Rebounding is a very important fundamental of the game of basketball. It takes a good understanding of the fundamentals of rebounding and a lot of hard work to become a good rebounder. By developing this aspect of your game, you help your team increase possession and obtain more scoring opportunities. Rebounding begins with anticipating the movement of the ball and being in the right place at the right time. In the end, however, what really makes the difference is the mental component: you must desire the ball more than your opponent and work harder to get it!
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- Seek to maintain good positioning by tracking movement of the ball at all times. When an opportunity to rebound presents itself, anticipate the path of the ball and try to tip the ball with your fingers to stop its rotation.
- Once you receive the ball, instinctively assume the triple-threat position to protect the ball. The triple threat position gets its name from giving you the option to pass, shoot or dribble. In the triple threat position, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, knees bent, shooting hand on top of ball, and the off hand on the side of the ball. Your elbows should be bent outward at 90-degree angles.
- Basketball is a very mental game and rebounding is no exception. Even if you are not very tall or have extraordinary jumping ability, you have the potential of being a great rebounder. Rebounding is a lot of hard work. Sometimes the ball will slip from your fingers just when you think you have gained possession. It only takes that extra determination to land another two points.
- In an offensive-rebounding situation, it is often wise to shoot immediately. If you employ fake maneuvers and explode when taking the shot, you have a very good chance of making the two. Expect to feel pain in the paint. Always move for a better position.
- If you are playing in a full-court setting and you have made a defensive-bound (that is, a rebound from the missed shot of the opponent) you may want to slow down the pace of the game by stopping. This is a very useful strategy if the other team has gone on a scoring streak; stopping for a moment can help cool the other team down and allow your team to rethink its strategy.
- When your are not being aggressively defended, you can often shake the defense with a head fake. Simply move your head and shoulders in the direction opposite of where you wish to go. You want to sell the move, so you need to make it look like you are actually going in that direction, but you explode the other direction looking for better positioning. When being blocked-out, you can make use of the spin move. Simply lean forward on the opponents back and swing around him putting your lead foot in front of his. This allows you to be in front of the defense. You will, however have to continue to fight for your position.
Rebounding is a combination of vertical and lateral movement. To be a good rebounder, you do not have to be an excellent jumper or a tall person. However, it does help significantly in making you a better rebounder. Consider some exercises to increase your vertical ability as well as improve your strength and conditioning. Below I describe one exercise to help you increase your vertical jumping ability.
Do you remember the frog leaps of your toddler years? This same motion can help increase your vertical reach. Leg bounds help develop the upper legs and increase the explosive power essential in jumping.
- Determine a start point and end point. I like to leave this to the reader as it depends on the level of the player. Know thyself! But know that the effort you put into your training will be reflected in your jumping.
- You will start with your legs together, arms at your sides, and bend your knees as if you are squatting.
- Jump from this position as far out and high as you can throwing out your arms. Try to bring yourself as close to full height as possible.
- Land in the crouched position.