3 Box Out Drills to Improve Your Team’s Rebounding
Many basketball players and coaches believe that unless you're blessed with good height or jumping ability, you can never become a great rebounder.
This isn't true.
While height and a big vertical jump definitely helps, being a great rebounder comes down to being able to read the ball and smart positioning.
Using effective box out drills during your practices can quickly teach even the shortest teams how to dominate the boards.
This will mean fewer scoring opportunities for the opposition, more shots for your team, and the benefit of keeping momentum on your team's side.
Check out these 3 boxing out drills:
3 Box Out Drills
1. Rack Up Rebounding
How the Drill Works:
One player will continuously shoot from the top of the key while four players (2-on-2) battle to secure rebounds. When a player rebounds the basketball, they receive one point for their team and then must immediately pass the ball out to the shooter who will shoot again. The team who accumulates 10 points first is the winner
A competitive box out drill that will teach players the importance of establishing position early against their opponent. Players will practice reading the flight of the ball and will learn how to position themselves to give them the best chance of securing the rebound.
- Five players at each basket.
- Two teams of two players.
- A shooter at the top of the key with a basketball.
- The two teams start inside the key.
- The shooter at the top of the key starts the drill by taking a shot at the basket.
- As the shot is taken, the players inside the key fight for a rebound on either a make or a miss.
- The team who secures the rebound receives one point and must immediately pass the basketball back to the shooter at the top of the key.
- As soon as the shooter receives the ball, they shoot again.
- They players (who should have been fighting to establish position) will then battle for the rebound once again to accumulate points.
- Once a team reaches 10 points (or rebounds), they’re declared the winner.
Shooting Distance - Depending on the age and shooting ability of the players you’re coaching, you can change the shooting distance. For younger players, get them to shoot from the free-throw line instead of the top of the key.
Number of Rebounders - Instead of 2-on-2, this drill can be used 3-on-3 or even 4-on-4.
Points Needed - Instead of needing 10 points to win, change this number higher or lower.
- Continuously monitor how physical the drill gets. While it is a toughness drill and you do want to allow them to compete, never let it get to the point of players potentially getting injured or wanting to fight each other.
- The player who rebounds the ball should always immediately call out the number of points their team has accumulated.
- Talk to your players about the importance of getting good rebounding position against their opponent as soon as possible.
- Even if the shot is made, the basketball is still live.
- Encourage your players to go up strong with two hands to grab the ball.
2. Seesaw Rebounding
How the Drill Works:
The first player will pass from the middle of the key out to one of the wings. They must then box out the opposite wing who will be sprinting in to grab a rebound. Whoever rebounds the basketball passes out to either wing while the player who didn’t rebound must box out the opposite wing.
This is a high intensity rebounding drill which will teach players how to sprint to make contact with their opponent, box out, and then pursue the basketball.
- Players are divided into a line on each wing.
- One player starts in the middle of they key with a basketball.
- The player in the middle of the key starts the drill by passing to the player at the front of the line of either wing who will shoot.
- As soon as they do this, the passer must attempt to box out the opposite wing who will be sprinting in to rebound the ball.
- Whoever rebounds the ball can choose to pass to either wing. Once they do, they join the back of the line they passed to.
- The player who didn’t rebound the ball must stay in the game and box out the opposite wing who will once again be sprinting in to rebound.
- The drill continues like this for a set amount of time.
Individual Scoring - Players can keep tally of the amount of rebounds they have accumulated by themselves. The first player to achieve 7 rebounds is the winner.
Corners - Instead of starting the lines on the wings, players can start in the corners of the court.
- It’s incredibly important you encourage players to sprint across to make contact as early as possible with the rebounder sprinting in from the perimeter.
- The goal for the inside rebounder is to keep the perimeter player as far away from the rim as possible. This increases their chances of securing the ball.
- The basketball is still in play even if the shot is made.
- The player rebounding should be going up with two hands and attempting to secure the ball at the highest point of their jump.
3. Let It Bounce!
How the Drill Works:
Four defensive players attempt to prevent four offensive players from touching the basketball before it bounces on the floor after a player or coach shoots from the free-throw line.
A fun variation to regular box out drills that all players enjoy. Defensive players box out their opponents and use their body to keep good positioning and prevent the offense from getting around and rebounding the basketball.
- 4 offensive players spread around midrange.
- 4 defensive players start inside the key.
- Coach or player has the basketball on the free-throw line.
- A player starts the drill by shooting from the free-throw line.
- The defenders must immediately sprint out and get a body on the offensive players who are running in looking to grab an offensive rebound.
- Instead of pursuing the basketball after making contact, the defenders attempt to hold their box out and allow the basketball to bounce.
- If the defense succeeds, the rep is over. If the offensive team secures the rebound, the ball is live and they attempt to score.
More or Less Players - This drill can be run with any number of players although I recommend either 2-on-2, 3-on-3, or 4-on-4 for best results.
Competition - Split the group up into two teams and award points for offensive rebounds before the basketball touches the floor and for the defense boxing out until the basketball bounces.
- The defenders must box out for as long as possible and the offensive players must pursue the basketball until they touch it. If the basketball can bounce more than once, even better for the defense.
- Defenders must seek the offensive player out and make contact before finding the basketball with their eyes. Use the forearm to make contact and the pivot around to box out.
- Defense must be strong with their arms out wide to prevent the offensive players from getting around the easily.
- Watch out for the offensive players pushing the defense in the back. Allow the players to be physical, but don’t let it get out of hand.