Rebounding, unglamorous but oh so important...

"Rebounding is where you get a chance to compete for possession of the basketball."

-Jerry Sloan, longtime head coach of the Utah Jazz

...yes, rebounding. The goal on offense is to score; statistically, half the time people will miss.

It is such a crucial aspect of basketball, but often overlooked; lets face it, catching someone's missed shot doesn't exactly make you feel like a star.

Bottom line, fewer rebounds means fewer possessions, meaning fewer scoring opportunities.

Many people think its the biggest and strongest guy's job to crash the board. Truth is, every player on the court needs to incorporate it into their game.

Boxing Out

Now you know how important rebounds are; only problem is other players are trying to get the ball as well. So what are you going to do about that? You're going to BOXING OUT.

First, make sure that you are always in between the opposing player and the basket. Seal the other player out of the area where the ball is likely to land.

  • Establish a strong base with your feet on the ground.
  • Bend your knees so you have more leverage.
  • Stick your arms out horizontally; you can’t grab or hold the other player, but you can seal them out by extending your arms.
  • Now here’s your secret weapon: YOUR BUTT. No joke. Use it to box/force your opponent out of the area.

That’s how you get POSITION.

Now that you have position, you’re halfway there. Once the ball goes up, jump up and grab it with TWO HANDS. Now, sometimes it’ll be better to snatch it with one hand and bring it in with authority, but fundamentally speaking, use both hands.

***Rebounding Tip #1***

The ball isn’t always going to go where you want it to, so if that happens to be the case, jump up and use one hand to just TAP the ball towards you and away from the other player. Sometimes you’ll need to tap it more than once, keep doing it until that ball is securely in your grasp.

Other times, you may not be in position to get the ball at all unless you could stretch your arms like Mr. Fantastic. In these situations, simply extend one arm and tap the ball towards one of your teammates and away from the opposing player. You’ll be amazed at how well this works.

***Rebounding Tip #2***

Know the shooters. Observe and get to know your teammates and the other team and how they shoot. If a player’s shot tends to have no arc, more like a line drive, then you can expect long hard ricochets off the back of the rim. Or if a player tends to shoot it short a lot, you can expect the misses to come off the front of the rim or maybe even an air ball. High arcing shots tend to bounce high with more hang time. So the point here is to know the shooter and you will have a better idea of where the ball is going to go.

Here is an excellent tutorial that NBA on TNT did featuring Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic on the fundamentals of rebounding:

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