The rebound is a crucial element of basketball, defined as successfully gaining possession of the ball right after a missed field goal or free throw. There are two types of rebounds: offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds. In the offensive variety, the ball is recovered by the offensive team and hence doesn’t change possession, whereas with the defensive rebound the possession shifts and the defensive team gain the ball.
Because the defensive team is in a better position to acquire the ball after a missed shot, most rebounds end up being the defensive type. However, if the offensive team can recover the ball, this gives them an excellent chance to try for another shot.
The rebound is credited to the first person who gains possession of the ball after the missed shot, or the first person who successfully manages to deflect the ball back into the basket for a score.
What does it take to be a good rebounder?
The most important attribute of a rebounder is height, followed by strength. Though some shorter rebounders have become very successful in the past, for instance the New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd, most tend to make use of their height in order to get a rebound. It is also important to have a good leap and excellent concentration and timing.
In order to make a successful rebound, one of the most important things is positioning. This is done by boxing out (sometimes referred to as “blocking out” or “butting out”) and this move is explained in this useful tutorial video. Boxing out is where you place yourself between the basket and another player and push them away by backing into them. This can be performed by a number of team members to drive the opposing rebounders away and give you more of a chance to be successful.
Some more tips
Here are some more detailed tips for becoming a great rebounder:
- Good positioning is absolutely vital for a rebound. Most of the time, the person closest to the net will get the rebound. You must therefore be very near the net and ready to catch the ball as soon as the shot is attempted.
- When about to attempt a rebound, bend your forearms back with your wrists bent and your fingers spread apart to improve your chances of the ball sticking. The knees should be slightly bent and your legs spread apart for stability. You do not have to jump for the ball unless you think it is absolutely necessary, but the bent knees will help if you do. Most important is keeping your hands up high – as soon as the ball goes up so automatically should your hands.
- Keep an eye on the ball whilst it is in the air and try and predict where it will fall after a missed shot. This is not easy and often the ball will not bounce your way, but you should know where to position yourself so that you are not caught unawares. Generally, a long hard shot will rebound further from the basket than short soft shots. A regular shot will usually bounce two to four feet from the basket.
- If you do manage to make contact with the ball, often it may just touch or slip out of your hands. Once you manage to get the ball, hold onto it as hard as you can. Then, bring it down to your chest with your elbows wide to protect it.
- Be tough and don’t worry about contact from other players – marking your territory and exerting your authority are key features of rebounding, and you shouldn’t be scared of using your speed and strength to keep other players from getting at your prize ball.
- Above all, it is important to remember that the key to a great rebounder is enthusiasm and determination. Indeed, experts believe that rebounding is “25% skill, 75% hunger”, as successful rebounders genuinely want the ball and will do anything to get it. Many new players make the mistake of standing around before taking action but speed of reaction is essential.