How to Rebound Effectively When Playing Basketball
Photo by Production Team

How to Rebound Effectively When Playing Basketball

By Kaitlyn Fedor

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We at Hoop Group like to focus on all aspects of being a complete basketball player. Offense generally tends to get the most attention and praise, but it’s only one aspect of the game. If you’re looking to develop your game with an eventual goal to play college basketball (or even professionally), you’ll want to focus on all parts of being a quality basketball player.

Hoop Group offers a range of basketball clinics and training programs that will develop your full range of skills. Here, we’ll focus on becoming a better rebounder.

How to Rebound

The art of rebounding is a combination of size, technique, and determination. Believe it or not, size is the least important of the three attributes. That’s not to say that size plays no role. After all, if you tower a foot over all the other players, chances are you’re going to be a better rebounder than someone a foot shorter than all other players.

But that’s far from a sure thing. After all, look no further than Dennis Rodman, considered by many to be the greatest rebounder in NBA history. Rodman stood at six feet seven inches tall. That is a normal size for most players, but Rodman routinely went up against players who were seven feet tall or taller.

It goes to show that height isn’t everything when it comes to rebounding.

Boxing Out

Probably the most fundamental concept when it comes to rebounding is the idea of boxing out. Being able to effectively box out can make up for a considerable height and strength disparity.

The core concept of boxing out is to anticipate where the ball is going to fall after a missed shot and make it so only you can catch the ball if it goes there.

If a player is shooting from the left side, most times a missed shot will carry out onto the right of the hoop. This isn’t always the case, but part of boxing out is playing the percentages. More advanced boxing out could include knowing an individual player’s shot tendencies and where they tend to miss.

Once you’ve figured out the spot you think the ball is going to go, you want to stake your claim to space. That means turning your back to the incoming shot and backing up to create space while extending your body to make yourself ‘wide’.

This means that if an opposing player wants to get the ball instead of you, they’re going to have to go either over or through you to get it. Both of those are fouls, meaning you ideally either get the rebound or get fouled, which accomplishes the same thing.

Finally, you’ll want to time your jump so that you reach the falling ball at the height of your leap. This can take some practice and experience to get exactly right.

Showing the Most Heart

Good technique in boxing out will get you lots of uncontested or lightly contested rebounds. But many rebounds are going to be won with sheer determination. Are you willing to battle body-to-body with an opponent? Are you willing to lock up with an opponent and take them out of the play so a teammate can get the rebound? Are you willing to endure some pain and discomfort in the short term to win rebounds?

Size, technique, and heart are at the three pillars that are crucial for rebounders. You can be an outstanding rebounder if you have the last two, regardless of your height.