Update: Rebounding Mentality

Jaime IrvineCorrespondent IMarch 1, 2010

PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 22:  Ben Wallace #6 of the Detroit Pistons awaits a free throw shot during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 22, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Pistons 117-91.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Through my years in basketball, I have seen good rebounders come in all sizes. Certainly size is an advantage, but how can it explain why Dennis Rodman or Ben Wallace, both at 6′7″, led the NBA in rebounding, when constantly going against much bigger players? And, we have all seen guards, much smaller than their teammates, lead their respective teams in rebounding. The common denominator to all good rebounders is a desire to get to the ball, and the work ethic to get there.

When I was just learning how to play, I was taught that early in a game I should make a real concerted effort to screen my man from getting to the boards. The thinking was by nailing my man early, he would get discouraged and quit going to the boards.

In my third game in college, I was matched up with a 6′8″ player, who the year before played center. When I played him, he had moved to forward because the team had two new seven-footers. I watched tapes of his play the year before, and he was a terrific offensive rebounder, who loved to get a step to the basket. Remembering my early lessons, on the first shot of the game we were about 20′ from the basket, and I turned, screened him hard, and kept contact. Pretty obnoxious really. When I turned to run down court, the same man slapped me in the face, knocking my contact out, cursed me and ran to the other end. I remember thinking,

“Whew, this is a lot different than high school, but if this is the way it is, okay.”

The rest of the game was very physical between the two of us, maybe the most physical game I ever played in college. However, eventually he did back off the boards.

My point is that rebounding is not for the faint of heart and you need to be a little fiery to rebound. Rebounding can be physical. It can be tough. It can also be the most important part of the game. A player doesn’t need to be highly gifted to be a good rebounder, the player just needs to be willing to work.

Today, we are releasing articles on rebounding and teaching the proper way for players to rebound. Here you will find the specifics on offensive and defensive rebounding, along with the basics and fundamentals of rebounding.

In addition, we are releasing three drills to help players and teams perfect the art of rebounding.