Q: How Can I Become a Better Rebounder?
A: So you want to bring down more boards? Your first inclination might be to increase your jumping height. But this doesn't guarantee you'll become a better rebounder.
Alan Stein, owner of Stronger Team Training and strength coach for the DeMatha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, Md.) basketball team, explains that often, the tallest guys and those who can jump the highest don't come down with the ball.
Instead, he recommends focusing on the finer details of rebounding to clean up the glass like Kevin Love.
Prepare for a miss. Stein explains that all great rebounders assume every shot will miss, so they are prepared for every rebound. This even applies when the shot is a guaranteed put-away.
Make contact. Since your closest opponent will be fighting you for the rebound, it's important to make contact with him so he doesn't have a clear path to the ball. "Physically block them out and do whatever you can to make contact," adds Stein. Just don't get called for a foul!
Get to the ball. "Don't wait for the ball to bounce to you," says Stein. "You need to go and get it." So, if you see a rebound headed in your direction, do whatever you can to get to the ball first.
Improve your timing. Timing comes with experience. You cannot learn it overnight. To accelerate the learning process, Stein recommends regularly watching game film and analyzing how rebounds behave following various types of shots.
Strengthen your core. "You need a strong core so you're not getting pushed around and so you can jump and land with balance," says Stein. Therefore, you need to create a strong foundation by strengthening your entire core. Stein recommends the exercises in his Stronger Team Training video.
Strengthen your hands. Stein is a big proponent of hand and grip strength exercises, because you need strong hands to secure the ball, or potentially rip it away from an opponent. Try exercises like Rice Grabs and Farmer's Walks (this also strengthens your core) to get stronger mitts.
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