline.

In basketball, passing, shooting, and on-court communications largely occur due to syncopation and brain wave entrainment. To aid syncopation, drums have been used in military training and battlefield maneuvers for hundreds of years. Drumming also has a long history with African shamans. In some parts of Africa, drums are even brought and played next to the basketball court. For these reasons, I find drumming to be a great training tool in basketball.

Drumming and shamanism are more rooted in African culture, whereas, mindfulness and trance heightened states evolved more out of Western civilization. They may be one and the same, just from different cultures. These disciplines no doubt hold the keys to future human development.

Drumming is an unusually good fit to basketball because of team play, rhythmic movements & beats, and brain wave entrainment or BWE. Drum beats and BWE can help synchronize plays and on-court communications in basketball. It can help in heightened awareness of ball movement and connectedness on the court.

Drumming with Basketball for Health & Fitness and Team Play





Health and Fitness

Split a group into (5) parts consisting of: sitting down hand drumming, standing shakers & bells, standing sound shapes, on court ball handling & shooting, standing playing (tapping) on your body. These play parts are about movement and syncopation. Playing and shooting is about moving every part of your body in a coordinated rhythm. Within several minutes, a group rhythm evolve and synchronize between all the parts of the group, and there will become a magical synergy that will aid both those playing instruments, and those with the basketballs.

Basketball Team Drumming (Drum Circles) Drills

1. Warm up with the above drumming for basketball fitness program

2. Next, 5 players take an instrument and spread out on the court in their respective positions as follows:

a) center/power forwards on bass and large djembes

b) shooting guards on mid-size djembes

c) point guard on either shaker or bell

3. The objective is to communicate and synchronize sound and movement, and take turns leading by position. Each of the instruments offers a unique role in leading a drum circle, as does player roles/skillset in basketball.

4. Role of the bench then is to support the drum circle via misc small percussion, clapping, and vocal calls and chants, where the bench is also given opportunity to lead the drum circle from the bench, and then once on the court, their role in syncopation has already been established.

5. Lastly, the role of the basketball drum circle is to continue to play even when you fall out of rhythm, as your commitment to keep play so as to re-establish your rhythm, is synonymous with staying on your game plan even when you follow out of rhythm, where eventually you will re-connect it. The drum circle and basketball play circle are both very similar and teaches players about team building, trust, believing, and staying together. And sometimes, you need to let it all go, to get your MOJO back!


FULL ARTICLE on Basketball & Methods on DolleCommunications Blog

We've had very favorable outcomes with drumming and basketball for movement disorders, mindfulness, and cognitive therapy. This link will direct you to our in-depth blog on basketball (June 2015).





Scheduling of Drum Circles & Workshops:

To schedule a drum circle or workshop, contact Stephen Dolle per the contact information below. Please also complete and fax/email this Drum Circle Facilitation Client & Deposit Agreement. You may also make payments and deposits via our PayPal link below. If you need to speak with me, send me an email with your phone number and I will call you back. As of February 28, 2018, I no longer have a separate home office telephone.

Email: contact[at]dollecommunications[dot]com


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