Tips: How To Grow Taller

January 18, 2011

I have received a handful — not a lot, but a handful — of messages from young players who ask me variations of the following questions:

“How can I get taller?
How tall were you when you were ___ (fill in age)?
How tall are your parents?”

You can’t do anything to get taller. You may grow to be taller than you presently are, you may not. But there is nothing you can do to make yourself grow taller than your genetic code determined for you before you were even born.

I’m 6’4″ (193cm) now. I have no accurate recollection of my height changes over the years (or estimates either, so please don’t ask me). And unless you’re my son or daughter, there is no relation between my pubescent growth and yours. If I was 5’5″ at age 16 and shot up to 7’1″ by 18, it has no bearing on how you will grow. Hell, even if you were my child (my father is under 6 feet tall) there are no guarantees.

There are a few things in your basketball development that you will never have control over: your race (Black/ Asian/ White/ European etc); your physical proportions (height, size of your hands, length of your arms, etc); and the weather. Almost everything else, you have at least some degree of control over.

As I’ve said before: focus your energy on what you can control, like practicing, listening to coaches, giving your best effort. The things you can’t control are going to happen the way they’ll happen anyway, whether you pay attention to them or not. As mortal human beings, we have only so much time and energy to do what we want, and your time can end at any moment. So do what you can do, and don’t be concerned with what you cannot affect.

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