Rebounding is one of the major stat lines taken into account during games of basketball. While it may not be as glamorized in professional leagues or in games on the street, rebounding is one of the most important aspects of the game.
No matter the position, rebounding is an extremely beneficial thing to do to help increase your teams likelihood of securing a win. It’s not just for the big guys on the court, the guards who can pull down rebounds are a major threat to the other teams and help serve as all around weapons on the court. Many games can be decided by the team that collects the most boards, and however many members of the team that go to grab rebounds can determine who is going to come out of the game victorious.
Here are some tips to help improve the rebounding ability for yourself or your players.
- Rebounding mindset – Rebounding is oft considered the grunt work on the court. It often takes hustle and a particular want to grab the rebounds on the court. Developing the mindset early of the importance of the rebound and understanding that on the court is needed to grab boards. Learn how to box out and aggressively capture the loose balls.
- Inside positioning – The player who usually has the inside position closest to the basket has the best chance of grabbing the rebound or drawing a foul in that effort. To get inside positioning, know when the ball is being shot through communication with teammates, and then box out. Some shots, particularly three-pointers can miss long and guards will have to get into position for the rebound.
- Boxing out – A skill that every player should know. It is just as important as many of the other skills in the game. No matter the position on the court, everyone should know how to box out. To box out, get in front of the player you are guarding. Face basket, get low and wide with your arms out and hands facing backwards. This allows you to feel the player behind you and seal them from the hoop.
- Fake out for offensive rebounds – On offense, the defender will usually have the inside positioning near the hoop. To get an offensive rebounds, it may be necessary to make moves to get around the defender. Swim moves, faking one way and going the other, and pinning the defenders arms down give you the chance to grab the offensive rebound.
- Run to the Basket – This is somewhat obvious, but sometimes when shots go up, players are drown to watching the ball and moving slowly toward the basket. By running to the hoop, you have the chance to quickly move into an inside position and the momentum to leap about everyone else standing to grab the rebound.
- Make the First Contact – By initiating the contact first it gives you the chance to move them out of position and yourself into positioning. It also gives you leverage and the other player may back down and deem it’s not worth the energy to fight someone who is hustling. Anticipation is key for rebounding and if you anticipate before others, there will be more rebounds for you.
- Move on Release – Once the offensive player releases the ball for the shot, make the move towards the basket.
- Practice – Get used to understanding the ball trajectory following misses. Have a player shoot for different positions on the court and get used to knowing how the ball bounces and where it will bounce to. Can use multiple players running drills practicing going after the rebounds.
- Work on your vertical leap – The ball trajectory can bounce very high following a missed shot, and having the ability to jump high can secure more rebounds.
- Get lower body stronger – Being able to secure the positioning you want on the court without anyone being able to move you makes you a threat for rebounds. Also having a strong lower body can help move others and certainly helps for backing down players on the offensive end.
Height, and strength are regularly one of the major determining factors for a good rebounder. Height isn’t always a necessity, using strength and skill can compensate for rebounding ability. For example, some of the best rebounders in NBA history weren’t the tallest guys. Charles Barkley was one of the best in his day at grabbing boards, and he was only 6’6″ in a league where teams typically had at least two, sometimes, three, and rarely 4 players on the court who were taller than him. He used his box out ability and his strength to get himself in great positions to grab the rebounds. Dennis Rodman is another great example of a rebounder for wasn’t super tall. At 6’7″, Rodman got into the position throughout his career by being strong, scrappy, and having a good vertical leap to grab the rebounds that others didn’t put in the effort to go and get. While both Barkeley and Rodman played the Forward position on the court to have success grabbing rebounds, it’s not just relegated to the frontcourt positional players. Jason Kidd was the New Jersey Nets leader in rebounding for years. His ability to time the balls bounce off the rim and get into the right position gave him the ability to excel in rebounding, and since he was also point guard and a tremendous passer, he then was able to pass to his teammates who were already moving down the court and score during the fast break.
Defensive rebounding secures possession for the defending team following a miss by the offense and now gives the rebounding team the chance to score points.
Offensive rebounding is especially satisfying in that and offensive rebound means the team that was already in possession of the ball secures the rebound for themselves and gives themselves another chance to score. Particularly in offensive rebounding situations, since it usually happens infrequently and somewhat in a surprised manner to the other team, after collecting an offensive rebound, often times the chance to score greatly increases. Rebounds are usually collected near the basket, so, if a player on offense collects the rebound, they are likely within close proximity to the basket and have a good chance of being able to put the ball right back up and score some points, or, out of frustration, a defender may foul and then they get the chance to shoot some free throws.