Basketball is a simple game. When you have the ball, you try to score. When the other team has the ball, you try to keep them from scoring. But what about when the ball is in no one’s possession, such as when a shot it taken? To me, that is when everyone on the floor becomes a defender. It is your job to keep the other team from getting the ball and for you to get the rebound. Some players are good rebounders, and some are not. Regardless of where you fall, here are 6 simple rebounding tips that can transform your game today.
And who wouldn’t want to show up to practice tomorrow as a better player?
Rebounding Tip 1 – Always Be In Good Rebounding Position (Box Out)
Any coach worth his or her salt is going to teach you to box out, so it seems obvious that the first step in this list is boxing out.
But boxing out is an absolute must. If you can’t box out, or if you refuse to put forth the effort that boxing out requires, then you will not play. Plain and simple.
When you have good box out position, you put yourself between the ball and your opponent. The only way your opponent is going to get the ball is if it takes a crazy bounce. The only other thing that can happen is that they’ll get called for a foul.
Do have a good box out, you have to be in good position. And that starts with being close to your man while playing defense. As soon as the shot goes up, get your backside to your opponent, feet wide (but still in an athletic stance), and get low. Doing those things will put you in a leverage position that makes you hard to move out of the way.
Just look at this great box out. There’s no way anyone but the Nevada player will be getting the ball
If you can’t be moved, then that ball is yours.
Boxing out is dirty work that doesn’t show up in a box score (other than the number of rebounds), but believe me, coaches notice a great box out. And when a coach notices you, you get to play more.
On a list of rebounding tips, boxing out is definitely #1.
Rebounding Tip 2 – Anticipate The Bounce Of The Ball
Anticipating the bounce of the ball is something that comes with experience, both in rebounding and with your teammates.
Getting a good position is definitely the most important part of grabbing a board, but you also need to learn to read where the ball is going to go.
Where did the shot originate? Who shot it? Was it a lay up? Is it going to be short, long, to the side? You need to be able to figure these things out as the ball is on it’s way to the basket.
If you have good leverage on your position, like we talked about in the first rebounding tip, then you should be able to move your opponent with your body to keep a good box out and go get the ball.
Sometimes, things happen like a long shot has a long rebound, and the guy you’re boxing out will get it. Those things happen. But for the most part, learn the angles of the shots and rebounds and you’ll get more boards than you give up.
Rebound Tip 3 – Always Be Moving
In all sports, being sedentary is a bad things. Go to a professional baseball player and watch how EVERY player on the field moves between pitches and when the pitcher is winding up. They are all in constant motion, on the balls of their feet ready to go.
Basketball is the same way. If you’re standing there watching, your opponent won’t be. And if he or she is moving while a shot is in the air, then the they will get the rebound, not you.
And do you know what happens when your opponent runs right by you to get a rebound and a put-back? You get taken out. Immediately. And it never looks good on film. Been there.
Watch how one of the best rebounders of all time, Dennis Rodman, was able to get this put-back by constantly moving.
This isn’t a classic box out, but he put himself in good position, put a quick block on the defender, kept his feet moving so he was on his toes, read the angle of the rebound, and put the ball back in.
If you have a mindset to always be on your toes, always looking to get involved, then the rebounding tips found in #1 and #2 will come naturally.
Rebounding Tip 4 – Jump High
Once you have good position and you’ve read the angle of the missed shot, you have to go get it.
If you’re in a good rebounding position, then the only way your opponent can get the ball without fouling you is if it’s a long rebound or he or she simply jumps higher than you.
Don’t let that happen.
When you see the ball coming your way, time your jump and jump as high as you can with your hands raised, ready to receive the ball. Do your best to grab the ball at your highest point.
Having trouble jumping high? I highly recommend this program to help you out with your vertical jump. It is vitally necessary to be able to jump as high as possible.
Rebounding Tip 5 – Hold On Tightly To The Ball
Ok, so now that you have done all of the above, you don’t want it all wasted by getting the ball stolen.
Once you have grabbed the ball, hold onto it tightly with your elbows out to the side.
In the old days, we were taught to start swinging side-to-side once we got the rebound. Nobody cares enough about the ball to lose a few teeth over it.
However, nowadays, you’ll get flagrants and technicals for swinging elbows, and all your good rebounding technique will go for naught.
Still, do your best to hold onto the ball, keeping it high and away from pesky opponents that aren’t satisfied that they didn’t get the rebound. And look out for those guards that can sneak around unseen to slap the ball out of your hands.
Rebounding Tip 6 – Be Tough!
Rebounding is hard work. If it were easy, then everyone would be able to do it. You have to be willing to stand your ground, not get pushed around, and be a little mean.
If you can do that, then your teammates and coaches will love you. Like I mentioned above, rebounds show up in the stat sheet, but the hard work that goes into it doesn’t. But the people at the game see the work and know that you do what is needed to help your team win.
Scouts see it too. Scouts don’t look at a score sheet. Anyone can luck into a few boards. But the good players do the work that is required to become a good rebounder.
Don’t have your coach, teammates, or a scout watch film and see that you got outworked.
6 Rebounding Tips To Transform Your Basketball Game
So to recap these 6 rebounding tips:
- Box out
- Anticipate the bounce of the ball
- Always be moving
- Jump high
- Hold on tightly to the ball
- Be tough!
If you can do, and are willing to do, these 6 things, you will become a better rebounder almost immediately. Your coaches will certainly notice the work you are putting in. You’ll get more playing time and will be more productive out there on the court.
Good luck, I’m rooting for you! I’ll leave you with this video of a great rebounding drill.