April 24, 2017 | 6:50 pm
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Powerhandz looks to be the next innovation in sports training

It’s summer and for many basketball players these wretched days of heat mean hard work on their respective games. Their is no substitute for good old fashion practice and the emerging POWERHANDZ product is proving to be great tool in the developmental and enhancement process. What is it? Well according to the website here’s the definition:

POWERHANDZ are performance enhancing athletic training products innovatively designed to both strengthen hand and arm muscles and intensify players’ dexterity. There are 4 products in the portfolio: a weighted Anti-Grip Glove, a weighted Pure-Grip Glove, a removable Anti-Grip Basketball Wrap and a removable Anti-Grip Football Wrap.

Elite athletes like Deron Williams, Brian Dawkins, and Hope Solo are all brand ambassadors hoping to launch the product into the mainstream spotlight so the general public is more aware on how athletes of all ages can benefit from its use. After speaking with a representative from the brand they sent yours truly a pair to test out.

Let me be as forthright as possible. I am not a particularly skilled basketball player but I do have understanding of the game. I am a six-foot 210 pound male with a heavy sports background, albeit on the high-school and recreational levels. I can safely say I don’t look silly playing any of the big three sports of basketball, baseball or football.

My hands are a decent size stretching roughly 8 inches from my palm to the tip of my middle finger. By the product’s sizing chart my glove size is a large, although for things like batting gloves I wear XL, nevertheless I went with my described size. When putting on my gloves I was unhappy at first with the snug fit as I don’t usually wear anything that hugs any part of my body. Call it a preference. I immediately wished I had ordered an XL but the show must go on.

I tested the gloves primarily in the areas of dribbling and shooting which I believe are the primary benefits of using the product. Even knowing the product is made for athletes and aspiring athletes I figured it might not provide much challenge. I was wrong and don’t think the product is a gimmick in any way shape or form.

In my ‘field test’ of  POWERHANDZ I ran through the a gamut of feelings that ranged from sheer uncomfortability and frustration to understanding and appreciation. Let me explain.

Dribbling with POWERHANDZ:

Control of the ball was difficult especially when I tried to change directions. There were a few blundering adventures with between-the-leg dribbles as I really didn’t have the initial dexterity to push the ball through at the appropriate height to meet my lonely awaiting hand on the other side. My off-hand (left) felt even weaker than normal as the balanced weights of the glove made it challenging to ascertain my control of the rock. I have ‘light’ hands typically when dribbling but usually find the ball reaches me after each bounce at an acceptable level without much constriction of my torso to meet the ball. With the gloves on I felt like a dribble-happy point guard pounding the ball into the floor to make sure it reached my happy zone of control. I tried a variety of post ups where I would dribble with my back to the basket and kept leaving the ball short on the bounce. “This is so weird”  echoed in my brain relentlessly but I was determined to try and struggle through so I could be objective about the difference without the gloves.

Dribbling after POWERHANDZ:

“Ah, there we go.” That was the feeling I had after removing the gloves and getting the natural feeling of ball to skin back. My brain had adjusted to the weight of the gloves but the feeling of control had greatly improved. For whatever reason I didn’t power-drive the ball into the pavement the way I did with the gloves on upon removal which I thought would be the most natural reaction. I’m no Kyrie Irving or Stephen Curry but the ball traversed smoothly and to my liking after using the gloves. I noticed the difference and was pleasantly surprised. Here is a clip of some more experienced athletes using the product:

Shooting with POWERHANDZ:

Little did I know that dribbling would be the least of my initial trouble with this innovative product. For me, POWERHANDZ was an instant form adjuster on my jumper. The added bulkiness of the weights and gloves in general had me feeling clumsy as I heaved shots at the rim. Many shots were short, like Kevin Hart short, until I found the proper balance and rhythm with the gloves on. The weight forced me to use more of my base (I have a natural set-shot) and create more arc on my release as well. On spot-up attempts and free throws I started to find the range knocking down multiple shots in a row in various spots on the floor. Shooting on the move was an exercise in futility–I just couldn’t seem to gain the perception needed to control my shots moving at top speed towards the basket. I left many shots long on those attempts. I also tried a variety of over-the-shoulder hooks with both hands. Man…I felt like my hands were the size of the Hulk with his exact same lack of touch and precision. I pretty much Hulk-smashed the backboard trying those hooks. No bueno.

Shooting after POWERHANDZ   

I say this without reservation…POWERHANDZ was like the perfect auto-correct on my shot. The first few shots sans gloves were long but after a quick tweak without as much lift from my base I was money. The key was keeping the high release, follow through and added arc. That last statement is very shooting a basketball 101 in nature but for those with a flatter release I think these gloves will help and for those with the proper release it’s great reinforcement. I thoroughly enjoyed how my jumper felt after using the gloves.

Summation:

The use of this product is a little like weight training but without the soreness the next day. Have you ever lifted weights then got the bright idea that maybe you’d play basketball right after for some cardio? LA Fitness members probably know this routine well. Their is an immediate difference in your hands’ control of the ball post workout with POWERHANDZ.

Basketball is a game of movement and fluidity and it was hardest for me with the gloves on to do things where I needed to control my body movement/weight and action with the ball. Floaters, stop-and-go dribbles, and fadeaways stick out as the most difficult. But after–holy hell was there a positive difference. I see why teams, players and trainers are gravitating to POWERHANDZ– the weighted gloves that can truly lift up your game.

 

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