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Learn the “big bullet” principles of successful rebounding

By Jerry V. Krause, Don Meyer, and Jerry Meyer


Rebounding Rules

Four concepts (the big bullets of the boards) apply to offensive and defensive rebounding and are critical for any player or team to be successful in rebounding:

1. Assume that each shot is missed and do the assigned job.

2. Keep hands up when in rebounding areas, on offense or defense.

3. Use 2-and-2 rebounding-when going for any rebound (offense or defense), rebound from two feet with two hands. Go up tall and small, and come down big and wide.

4. Capture and chin the ball on all rebounds; use two hands to capture the ball and chinit to protect the ball. Chinit-two hands, the fingers point up, the ball under the chin or from shoulder to shoulder (the power position), the elbows out and up (big and wide).

Assume is the prompt used to remind players and coaches to assume that every shot will be missed. When that becomes a habit, players are conditioned to focus on carrying out their rebound assignment on every shot attempt. Even on an uncontested layup by a teammate, players should always assume a miss-then they will develop the habit of rebounding consistently.

The verbal prompt hands up is a reminder of this essential skill needed in rebounding, especially when players are blocking out on defense or near the offensive rebounding basket. The arm position is shown in many of the figures in this chapter. Players should start in quick stance, ready to jump (the legs bent, sit into the stance), with the hands up and ready to rebound the ball (the upper arms horizontal and level with the shoulders, the forearms vertical and slightly forward). The rationale for teaching players the hands-up arm position is the following:

  • Keeps players ready for a quick rebound (hits the rim and bounces directly to the player with no time to respond).
  • Allows players to prevent the opponent from rebounding (just get close, with the hands up). This prevents the opponent from getting his hands up to rebound the ball.
  • Makes a difference when players are blocking out on defense. The hands-up technique prevents the defensive rebounder from using the illegal method of hands down to feel and hold the offensive rebounder (see figure 8.1).


The term 2-and-2 rebounding refers to the important skill of rebounding from two feet with two hands. Hall of Fame coach Jim Brandenburg popularized this concept. Because rebounding is a contact skill, players should use a quick stance (sit into the game), with the feet shoulder width before and after jumping into the air for a rebound. Likewise, the effective rebounder needs to capture the ball securely with both hands, preferably at the peak of the jump.

The teaching technique for 2-and-2 rebounding is as follows:

  • Get into a rebounding ready position (quick stance, the hands up).
  • Execute the 2-and-2 rebound (go up tall and small and come down big and wide) (see figure 8.2).
  • Capture and chin. Grab the ball with two hands and rip it to a position under the chin or into the power position and against the chest. The fingers should be pointed up, not out, the elbows should be out and up, and the ball should be forcefully squeezed under the chin.
  • Protect the ball (chin the basketball). This technique is shown in figure 8.2b.

All players need to learn the "big bullet" principles that are essential to successful rebounding: assume, hands up, 2-and-2, capture and chin.


This is an excerpt from Basketball Skills & Drills, Third Edition.



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Basketball Skills & Drills-3rd Edition
Including drills, coaching tips, and a detailed DVD, this guide covers tactics for offense and defense to improve player movement, shot selection and positioning on the court.
£18.99


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