Rebounding is probably the best test of any player’s desire to get the ball. Everyone appreciates a good rebounder who jumps well and times his move to get to the basket accordingly. But jumping ability alone is not enough to guarantee good rebounding.
If you defend properly you will have manoeuvred yourself into a position between the offence and the basket to be ready to rebound, which is the last act on defence. The good rebounder always assumes the shot will miss so he, carries his hands at about shoulder height, pivots into the path between his opponent and the basket to box out, then attacks the ball aggressively. Remember you are defending the basket – if you can touch the ball without gaining control, tap it away from the danger area.
The outstanding athleticism of modern basketball players means more and more people can play above the rim. Merely standing under the basket area is no guarantee that you will rebound a missed shot. Athletic offensive players may jump from areas well away from the basket and still get their hands above ring and tip in missed shots. It is important for defenders to screen out offensive players as far from the ring as possible interrupting their momentum and taking away a direct path to the basket.
If you are on offence and the defence has the inside position the same principles will apply, but you must try to fake and out-manoeuvre your defender to gain the front position to contest the rebound. In an ideal position you may go for the tip in, but it is usually better to regain possession for a controlled shot. Rip the ball down to just below the chin and then be aware of a possible outlet pass or go up aggressively for the shot. Sometimes a quick ‘pump’ fake may get the defender off balance.
There are different thought on blocking out for rebounds. Some coaches tell their players to pivot on their opponent, make contact and keep them out as far away from the basket as possible then go for the ball. Other coaches teach how to zone the basket by forming a triangle around the basket with players responsible for a particular area. Others say, just go hard at the basket. I believe the best method is to check the opponent’s path, then get after the ball without necessarily seeking contact before the rebound attempt. Teaching very young players how to pivot into the path of a defender, without causing a blocking foul is important. Once the players develop a ‘habit’ of locating their opponent and pivoting to screen off a path to the basket it becomes an almost instinctive reaction and good rebounding follows.
Tips for better rebounding
- The most important requirement in rebounding is a desire to get the ball. A player must really need to get the ball to become a great rebounder.
- Check your opponent then get after the ball.
- Use short sharp steps to gain position and then jump evenly off both feet.
- In the final preparation before rebounding bend your knees and hold your elbows away from your body, with both hands just about shoulder height.
- Defensive players should pivot to the outside for a quick outlet pass. If you cannot control the rebound tip the ball away.
- Offensive players should anticipate where the ball will come off the rim and get to that position. Tap the ball if you cannot get two hands to control the rebound.
- Work on your physical condition so you are able to make several repetitive rebounding attempts in the one play situation. Skipping rope is an excellent conditioner.