Teach Rebounding Effort and Importance by Using the Last Man Standing Drill

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Take a second and imagine this scenario. Your team has played outstanding defense for 30 seconds. They are flying around the court, closing out, deflecting passes, calling out screens and helping when needed. Your players force a difficult shot with five seconds remaining on the shot clock. Sounds pretty good, right?

But this dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if your players let up once the ball is in the air. The play does not stop once you force a bad shot. You must complete the possession by securing the rebound. If you allow the other team to get an offensive rebound and put back, all your effort was wasted.

Rebounding is vital to success. Defensive rebounds limit possessions for the other team and can create fast break opportunities for your offense. Offensive rebounds create additional opportunities and often lead to easy baskets.

Most coaches know the ingredients that go into teaching successful rebounding: effort, position, boxing out and anticipation. But how do you get your team to practice those areas?

The following is called the Last Man Standing drill and is designed to teach your players the importance of rebounding by creating a need to fight for all missed shots.

Step 1: The drill begins will all players in the key waiting for the coach to take the initial shot.

Step 2: Once the coach takes the shot, all of the players compete to be the one who rebounds the ball.

The player who retrieves the ball (#1 in this example) will be the next player to shoot from the outside. That player is rewarded and is finished for the round. They will start the next round as a rebounder.

Step 3: The current round of the drill continues until every player but one has gotten a rebound.

The player who does not get a rebound is removed from the drill and is required to stay out for the remaining rounds of the drill.

They will be the first shooter for the next round of the drill. In this example, player #2 was the one who did not get a rebound.

Step 4: The drill goes on using the same rules as above

After round 1, 8 players will remain.
After round 2, 7 players will remain.
After round 3, 6 players will remain and so on.

Any player who has been eliminated from the drill can now shoot from the three-point line. This creates multiple rebounding angles and makes the shot less predictable for your remaining rebounders.

Step 5: The drill stops for the final round once there are three players remaining.

All rebounds off a missed shot becomes a live ball. Whichever player retrieves the ball and scores first, wins the drill.

The players cannot pass the ball back to the shooters. They must score off of the miss by any means necessary. If a foul occurs, a free-throw takes place as shown in the diagram to the right. If the foul shot is made, the shooter wins. If he/she misses, the game is continued until one player scores.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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Andy says:
12/19/2013 at 12:04:04 PM

Also not sure where the confusion comes from.

1. Start with 9 players in key.
2. Coach shoots.
3. Whoever rebounds gets to come out and take next shot, now with 8 rebounders. (Kid shoots, whomever rebounds steps out to shoot, now with 7 rebounders. Continue doing this until 1 kid remains - the kid without a rebound. That kid is eliminated from the drill - but does get to shoot to start the next round),
4. Reset drill for next round with 8 kids in key. The kid that did not get a rebound takes shot and is out of the drill. Repeat step 3 until the next kid is eliminated, then reset drill with 7 rebounder.
6. Continue repeating this process until all but 3 kids have been eliminated.then begin the 1 on 2 aspect of the game.


Tony says:
12/2/2013 at 8:45:33 AM

I think an offense and defense with proper box out would make this the perfect drill for offensive and defensive rebounding. You could run 5 offense and 5 defense and have a point for each rebound. Score to ten. Reward the winner in some way. I do like this drill the way it is presented as well.


Mark says:
11/27/2013 at 9:28:49 PM

I consider my self a big time rebounder, and I take more pride in being the last man standing.boxing out will be tought at a later time....this here triggers EFFORT! REBOUNDING takes much more skill than shooting.


Bismark says:
11/27/2013 at 9:19:53 PM

My thoughts are simple, I would suggest, the player that shows to be the weak link...should be the shooter...(shows the least effort). Maybe they will feel some pressure from teammates and try harder next time...use their weakness to motivate them.


Luke says:
11/22/2013 at 11:08:52 PM

Idea to add to drill. The player who gets the rebound has to clear himself and get off an outlet pass to coach with pressure from rest of players. This might teach chinning the ball and getting a good outlet while under duress. If players outlet is deflected or turned over, they stay in the drill.


DT says:
11/21/2013 at 11:39:03 AM

So the weakest rebounder gets the least amount of work from this drill? I think you could run this in rapid fire mode with the rebounder clearing the paint with the ball and then shooting the next shot before falling back into the paint for the next rebound. The reward is the shot...but get back In there and do it again!


Frazer Grant says:
11/21/2013 at 5:58:26 AM

I have used something similar. It is a good drill,we always add in that the players must score there rebound. I feel that this forces players to score in traffic and under unusal pressure having every body fighting for one ball can get messy but players love this. Installs a bit of fight in your players



Coach Greg says:
11/20/2013 at 10:53:41 PM

I''m not sure where all the confusion is coming from. I am reading these questions and wondering what everyone is reading. It seams crystal clear to me. I like the idea of adding the running too that was mentioned. Great idea! Although, with very little practice time, this drill is long to begin with. I plan to add this as a fun addition to our current rebounding drills. Thanks!


Eric says:
11/20/2013 at 3:43:19 PM

I've been on the lookout for a good rebounding drill, and I still am. I like the competition this drill inspires but I'd prefer a drill that focused on boxing out & securing the ball.


Steve says:
11/20/2013 at 1:00:43 PM

I have long run a version of this drill, but with more carrot than stick. The set-up is the same. The difference is that the player that gets the rebound is out of the drill. After each rebound, everyone left on the court runs (usually a quick half-court and back). After the first couple, when they're starting to get tired, you better believe the competition for that rebound gets tough! Continue until one person is left.

When it's down to just one person running, I remind the team of the importance of teamwork, and that if one player loses, everyone loses and are they really going to let this one kid run alone...I always end up with everyone running the last sprint together.


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