Rebounding – Why and How?

“Tom, that’s enough rebounds for today!” or “Joanne, Can you please stop rebounding the basketball!”.

Have you ever heard your coach say something along these lines? No; well, there is probably a reason. Rebounding is one of the most desirable skills in the game of basketball. In fact, I am going to go out on a limb and say this, any player that is the leading rebounder on his team will start and play more minutes than his teammates.

Do you want more minutes? Every player that I have ever come across wants to know what they can do to get more game time. Well, here it is. If you are the leading rebounder on your team, your coach will give you more minutes.

Wait, I can hear it now… “Coach, I am not tall enough” or “Coach, he is bigger than me” or “Coach, I would have grabbed that rebound, but I couldn’t get there.”

Here’s my answer, “I wanted to get you on the court, but I didn’t!!”.

Excuses are what ensures that you spend more time on the bench. Stop making excuses and deal the hand that you were dealt. Height and size aren’t a reason not to grab rebounds. But, before we talk about how to become a better rebounder, let’s find out why you’d want to grab rebounds or rather how grabbing rebounds will benefit your team.

Basketball is a simple game; the winner of this simple game is determined by the team that scores more points at the end of regulation. That would mean that if you stop the opposition from having multiple scoring attempts and give your team a second and third attempt at the basket, you’d increase your chances of having more points.

Grabbing rebounds also affects the opposition psychologically. It is, without a doubt, a mind game. Think about the last time you played excellent defense and the opposition took a bad shot, only for them to secure an offensive board and get an easy put back. How did that make you feel?!

When you hustle and grab every loose ball and every rebound, the opposition will begin to lose hope and you’ll win the mind game, which will make the rest a lot easier.

What about the how? There are three skills that you must develop in order to become a better rebounder.  These are mental toughness, sound footwork and basketball IQ. Yes, I realise that I did not mention, size, strength, height and physique. No, I didn’t make a mistake.

Rebounding is more mental than anything else. The player that wants the ball more than anyone else will get the basketball. Put simply, if I told you that I would give you €1000 if you grabbed ten rebounds against a bigger player, would you not try a lot harder and come up with more than you would otherwise??

If you are mentally tough and you develop good footwoork and add that to your basketball IQ, you will grab more rebounds than you’ve ever done before. What do I mean by basketball IQ?

Shots that are taken from further away from the basket generally fall long as opposed to shots that are taken from closer in. All you have to do now is realise where the shot came from to have an understanding of where it’s going to go. Shots from the wings and corners will bounce off to the weak-side more often than they won’t. Weak-side rebounding becomes critical now for two reasons.

1. The shot will bounce off your way 60% of the time and 2. the defender will not see you coming from behind.

Drills to help you improve your footwork will follow in the next article. Stay tuned and become your teams’ best rebounder next season.

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