Although the team with the most points after the final whistle wins, many people fail to realize that rebounds are nearly as important as points. More rebounds equal more opportunities for your team to score and fewer opportunities for the opponent to do so. Basketball coaches love players that work hard on the glass because they know that winning the battle of the boards often directly correlates to winning the game. If you aren’t getting the playing time you feel you deserve, a great strategy to earn more minutes is to improve your game under the rim. Use these tips and tricks to get yourself in position to rebound more often.
1. Position yourself on fast breaks
When your team is pushing the ball in transition and has a fast break, get yourself to the front of the basket. The defense typically will be out of position trying to stop the quick basket allowing you to either be open underneath for an easy score, or in a great position to collect a rebound and get a second chance if your teammate misses their shot. Good things happen to players who are in the right place at the right time.
2. Clean up teammates’ trash on dribble drive
If one of your teammates successfully penetrates using a dribble drive, follow behind them on their way to the hoop. In all likelihood, your teammate will attract the attention of multiple defenders, causing them to collapse on him. This will leave you open to grab an easy rebound if he misses and leave you in a position to have a putback score.
3. Start moving as soon as you know a shot is coming
If you react to a shot before your opponents, you will be able to get yourself in a more favorable position for the rebound. This is always going to be easier when you are looking for an offensive rebound, and you need to be careful with this mentality on defense. There is a fine balance between reacting too soon and too late. If you anticipate a defensive rebound too early, you risk being caught out of position and leaving your man open for an easy bucket. However, once you are certain that a shot is in progress, position yourself between your man and the basket to have an extra step on them for the rebound.
4. Practice drills that force you to rebound everywhere
Many players will only make attempts at a rebound if the ball come close to them—just watching anything that seems out of reach. This is the mare of a bad rebounder. Aggressive players on the boards will go after the ball no matter how far from it they may be. Again, there is a fine line between going for the ball and leaving your man unguarded, but aggressive rebounding typically leads to greater success on the stat sheet.
To condition yourself to work for rebounds no matter where they are, have a friend throw a ball off the backboard and rim so that it lands far away from your position. Sprint to it and throw it back to your friend. Get back into a position to rebound again and get the next one. This will not only improve your rebounding skills and aggression, but is a fantastic way to get extra conditioning in.
It is important when doing your basketball training that you’re focusing on the specific elements of your game you wish to improve. Broad training is better than no training, but if you want to accelerate your development you need to hone in on your deficiencies and work hard to correct them.
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