Basketball Rebounding Drills – Getting Position and Getting the Ball

Focus, persistence, and aggression. Run all the basketball rebounding drills you want, but your players need to have these qualities above all else if they are going to become solid basketball rebounders.

Basketball Rebounding Drills

They’ve got to want the ball and they’ve got to go after it, even as they are being bounced around. They need to have single minded purpose. And if they stand around complaining about no whistle being blown, they’re going to lose out on that rebound or that second shot, so they’re better off just being tough.

This set of basketball rebounding drills focuses on how to get to the rebound and how to bring it down aggressively; how to outlet the ball when the rebounder is on defense, to get the fast break started quickly; and how to go back up strong when we’re on offense. And how to do it all while getting banged around inside.

These drills focus on either improving the fundamental skills needed to be in the right place and take down the rebound with control, or provide game situations that generally have a lot of contact, to teach players how to bring the ball down in a crowd and protect it.

A good rebound doesn’t really depend on the height of the player (think Charles Barkley– the Round Mound of Rebound at only 6’6″) or how high the player can jump (though a good vertical leap can definitely help). But good fundamentals are absolutely essential for a player to become a tough, consistent rebounder.

Basketball Rebounding Drills
The Fundamentals

Rebounding Tough

There are differences in how we approach a defensive rebound and an offensive rebound, but there are similarities as well. Here is what your players need to look for on every rebound:

  • Stability – they need a wide base and to start with their center of gravity low, so they are not pushed out of the way (especially important when they are boxing out)
  • Get position – which usually means, find your opponent first, get the inside position, box him out and only then go for the ball
  • Rebound with two hands – less likely to lose control
  • Don’t bring the ball down once they’ve got it – bringing the ball down to chest level allows smaller, scrappy players the chance to grab it. Keep the ball above your head, with your elbows out.

And after the rebound is secured:

  • On offense – almost always the best course of action is to immediately go back up for the follow-up shot
  • On defense, call ‘Rebound’ and pivot to the outlet spot – the sooner the ball is outletted (safely), the sooner transition can begin

Basketball Rebounding Drills
The Drills

Basketball Rebounding Drills - Rebound and Outlet DrillRebound and Outlet Drill

Once you have taught the basic fundamentals of rebounding, use the Rebound and Outlet drill to reinforce basics of rebounding and outletting the ball. You can also use the Superman Drill to help players improve how well they time their jump when rebounding the drill.

One of the most important fundamentals in rebounding is boxing out – an absolutely essential skill that every player needs to know. Use the 3-on-3 Box Out drill to help players develop this skill.

But once they know the basic fundamentals of rebounding, you need to start using basketball rebounding drills that simulate game situations. Drills like The Bump Drill that help players focus on rebounding while being hit, as will happen in the game; and the 3 Man Rebounding Drill that is a good simulation of how to fight for the boards in a game. These drills include lots of contact, so remind players to be persistent and brush off the contact, to focus on getting to and controlling the ball.

Also include drills that work rebounding into more complete game situations. for example, if you run a fast break, you want to work in drills to practice getting the ball out quickly – like this simple but very effective Fast Break Rebounding Drill – to get your fast break off to a roaring start.


Basketball Rebounding Drills
A Few More Thoughts

Players need to remember to keep their head in the game – lots of contact often means someone loses their cool. A player who loses his temper effectively takes himself out of the game and is then of little help to the team – in fact, he is of more help to the opposition. Teach your players that contact is part of the game and needs to be worked with – and reinforce this by allowing controlled contact during these practice drills.

Keep them focused on the task at hand – post players must be able to tune out what is going on around them, so they are not distracted by contact or missed shots. Drive this home as they are running these rebounding drills. Remember, in the post position, aggression and persistence will always win.