A Guide To Rebounding Part One: Proper Positioning

As a young developing player, something that can always be improved is your basketball rebounding.  As a really young player it’s assumed the older, bigger, and stronger kids will get the rebounds.  Post players are supposed to rebound because of their size and everyone else has a slim chance.  Really there is so much more to rebounding including jumping ability, attitude, energy, boxing out and knowing where to go when a shot goes up.

You can work on your ups in the workout room.  Some players are hungrier and more aggressive for rebounds.  We try to instill that but your intensity level is decided by you.  Energy is a product of conditioning and mindset.  Stay fit and always know that any loose ball or rebound can be yours if you fight for it.  Finally that leaves us with boxing out and knowing where to go.  Tomorrow we’ll focus on boxing out while today’s addition will be devoted to having the proper positing when a shot goes up.

With help from Kirk Goldsberry at Courtvision we can see the probability of where rebounds usually go from a given shot.  If you’re able to access the chart through the link (not the one picture here), you can click to all areas on the court where a shot may be taken and see the highest probably spots the ball will go to after it misses…also known as the best places to get a rebound.

A big take away from this is that no matter your size, jumping ability, tenacity  or rebounding prowess, you can still get a rebound if you’re in the right spot.  For small guards, slow forwards, or gravity challenged big men, this is a great tool.  Besides studying the chart here are some positioning tips I take away from the chart and rebounding help in general:

1. The farther out the shot, the greater chance the rebound has of being a long rebound.  So in the paint where even if you box out your man the ball might fly over the top of you and you’ll have to jump to get it, boxing out is even more important on the perimeter.  The ball is likely to bounce or fall in front of you meaning the closest guy to the ball should get it.  Boxing out becomes a necessity here and should make it much easier to get the rebound as you’re between your man and the basket.

1a. This means that not only is boxing out a necessity on defense but so is following your shot for a rebound on offense.

2.  While on long range shots you should always box out and stay outside preventing your man from getting close to the hoop, on layups, floaters, post-ups, and short jumpers you should crash the rim.  Get as close to the paint as you can without losing your man, it’s more likely the ball will end up there.

2a. This means that in the split-second decision making process on defense of whether to sneak out on the fast break or help with defensive rebounding should be decided by where the ball is shot.  For an inside shot, you need to watch your man but you have the chance to sneak out.  For an outside shot, make sure you box out and rebound.  Same thing if you’re on offense in regards to trying to get an offensive rebound or getting back to stop the fast break on defense. Short shot you can leak out to stop the break, long shot you should be actively trying to get the offensive rebound.

3. A jump shot usually when missed goes to the other side of the basket.  So if someone takes a corner three from the left side, the ball will usually be on the right side straight from where the shot was taken.  If you see some take an right elbow jumper, you should probably be hustling to get a spot right off the left side of the rim.  The ball won’t always go there but getting a few rebounds and extra possessions by just being in the right place can swing a game.

4. As much as spacing and positioning matters, you need to always know where your man is. An uncovered man makes for an easy rebounder.

5. You can always over-dribble or shoot too much but you can never, ever, get too many rebounds.

6. We end on a quote from the great rebounder Dennis Rodman, “I’m hungrier than those other guys other there.  Every rebound is a personal challenge.”

If you like this post, here are others you may enjoy (click on Title to read):

1.  “A Guide To Rebounding Part Two: Boxing Out” 

2.  “The Ten Best Ways To Help You Tryout And Make Your Basketball Team”