Maybe you’re not blessed with superior height or you can’t jump out of the gym, but you know you could be getting more rebounds. Your coach keeps telling you that rebounding is the key to games and you have to win the war on the boards. There are 6 things that any basketball player can do to improve their rebounding numbers, both on the offensive and defensive backboards.
1. Get Physical — make body contact and stay on balance. The key to a good rebounder is the ability to find your opponent, make body contact and pivot in either direction on balance.
2. Keep your feet moving — not very often will your opponent stand in one place when a shot goes up — at least the good ones don’t. Therefore, as the offensive player is maneuvering to get an offensive rebound, you as the defender must be able to move side to side and keep them from getting to the ball first by keeping your feet in motion. Don’t stand and lunge with your upper body – move your feet!
3. Watch the flight of the ball — often times, players will look down or back to find their defender when a shot goes up — and lose sight of the ball. Players that can pivot, stay on balance, FEEL the offensive player without having to look for him AND watch the ball as it approaches the rim will have a better chance of being first to the basketball.
4. Anticipate where the ball is coming off the rim — this definitely takes some practice and a skill that can be developed as you are practicing shooting with a friend or a teammate. The key here is to be able to anticipate where the ball is going to come off the rim or the backboard once the shot is missed. The better you can get at figuring out if the shot is going to be short or long will increase your chances of getting more rebounds.
5. Attack the ball with 2 hands and be relentless — the first four steps are “technical” things to help with your rebounding, but this last step has everything to do with effort and might be the most important. The player that has the most “want to” will often times win the ball. If you can learn to go after each ball with two hands, with more aggressiveness, your rebounding numbers will surely increase.