Imagine 10 seconds remaining on the game clock. Your team is down 2 with the ball. Your point guard comes down and shoots a wild lay-up that misses the mark and you swoop in with 5 seconds remaining and grab the rebound. You pass the ball to your shooting guard outside the three point line and your teammate shoots and makes the game winner as the time runs out. Everyone is going crazy running around, and the fans are going mental!
After the game ends, coach gives his typical speech and decides to give the game ball away. To your surprise, the player he chooses is you. Now this isn't typically what happens because as we all know, the game ball usually goes to the player that hits the game winning shot. Lets not forget though, it was all made possible by the offensive rebound.
This scenario is one we've seen play out in the NBA, College, and probably every other level. One of the greatest offensive rebounds in recent history was Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. The Miami Heat found themselves down 3-2 to the Spurs in their best of seven series. Miami was down three with 18 seconds remaining. Lebron clanks a shot and Chris Bosh comes in and gets the offensive rebound. He then kicks it out to Ray Allen who hits the 3 pointer to tie the game up. The Heat of course went on to win that game and the NBA Championship.
Here are 4 keys to improve your rebounding. These can be practiced on a daily basis through relevant basketball drills. You never know when your rebound could be the difference between winning a game or even a championship!
FOLLOW TRAJECTORY OF THE BALL
One important skill you can learn is following the path of the basketball as it is shot. For example, typically when a shot is taken from the left wing, more times then not if it misses the mark, it will bounce the opposite way to the right side of the hoop. Kevin Love is tremendous at doing this and he instantly tracks the ball as soon as the shot goes up. You can see him already adjusting his distance and creating space to go after the rebound. Players that master this and that are athletic enough will give themselves the opportunity to get put back dunks. Using rebounding basketball drills, this is something you can constantly work on.
STAY LOW AND IN AN ATHLETIC STANCE
The only way you can battle in the trenches down low is if you are tough and use proper technique. Any player that's attempting to get a rebound must stay low so they wont be knocked off their spot. Staying low also allows you to explode up quicker and get to the ball faster as the shot is missed. Once you have established position, it'll be harder for an opposing player to remove you from your spot. Players that are taller or naturally more athletic often times forget this important skill when rebounding, and this leads to missed offensive and defensive rebounding opportunities.
ARM SWEEP THROUGH
The arm sweep through technique is an awesome way to get past the opposing player trying to box you out. Although this move is great, you must make sure you're not grabbing the player and throwing them onto the ground. You can use the arm sweep standing still or on the move towards the basket. You want to try to get the player boxing you out off balance. This can be achieved by taking a hard step in one direction acting like you are attempting to run around them. Another way is to lean on the person boxing you out until they begin to push back on you. When they are off balance, immediately sweep your opposite arm over and around almost pushing the opposing player backwards. Typically you want to initiate this arm sweep right before the ball hits the rim so the person you are battling with isn't able to recover. Much like shooting drills, the arm sweep must be worked on through relevant rebounding basketball drills in order to perfect it for game-like scenarios.
GO AFTER EVERY REBOUND AND USE MAXIMUM EFFORT
I personally think that this is the most important aspect of rebounding. Sometimes sheer will and want will outdo skill and technique. Your odds of getting a rebound are higher if you assume every shot is a miss and make an attempt to go after it. Very few players actually enjoy rebounding, but the ones that do will be very beneficial for any team. Players that are looking to get a few more points a game and shot attempts can also benefit from becoming a better rebounder. Putbacks and easy buckets from offensive rebounds are great ways to assert yourself and get into a good rhythym.
For youth basketball players, becoming a great rebounder can be the difference in playing or not playing. There is always a few roles within a team structure that players aren't willing to fill so make sure that you are giving yourself every opportunity to be successful and become an all-around player. The best place to showcase this is in practice through basketball drills. If you play hard and with a purpose, you are setting the base structure for future success.
Want a basketball shooting machine but don't think you can afford it? Click below!