There’s an old saying, “Offense wins fans, defense wins games, and rebounding wins championships.” The importance of rebounding cannot be overstated. It gives your team second and third chances to score, prevents multiple scoring opportunities for your opponents, and leads to fast breaks and easy transition baskets.
Some players—like Dennis Rodman, Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo—have a knack for rebounding. However, it’s not just instinct. Follow these four rebounding tips to improve your ability to crash the glass.
1. Positioning. Getting into proper position down low is a huge success factor in rebounding. Get low and wide to gain leverage against your opponent, then back him as far away as you can so you have open space in front of you.
2. Timing is Everything. Nearly all rebounds at the high school and collegiate levels are taken below the rim. You want to grab the ball at the highest point you can, but it’s better to still be going up when you get the ball than heading back down without it. Grabbing at air won’t help anything.
3. Follow the Ball. Most rebounds happen on the side opposite the shooter. Follow the arc, make your best guess where it will go, then get to that spot. Hustle win rebounds. Standing and hoping the ball will come to you wins time on the bench.
4. Use Both Hands. You’re not the only one crashing the glass, so it’s crucial to be strong once you get the ball in your hands. One-handed rebounds are easily ripped away by taller or stronger players. Get both hands on the ball, chin it and protect it, or else all of your hard work will count for nothing.
Follow these rebounding tips to improve your skills and develop a nose for the ball like the all-time rebounding greats. Remember, rebounding is about position, timing, and effort—not necessarily who is tallest.
Take your rebounding skills further with these drills from Blake Griffin.