The Top 4 Rebounding Drills for Youth Basketball Players

All the youth coaches out there have seen this before: a shot goes up, and the players stop everything that they’re doing and just stare at the ball to see if it goes in. The ball bounces off the rim, leading to a jumping contest to see who comes down with it. Well-coached teams, even in youth basketball, have players who are busy boxing out to ensure that they get the rebound.

Rebounding is one of the most important skills in the game because it helps reduce the number of offensive opportunities that your opponent will get over the course of the game. A rebound is also often the start of your offense, so it’s important that a rebounder knows how to look up to get the ball moving up the court after the rebound. Youth players spend a lot of their time learning the basics of dribbling, passing, shooting, and defending. But it takes a coach who understands the other important aspects of the game to focus on rebounding. Here are the top 4 drills found in the free Hustle app to improve youth rebounding.

Fundamentals of Rebounding: In this video, Coach Don Showalter shares the basics of rebounding technique, starting with the box out. First, he shows how to step towards the opponent and use an armbar to locate them. Next, he shows how to pivot into the opponent while raising arms to prepare for the rebound. In addition, Coach Showalter shows how to stay low and shuffle from side to side in case the opponent tries to maneuver around the box out. Lastly, he shows how to make the perfect outlet pass to get the offense moving.

Block to Block Rebounding Drill: In this drill, Coach Godwin helps you learn proper footwork, locating the basketball, and getting off the ground quickly for the rebound. Start with an offensive player standing in front of the foul line. Next, the rebounding player will face away from the offensive player and do defensive shuffles from block to block under the basket. When the offensive player puts the shot up, the rebounder needs to locate the ball off the rim and elevate to secure the rebound. Lastly, the rebounder should go straight up, with no dribble or step, to make the offensive basket.

Bounce and Pounce Drill: Bounce and Pounce is a great drill for working on rebounding technique and offensive finishing at the basket. Instead of throwing the ball off the basket, bounce the ball in front of the rebounder, have them jump up to get the ball, pull the ball in towards their chin, then drop step to finish at the basket by making the layup. The rebounder must stay balanced and react quickly to the direction of the ball.

Box Out Drill with Blocking Pad: This drill teaches players how to box out your opponent prior to getting the rebound. The opponent stands at the elbow facing the basket while holding a blocking pad. The rebounder faces away from the basketball in a defensive stance against the opponent. When the shot goes up, the rebounder must first find, then check their man holding the blocking pad. Next, they should find the ball while boxing out with high hands to make it hard to get around them. Then, the player should get the ball and pull it into their chin to secure it.

In youth basketball, it’s easy to forget some of the most crucial parts of the game because you’re focusing on the basics like dribbling, passing, and shooting. But the best coached teams know that there are drills out there that anyone can do, no matter your skill level. In the free Hustle app, you can find all these rebounding drills and many more to take your game to the next level.

If you’re looking for more guidance on specific drills to improve any aspect of your game, from shooting, passing and dribbling to rebounding, defending and conditioning, try out the Hustle app — it’s free!

Matt Michaux