How to Box Out in Basketball

Basketball is one of the most well-liked, and widely sighted, sports in the world and there are many techniques and practices such a shooting, dribbling, passing and rebounding. In this article I’d like to share some of my thoughts to tackle rebounding and its component: “Boxing Out”.

Box outing an opponent usually happens when a players goes for a rebound on offense and on defense. It is the time when a player tries to position himself first, and disabling the opponent from getting a good position for the rebound. Let’s have a look at what rebounding is all about. According to Wikipedia’s definition, the objective of rebounding is to successfully gain possession of the basketball after a missed field goal or free throw, as it rebounds from the hoop or backboard. Rebounding is very crucial to get as much chance as you can to shoot the ball into the basket.

Now, let us move on to boxing out. What is “boxing out”? Boxing out is one of the most used phrases when we talk about rebounding. According to basic Basketball glossary, boxing out is a way to establish and maintain a rebounding position between the basket and your opponent. In addition, according to Wikipedia, boxing out is a technique used in basketball to obtain rebounds. A player boxes out another player by positioning himself between the other player and the basket. The action is also commonly known as “blocking out”. A team can be boxed-out by several players using this technique to stop other players from rebounding.

Boxing-out is the first priority especially in defensive rebounding. Defenders usually have the the inside position closer to the basket when a shot is taken, and they will get the majority of rebounds if they keep and protect this position.

Let us now move on to the main issue on how to box out in basketball. So, how does a player actually box out? This question is very tricky since every player has its own technique in doing it, but the principles are still the same by positioning yourself between the other player and the basket. The goal is to stop opposing players from rebounding to control the ball. One of the famous lines used by coaches all over the world is: “Whoever controls the rebounds, controls the game!”.

Here are some tips on how to box out defenders in basketball:

1. Keep an eye on the player you are defending all the time.
You must ensure that you see the person you are guarding. If your opponent has the ball, you should face him with your arms raised in front of him, and your feet at shoulder width apart. On the other hand, if he does not have the ball on his hands, you must drop back a little so that both the ball and your opponent are in your peripheral vision. In this way, you can always anticipate his movements, and then block him along the way when the ball goes off in the air and rebounds off the ring.

2. Watch your opponent’s movement.
When the ball is shot, keep a short distance between you and your opponent. Watch the motion of his feet, and wait for him to make the first move. You must be very smart when you do this. This is very helpful for you in terms of getting the perfect boxing out position. Bring yourself between your opponent and the ball.

3. Utilize your pivoting skills in getting in position.
If your opponent tries to penetrate on the right side of the basket, put your right foot in place and pivot around. On the other hand, if he goes to your left, put your left foot in place and pivot around. Your work in boxing your opponent out will be much easier and faster when you utilize your pivoting skills.

4. Establish contact and lower your body.
It does not really matter if you are a big, or a small, player. Either type of players can box out. The important thing is to lower your body a bit to get a low center of gravity, and get enough strength to push your opponent away from the rebounding area. The thing you should remember is to use your back to box-out, and face the ring to see where the ball will fall. The idea is that you stay in front of you opponent to get first access as the ball rebounds off the ring. When he tries to reach for the ball when he is behind you, there is a great chance the he will get a foul call.

5. Stick with your man.
Your opponent will try to find ways to get around you. You should be clever enough to handle this situation. When he tries to get around you to position himself in front of the basket, keep a low body position, slide your feet, and always keep you arms raised and spread out. Do not hook your guard by moving your hands back, because you might get yourself a foul call.

Players should get the habit of grabbing loose balls and dive for them, if necessary. This a tough play that has been the deciding factor in winning and losing many games, rebounding may be the best objective statistical measure of individual effort.