Basketball Rebounding is a Matter of Attitude

basketball rebounding

Score more points with basketball rebounding tips guaranteed to help your players pull down more of those missed shots.

Would you believe 60-70% of basketball shots taken in a game are missed?

That's a lot of potential rebounds!

With a few simple tips, your team can improve your chances of grabbing some of those loose balls.

Rebounding Basics

Lots of players, especially youth basketball players, have a bad habit of standing and watching the game go by.

You've seen it. 

The shot goes up, and there they stand. Legs straight. Feet flat on the ground. Reaching for the ball.

Got a player who's willing to go hard to the boards? Then you've got a player who'll stand out. One who'll get their hands on the ball more and have more chances to score.  

Rebounding is such an important skill. Yet, so many players overlook it.

Basketball Rebounding
Take charge of the game by dominating the boards

The key to winning basketball games is having possession of the ball. The team that controls the ball more takes more shots and scores more points. It's that simple.

If you have two evenly matched teams on the court, the team with the most rebounds usually wins the game.

Want your team to take charge of the game? Dominate the boards!

On defense

At the defensive end, your goal should be to limit your opponent to only one shot. That's a big ask. And it takes hard work.

But there's nothing more frustrating to a team to be limited to one shot every trip down the floor. It's not only discouraging, but it forces them to spend a lot more time playing defense, which is physically demanding.

On offense

At the offensive end, make it a goal to give your team second, third, and fourth shot attempts. Teaching players to chase down missed shots extends your team's time on offense, provides a huge morale boost, and gives your players more opportunities to score.

It's totally demoralizing to a defensive team to be out-rebounded and watch the offense shoot and shoot and shoot.

Though the basic mechanics are the same, there are some important differences between going after an offensive rebound and a defensive one.

Check out more rebounding basketball tips to find out how to gain the advantage over your opponent and beat her to the ball.

Basketball Rebounding
Every player needs a "rebounder" mentality

It's easy for perimeter players (those who play outside the key) to think they're off the hook when it comes to rebounding.


Every player, regardless of size or position, needs to be able to rebound the basketball.

With the motion offense that many teams run, players move all over the court, and players at every position need to grab the rebound at some point.

And being short isn't an excuse either. 

Sure, height is certainly an advantage, but I know lots of outstanding rebounders who are shorter than most opponents they face.

It's about gaining position.

If smaller players do a good job positioning themselves to block out, there's a good chance the taller opponent will attempt to go over the back, drawing a foul.

But more than anything...

Rebounding is a matter of attitude, determination & effort

Instill in your players the belief that one of the best ways for them to increase their value on the team and earn more playing times is to hit the boards hard!

Basketball Rebounding
What it takes to be a great rebounder


Dominating the boards isn't for the faint of heart! There's a lot of physical contact that goes on underneath the basket when 10 people want the ball. Don't be afraid to mix it up and get bumped around a little bit.


You'll never get the ball by standing back and waiting for it to drop in your lap. If you want it, you have to go get it.


You have to be hungry for the ball. Assume every shot is going to miss and position yourself every single time to get the rebound.

Physical strength

It takes muscular strength to be a great rebounder. Upper body strength to be able to grab the ball and hold onto it. And lower body strength to help you hold your blockout position and explode up strong. 


Knowing where, when, and how the ball will come off the rim is a huge advantage. 

  • Where: Note the angle and distance of the shot. Longer shots tend to rebound farther. Shots that hit the backboard often rebound on the opposite side at roughly the same angle. 
  • When: Shots with higher arcs will rebound higher and slower while flatter shots will come off the rim much quicker.
  • How: Check the rim and backboard. Some rebound harder while others are softer.  


As much as anything, rebounding is about pride. It's about giving your best to help out your team. It's determining not to be out-hustled to any rebound.


Shots bounce off the rim quickly, so there's no time to waste. You've got to stay in constant motion always looking for and hustling to a good rebounding spot.

Hard work

Rebounding is a never-ending job. Sometimes the same trip down the floor will call for 2 or 3 or even more attempts. Your job isn't done until your team has the ball.

Leaping ability

The ability to jump higher than your opponent is definitely helpful, but good position and fundamental rebounding mechanics can help compensate if you're not the best jumper.


Successful basketball rebounding begins with positioning. Where are you in relation to your opponent and the ball? Fighting for an inside position is what gives you the advantage over your opponent.


Once an inside position is established, keep a wide, strong stance. Make yourself as big as possible and use your body to separate your opponent from the ball.


Timing is key. Jump too soon and you'll start to descend while the ball is still at its peak. Jump to late and other players will beat you to it. Time your jump so you're able to grab the ball at the peak of your jump.

Basketball Rebounding
Related topics

Basketball Rebounding Drills

Rebounding Training Aids

Rebounding is just one of the basic skills young players need to master. Learn about the following fundamental skills with coaching tips and youth basketball drills perfect for individuals and teams.


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