Rebounding is very essential in our sports. Don’t wait for your opponent to make the shots before having the chance to handle the ball yourself. Rebounding enables your team to have a lot of extra chances for scoring and limit the opponent’s opportunity to get into valuable possessions. This disables them to make the easy points.
When a player shoots the ball it can either sink in or bounce off the rim. So, whenever a shot is made, this is the time for your players to get ready for the rebound.

Basically everyone in the team can be a rebounder. There may be exceptions, but usually the team’s best rebounders are those players who are tall. However, another thing to consider is also the player’s ability to jump and good rebounders have the skill to anticipate where the ball may bounce off and are excellent in regards to timing.
Even if you do not score, as long as you can get that ball back, you will still be able to score by putting another 24 seconds of defensive pressure on the other team. Therefore it is important that every player develops his rebounding skills. Whether a player is tall or not, if he is determined he should learn to understand what he needs to become a good rebounder.

Here are some of my thoughts on what makes a good rebounder:

1. Have the desire to pursue the ball.
As a good rebounder you have the desire and determination to follow where the ball goes, or anticipate where it falls. You have the aggressiveness to get rid of everyone in the zone to grab a hold of the ball. Try to be more relentless then all the other players in the court and have the determination. This gives you the confidence to continue what you do best.

2. Maintain appropriate balance.
Balance is critical and is achieved with putting your feet shoulder-width apart and by having flexed knees. The weight is exerted at the center axis of your body. Bending at the knees is a good preparatory balance to generate a forceful push upward as you jump off your feet to get the rebound. In addition, this also aids in frequent change of position. A good rebounder does all these little things to maintain a proper balance. Moreover, he always stands at the balls of his feet to get a good balance, ready to follow the direction of the ball.

3. Establish a good rebounding position.
A good rebounder is very clever in positioning himself when he goes for a rebound. He is quick to discern where to go and he anticipates and follows where the ball will drop. Find a way to position yourself by observing the movements of the other players in the zone.
4. Be able to Box out your opponent.
Boxing out is done by staying between your direct opponent and the ball, when the ball has left the shooter’s hand. Use your back against the front body of your opponent to prevent him from establishing a good position for a rebound. This will help to create a good position wherein you can have the advantage of rebounding the ball first. Positioning is a key ingredient in rebounding.

5. Establish proper timing in jumping for the ball.
When attempting to rebound the ball, don’t wait for the ball to fall in your hands. A good rebounder waits for the perfect moment when he jumps for the ball and his quickness and anticipation where the ball will go enables him to establish the proper timing. The basic concept is to jump when the ball reaches his highest point and starts to fall down, and not when the ball is still on its way up.
6. Secure the ball after every rebound.
Ensure that the ball is properly secured after he catches it. Chin it and put out your elbows! There are times that opponents will try to grab or tap the ball off your hand. Hugs the ball with both hands and move it by pivoting to make it hard for opponents to steal the ball.

7. Be persistent in strength and conditioning workouts.
As a good rebounder you continuously exercises the team’s conditioning program. You have to work out every day to develop endurance, stamina, strength, power, speed, agility and jumping ability. These are very relevant in carrying out the role of a great rebounder. As well-conditioned player you have a better chance of executing on the court perfectly.

8. Have the heart.
Rebounding is not just a responsibility, most importantly, it is a choice! Rebounding is not an easy task. In most cases it is a very physical and exhausting skill to fight for the ball. It requires extra energy and hard work and a good rebounder has the heart to expend as much energy he can give just to get the ball.

A good rebounder is like an icing on the cake. Imagine having a set of players who can shoot and defend the basket, and then add a great rebounder. How excellent can that be? There is nothing more a coach can ask than having a complete set of players. Remember, coaches always emphasize their players to rebound the ball. Having one more rebound than your opponent may decide whether you win or lose a close game.

[info_box]Picture credit: terren in VirginiaCreative Commons Attribution[/info_box]