Advanced Rebounding: Secrets From The Pros
Rebounding is one of the most important phases of the game of basketball. Rebounding gives a team possession of the basketball, and each possession helps both a team's offense and their defense and ultimately helps a team win basketball games.
As coaches, we believe that you can shoot too much, dribble too much, pass too much and even over defend a team and take yourself out of position. But no matter what, you cannot rebound too much!
How to Rebound
Everyone knows that in addition to effort and intensity, you should "box-out" to rebound. But when I coached at DePaul University, I learned exactly how to "box-out" from Joey Meyer and his dad Ray Meyer.
Basically, the same post-up moves (Hall of Fame coach Ray Meyer invented post play) used to score in the post are also very effective when used to gain rebounding positioning. Most coaches and players also agree that anticipation of where a missed shot will go is a technique that is needed to consistently be a good rebounder.
But in a recent conversation with Dennis Rodman, he emphasized that what most people saw as his great anticipation to go after a missed shot, actually started as constant movement to get and maintain post positioning -- long before the shot was ever taken.
It is said that defense wins championships. When a team is on defense, unless there is a turnover, the offensive team will get a shot opportunity. Defense is not over until you secure a rebound.
According to coach Bob Knight, "The first thing you have to do defensively is to eliminate cheap points, and nothing is cheaper and more demoralizing to a defense than giving up a point blank put-back shot off a missed shot."
Old school thinking says the team that makes the most layups wins. Offensive rebounds give you more layup opportunities. Modern trends have many teams relying on the three-point shot. The easiest three-point shot is a wide-open spot-up jumper. Offensive rebounds are often easily passed out to shooters on the opposite side who are left wide open.
Style of Play Rebounding
If you are an athletic team, you can afford to follow Michigan State coach Tom Izzo's offensive rebounding philosophy of sending two or three offensive players after your team's missed shot instead of getting back on defense. However this is most effective when you are an athletic team.
Not that athletic? Focus on defensive transition to slow the opponent down enough to establish defensive position, dig in with your defense and rebound better.
The Ultimate Rebound
When watching basketball games, crowds get excited when someone dunks or makes a three-point shot during a close game. It can demoralize your opponent and give your team momentum. When it happens in the final seconds of a game, it can seal the victory!
But it is much more likely that you will have an opportunity to secure an offensive or defensive rebound during those moments. When a team is losing, a defensive rebound gives them one last shot at winning. When a team has the lead in the final moments of a game and they secure a rebound, they win.