How To Make Rebounds in Youth Basketball

Youth basketball coaches often focus their instruction on dribbling, shooting and passing without stressing the technique needed for rebounding. You might hear a coach shout “box out” and “rebound” to his players, but the actions of coaching rebounding drills in practice speak louder.

Importance

Think of rebounding this way: It takes on added importance in youth basketball because shooters miss more shots on this level than when players get older and become better scorers.

A rebound either brings the end to an opponent’s possession or continues to give the offense the chance to score a basket. The more chances for a team, the more it’s going to win games.

Rebounding is as much about effort and determination as it is basketball skills or size and strength. It’s hard work, especially on the offensive end because the defensive player should have the advantage by being between the basket and an opposing offensive player.

Coaching

A basketball coach wants to get his young players not to be afraid of contact. It’s part of the game, never more so than in rebounding. The better rebounders are ones who cross into the path of the opposing player closest to them and box out on a shot. In other words, they get inside the opposing player and use their body to gain positioning, from their shoulders to their butt, with their hands up high as a guide and as not to commit a foul.

The key for a young player – and this doesn’t happen for many of them – is to get contact with the opposing player first before watching the flight of the ball.

That slight second of boxing out will give a rebounder the inside edge by not losing awareness of the opposing player. The ball often will come down in front of them with a strong box-out.

Drills

Rebounding drills don’t have to involve a basket. One of the great ways to first coach boxing out is with a one-on-one drill in which the ball is placed on the court, with a defensive and offensive player several feet away. The defensive player is between the ball and the offensive player, and facing the offensive player to start the drill. When the coach blows his whistle, the defensive player must pivot into a box-out and try to stop the offensive player from reaching the ball for three seconds. Encourage both players as they battle for the ball.

Then take the action to the basket. Start with individual rebounders and have them learn to catch the ball at its highest point. When the coach throws the ball off the backboard, the rebounder will learn to catch the ball and put it back up without bringing the ball down if he is on offense, or, if on defense, catch it with elbows extended out and come down with the ball and pivot away from the basket to find a teammate for an outlet pass. After the pass, the rebounder can even sprint the court and get the ball back from his teammate for a fast-break layup.

Then move to rebounding drills between both offensive and defensive players, either one-on-one or two-on-two. The coach will throw up another missed shot (hey, he’s getting good at that), and the players work on going for the rebound.

Here Randy Brown, a college Division I coach demonstrates a footwork rebounding drill.

Source: Coaching Rebounding Skills & Drills course

How To

The defensive player should usually win the matchup. But teach offensive rebounding as well. This player has to work even harder to step inside the defensive rebounder. He wants to step in with his inside leg and shoulder closest to the defensive player, or spin around the defensive player, to gain positioning for the rebound. Again, contact is part of a rebound, and referees expect it under the basket.

Here Coach Al Sokaitis demonstrates how to rebound defensively.

Source: Youth League Basketball Defense course

You can do the boxing-out drills along the foul lane, too. One of your players can attempt free throws, and hopefully make them. But if they miss, the players along the lane work on grabbing the rebound.

Rebounding isn’t just work for the bigger players, either. Guards have to be good rebounders on both ends of the court. It takes the effort of five players at all times.

Remember, a good rebounder doesn’t have to be one of the team’s most skilled players. He has to be aggressive and go for loose balls. His rebounding will set him apart.

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