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LaVar Ball's bizarre reason for making his left-handed sons switch to right hand


If you were creating a dominant athlete, you'd make them left-handed. Well, at least if they were competing in a sport where the opposition has to react to them. So soccer, tennis, basketball, baseball - left-handed for sure. Golf or swimming - doesn't matter. If you hear stories of parents forcing their kids to change their dominant hand, it's usually from right to left hand. LaVar Ball, as usual, went the other way - and he did it for the most LaVar Ball reason ever.

Family time

The logic behind lefties having an advantage is simple. About 10% of the population is left-handed. That means 9 out of 10 people you play against will be right-handed - you develop muscle memory and expectations of movement and angle for right-handed people. Then every once in a while, you are faced with a lefthanded opponent, and everything is upside down for you. But for them, 9 out of 10 times, they are playing against right-handed opponents, so it's business as usual.

How many times have you heard "everyone knew he was going left, he went left, and it worked every time." You don't hear that about right-handed players as much, do you? So even if they are extremely dominant on the left side, somehow lefties have an advantage. From their earliest days, LaVar Ball decided all three of his sons were going to play in the NBA. So when two turned out to be left-handed, you'd think he'd be over the moon.

Me and my middle brother Gelo [LiAngelo], we were both born left-handed. Then our pops changed us because when we eat at the table, Lonzo and my pops are right-handed so me and Gelo was hitting them. He changed all of us so we all right.

LaMelo Ball, via Shams Charania

That's right; LaVar changed his two left-handed sons to right hand so they wouldn't bump elbows around the table. I guess he'd make the case he understood the importance of nutrition before anyone else.

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I do have to make a correction - if you were making a dominant athlete, you'd make them ambidextrous. Because his dad made him eat and use his right hand at home, and he was born left-handed, LaMelo can use both hands as well on the court. That's the dream. Obviously, you shoot with your dominant hand, but when it comes to handling the ball, passing, or finishing around the rim, LaMelo is equally deadly with both hands.

By the way, the moment he moved out of the house, LaMelo switched back to eating and doing everything else with his left hand.

Lefty vs righty

One of the most famous examples of a player being right-handed but playing lefty is Rafael Nadal. The Spanish tennis player has been coached by his uncle since youth, and when he was ten years old, uncle Toni told Rafa he has to have a single-handed forehand. Until that point, Nadal hit the ball two-handed from both sides (played backhand from both sides).

Despite being right-handed in life, Nadal automatically started to play tennis like a lefty. His uncle told reporters he always had a feeling Rafa preferred to play sports as a lefty - even when he plays soccer, Nadal prefers his left leg. So just because you write or eat with one hand, it doesn't mean that's necessarily your dominant hand in sports.

We all know who's the first person that comes to mind in basketball. Yet again, for the millionth time this year, it's time to mention Ben Simmons. For years, Kevin O'Connor from The Ringer has been pleading for Simmons to switch to shooting with his right hand.

Just like Simmons, LaMelo's shot looks a bit funny. Actually, when reading Ball's scouting report, shooting form was most often cited as questionable. But unlike Simmons, Melo's shots drop at a significantly higher rate. He's making 39.1% of three-pointers this year, a significant improvement from a decent 35.2% in his rookie season.

Everyone's playing checkers; LaVar Ball is playing 3D chess.

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