A couple of times I have been asked, “What would you have done differently in your practices if you had it all to do over?” Honestly, I was pretty happy with the way I organized my practices the last few years. In fact, I doubt I would change much at all from what I did my last five seasons of coaching. But if I had to pick one thing, I would say it took me too many years to get daily rebounding drills into my practices.
I had long ago heard the expression, The Team That Controls the Boards, Controls the Game. But I don’t think I had my teams work at it as much as I should have early in my coaching career. In the last few years though, my teams practiced rebounding every day in some form. It might have been as simple as a one man Rip and Outlet or a five minute drill of 3 on 3 Blocking-Out, but it was always covered.
Offensive Rebounding was emphasized as well as Defensive Rebounding. Many of my teams had size, but not a lot of good outside shooters. We worked to get it inside, but some opponents just packed it in on us and dared us to shoot outside. I decided we just needed to “shoot it and go get it,” and not worry about the shooting percentage so much. One of my last teams bought into this concept completely and they turned out to be the best Offensive Rebounding team I ever coached. Their final record of 27-2 backs up that claim.
With good rebounding, your team has several advantages:
1. More second shot opportunities on offense.
2. Less second shot opportunities for your opponents.
3. A more efficient defense due to opponents limited to one shot usually.
4. A more efficient offense because your team gets second chance opportunities.
5. More free throw attempts gained during inside put-backs.
6. A higher number of fouls on opponents gained on put-backs.
As you can see, winning the War on the Boards can often win you the game. Consider having rebounding drills in your first practice and then all season long. You will like the results.
Key Teaching Points:
- Include a Fundamental Rebounding Drill in every practice.
- Emphasize the importance of hitting the Offensive Boards.
- Insist all five defenders hit the defensive boards every time.
Note: For more on Rebounding and some diagrams and explanations of Rebounding Drills, see Chapters 9 and 11 in Coach Battenberg’s book, You Can Run With Anyone, Secrets to a Successful Fast Break Attack. Available on Amazon in paperback and ebook form.