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Basketball Rebounding Tips

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Boxing Out

The first thing to understand about boxing out is that it is the best way to create space for yourself so you can get the ball. It isn't just to keep your man from getting it necessarily, but also a way to make it easier for you to get it. You must make contact first to square up the player you are boxing out.

The contact should be to stop him before turning and getting your rear into him. Stay low and get into his legs. If you are in his legs, he will be unable to really jump or move. By getting in the opposing player's legs you make it difficult for him to be in an athletic position.

Players sometimes ask me why they seem to get pushed out of position sometimes. I tell them that it is usually because they don't have a solid enough base position. Get low and if you find yourself getting pushed around then get into the weight room and build up those legs. Make sure that you aren't under the basket when boxing out or too far away from the basket either.

Both positions make it difficult to actually get the ball, which is the entire purpose. Remember that boxing out isn't just to keep your man from getting it it's also about making it easier for you to get it.

Offensive Rebounding

This is something that is more about desire and instinct than anything else. Good offensive rebounders have desire to get the ball and don't give up. They go just as hard for these rebounds as they do for defensive rebounds. I teach them to take advantage of how the defense is playing them.

What I mean is that I teach defenders to front post players with the drawback being that they give up position for offensive rebounds. Even if the defense is playing 3 quarters on a man, it makes it very easy to obtain offensive position on the glass.

A few years back I watched Florida beat Ohio St. in the national championship and was intrigued by how Billy Donovan wanted to defend Greg Oden. Florida decided to match up with Oden man-to-man and hope for the best. They didn't front him, in fact they let him catch it. Watching that game made me realize how good Oden really is in that he made Noah and Horford look human. Noah and Horford are both solid first-round picks and Oden had his way with them.

The point is that Billy Donovan was willing to play behind Oden and hope for the best over giving up offensive rebounding position. Ohio St. missed most of their 3's in the game and Oden wasn't in offensive rebounding position because his man was constantly behind him. Great coaching move by Billy Donovan.

Let me add this... the best way to get an offensive rebound is to not let the defender engage you in the first place. When he goes to establish contact, try to maintain space so that you can get around him and to the ball. Don't try to go over the player's back if he boxed you out correctly. It is just a good way to get wasteful fouls and get you on the bench.

An Effective Rebound Drill

Some of the more successful rebounding coaches that I've worked with have done a drill that describes the ideal scenario for a rebound. It happens maybe once a game, but it is when the ball actually bounces in the middle of the floor after a missed shot.

To practice this drill, have the offense form a shell 15 feet away from the basket. Don't extend it to the 3 point line because that is unreasonable. Have a coach shoot a shot toward the basket and have the defense box-out by making contact with the player first and then turning and getting their butts into the defenders before going for the ball.

You will have some players who don't do a very good job at this and this drill requires a lot of repetitions, but it is very worth it. Ideally, you want the ball to miss and bounce in the middle of the floor before a defender grabs the rebound.

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