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How to Get More Rebounds Per Game

How to Get More Rebounds Per Game

We’ve mentioned the importance of passing, of shooting, and of playing proper defense.  However, an often-overlooked skill that elevates great basketball players from the good ones, is their ability to properly and effectively secure a rebound.

Below, we are going to discuss and help you learn how to get more rebound per game.  While this may sound like a lofty goal, requiring countless hours in the gym, on the court, and watching tape, we are going to teach you how to get more rebounds in a game by simply following these straightforward steps.

Basketball is a Thinking Game

Too often, we teach our players and our readers that basketball is just as equally a thinking game than simply a physical one.  Basketball, like much of life, runs off the laws of physics. 

And while there are certain outliers and probabilities that may be difficult to ascertain, most actions will have a set number of probabilistic outcomes.  This is especially true when it comes to rebounding.

All too often, rebounding is a skill that requires an understanding of ball physics, rather than just brute strength or force.  Now, while height and strength can be beneficial, those two factors are not the end-all, be-all of rebounding skill.

Rather, and as can be seen by watching tapes of great NBA rebounders, rebounding is a skill that requires you to understand where the ball is going, not where it is.  It is this skill that differentiates the great rebounders from so many other players.

Where is the Ball Going?

When it comes to getting more rebounds per game, you need to think about where the ball is going.  Whether you are looking to secure an offensive or defensive rebound, your goal should be to understand where the ball will be after a shot is attempted.

While, as an offensive player, you will want the ball to go through the hoop, you should be prepared for it not to.  This means you should anticipate a missed shot and hope for a made one.

Anticipation is the key factor here.  When an offensive player attempts a shot, anticipating where the ball is going to land will help you to be the first player there. 

As we’ve previously discussed, longer-shots lead to long rebounds.  Conversely, shorter shots will lead to shorter rebounds.  This is due to the force needed to exert a shot. 

When an offensive player attempts a shot from beyond the three-point line, they are exerting more force on the ball.  If they miss the shot, that exerted energy is transferred from the rim further away.

Similarly, when an offensive player attempts a shot near the rim, they are exerting less force on the ball.  The missed shot, subsequently, will have less energy and will transfer a shorter distance from the rim.

Move First to the Anticipated Landing Zone

Rebounds are secured or lost by the first player to touch the ball.  And a skilled rebounder will ensure that their first touch on the ball after a missed shot is properly secured. 

But securing the rebound requires you to move first to the anticipated landing zone.  This means that immediately as an offensive player begins their shooting motion, you should move to where the ball is anticipated to land. 

You must learn to anticipate where the ball is going to land and immediately move there.  As an old coach used to tell me, “In basketball, a thinking man is a dead man.”  So, don’t overthink it.  Anticipate where the missed shot is going to land and position yourself firmly there for the rebound.

Run to the Ball

While anticipating where the rebound may fall after a failed shot will help you to secure more rebounds per game, there will be situations where you are incorrect on where the ball will land.  Now, there’s nothing bad about being wrong.

But, if you anticipated incorrectly, you must force yourself to continue trying.  This means that you should never remain static on the court.  If you see that the ball is going to land somewhere other than where you are, you must begin running to that location.

All too often, particularly as the game goes into the second half, players energy levels will begin to wear.  This is your time to shine and your perfect opportunity to begin getting more rebounds.  Take advantage of other players weaknesses and tiredness.

Similarly, don’t be discouraged by other players, whether defensive or offensive, in your way.  Continue moving, chasing, and spinning your way through players towards where the ball is going to land.

Utilize Effective Box Out Techniques

Boxing out an opposing player is one of the most effective ways to secure a rebound.  However, all too often, players will box out ineffectively or simply box out an opposing player who is not a threat to securing the rebound.

When it comes to boxing out, you should always position yourself between the opposing player and the basket.  This is particularly useful as, if, the ball lands between the space between yourself and the rim, you will be the player most likely able to secure the rebound.

In addition, ensure that you are boxing out the player closest to you and the player whom no other player on your team has boxed out.  This is simpler when playing man-to-man defense but can be a little more difficult when playing a zone defense.

When playing zone defense, you should look to find an opposing player closest to your position to box out.   Whether you are close to the rim or past the free-throw line, boxing out the closest player to you will help you to secure a rebound in your general direction.

In addition, good boxing out technique requires you to keep your feet wide apart. And your hips low.  This gives you proper positioning against your opponent and forces them further back from the rim.  In this position, be sure to also keep your arms up and wide, ready to grab the rebound.

Ascertain Opposing Players Threat Levels

When it comes to rebounding the ball after a missed shot, not every player is a threat.  Some players may not be particularly inclined to chase the rebound, while others may remain static on the floor. 

If you are looking to get more rebounds per game, then you must assess the opposing team’s threat level for that rebound.  Don’t waste time boxing out a player not being active nor a player not moving towards the rebound.  Utilize you time efficiently and chase the rebound against opposing players looking to also secure it.