I really believe in one on one rebounding against scout team guys because it exposes our players. Are they weak mentally, physically, or does their technique need improvement? Ultimately it forces players to develop a sense of toughness both mentally and physically. The mentality that needs to be developed in practice to be a good rebounder is the first thing that must happen as part of teaching technique.
If a sense of toughness does not exist individually and cohesively as a team you will never be a great rebounding team. Technique and muscle memory must support the mindset of rebounding. To start practice on Day One, our warm up drill was working on our technique and the verbiage we would use. “Shot, chest, swim”, three consecutive words I am certain I will never forget, and words I probably say in my sleep after games if we lose the rebounding battle. We started with four lines on the baseline and with a teammate free throw line extended facing the baseline.
Pretending the teammate at the free throw line was on offense coach blows the whistle and the first person in line goes at half speed to close out, chest, and swim. I am fairly certain we did that for the first 6-8 weeks of practice coming back to it periodically through out the year depending on how well we executed in games. Needless to say you have to practice it full speed in drills and live action during practice, but the fact that we started practice that season with rebounding as our focus set a foundation for who we would be that year.
Shot: Closing out on a shooter with high hands with intentions of discouraging the shot.
Chest: With your hands holding your jersey chest level and elbows out, you meet (hit) the offensive rebounder and make contact with intentions of stopping their forward progress.
Swim: After “chesting”, forward pivot and swing your elbow over and through in the same direction as the offensive player chooses to go, keeping the player from changing directions and getting the ball. Finishes looking like typical box out with high hands.
Accountability involves lots of film and post game analytics. Most players do not believe it until they see it. Watching film of practice and letting them see that they are not “checking” their shooter, are not “chesting” rebounders, are not crashing the glass on offense, etc. is all part of the process. One of my favorite parts is once teams became more aware of rebounding and start executing; the one person who does not do their job, their man always gets the ball. So accountability changes from the coaching staff saying rebound, to rebounding because they are letting the other 4 teammates down on that possession. This sense of accountability is the biggest motivator and leads to solid rebounding teams.
Rebounding Toughness and Accountability