Improve Rebounding by Adding ONE Simple Rule to Your Offense

Improve your rebounding by adding this simple rule to your offense:

    “Weakside player must get in rebounding position on EVERY shot. Anticipate.”

We added this rule to our motion offense a few years ago and it has helped us tremendously!

Last season our freshman team had a total offensive rebounding percentage of 38.6% compared to our opponents 25.2%. We had a significant rebounding advantage in almost every game. I believe this rule and our enforcement of this rule had a lot to do with our advantage in this area.

How to Implement the Rule

I believe you can utilize this rule in almost any offense. We usually run a 4 out 1 on motion offense. Here’s how it worked with the 4 out...

If your post player is on the weakside, you’re good to go.

However if your post player is on the strong side (see diagram on right), you teach your weakside guards to anticipate the shot and sneak into weakside rebounding position. It′s a rule you′ll need to require your players to follow.

You should also teach your players to fight for good position when going to the weakside. If they are already there, work for better position.

We also apply the rule when we run out 5 out motion. You simply teach your weakside guards to anticipate the shot and sneak into weakside rebounding position.

I have never tried using the rule with a continuity or called play offense. But you can consider using the same rule for those offenses too -- and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

Now, you of course, need to enforce the rule for it to do any good. For us, by having the rule in writing it reminded our coaches and players that it was PART OF THE OFFENSE. And that we needed to do it every time -- which made the positioning easier for us to implement and more effective.

We often found ourselves blowing the whistle after a shot went up in practice and asking.. “Was anyone in weakside rebounding position? Why not? Whose responsibility was that?”

You have to hold players accountable.

Why do you want a player on the weakside for every shot?

Experience and analytics tell us the most that a large percentage of shots will end up near the weakside block.

Of course it depends on where the shot occurs. But the diagrams on the right (provided by Court Vision) give you an idea of the percentages based on where the shot occurs.

The red and yellow show the highest rebound frequency and the light gray show the lowest frequency.

The first diagram shows 3-pt shots coming from the corner and the second diagram shows shots coming from the wing.

As you can see, the heat maps show the highest frequency of rebounding occurring on the weakside (or “on the other side of the rim”).

What about the strong side?

Now ideally you have both the weakside and strong side block covered on all shots. But having a player on the weakside gives you bigger bang for your buck. In addition, having players anticipate on the strong side has negative impacts on our offensive spacing and took away driving lane opportunities.

So, we only enforce the rule on the weakside, but still encourage players to get position on both sides once the ball goes up.

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


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CS says:
1/25/2020 at 5:54:56 PM

We teach do NOT follow your shot, MAKE your shot. There are 4 other girls to rebound. Why are you shooting in the first place if there isn''t a reasonable chance of success? Following your shot results in poor form.


Ali says:
12/13/2018 at 11:19:47 AM

I use the weak side rebounding. I found out, the hard way, that using the shooter to follow her shots was a mistake. The shooter, most of the time, rushed her shots so she could rebound. This hurt us.


Michael Jewell says:
12/8/2018 at 6:45:21 AM

I have usually sent 3 to the glass, usually my 3, 4 & 5. With 1 & 2 always getting back. I think I may try this method this year and see how it goes. With that being said what are your thoughts on how many players you send to the offensive glass and how many/who gets back on transition “D”? I coach 8th Grade Boys. Thanks!

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
12/13/2018 at 12:35:04 PM

Coaches have different philosophies on this. I like Tom Izzo's approach or I think that's where I picked it up from... player closest to top is back on defense... everyone else crashes the O boards.


Geoff says:
12/6/2018 at 9:55:37 AM

FYI - the Court Vision website appears to be down/shuttered.

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
12/6/2018 at 11:41:27 AM

Thanks for the heads up. Their website does appear to be shut down so I removed that link and paragraph. Thanks!


Pete says:
12/6/2018 at 8:33:16 AM

We get strong side rebounds from the shooter following their shot.


Joe Haefner says:
9/27/2013 at 9:39:32 AM

Great stuff, coaches!

Last night, I was talking to a former college player who averaged over 10 rebounds a game by using this simple rule.

And he was only 6'3.


Coach Darrell says:
9/26/2013 at 8:56:52 PM

Great fundamental note.... I laughed when I opened this email as I preach rebounding and this is the #1 reason I would yell is to box out the weak side.... It is really a simple principal.... smallest player on the team can get great rebounds with recognition and position...
Keep it simple .... great note, keep up the good info!


Dave. Bogataj says:
9/26/2013 at 3:29:37 PM

I have used this offensive rule for 44 years. "If you are below the freethrow line you rebound". I have seen defensive guards not block out ,but go to outlet position leaving my guards open to rebound. It has worked at all levels. I have coached high school through college.


Washetas says:
9/26/2013 at 10:34:27 AM

I was a 6ft. 5in. 200 lb. DIII center (way undersized) but I worked off of this principle all through my college years and averaged a double double and finished 9th in DIII one year in boarding because of this, 22 rebound game at one point.


Rob McDonald says:
9/26/2013 at 9:00:02 AM

Spot on! I have been coaching girls and boys from bitty ball through 8th grade for 15 years and always stress this. At the developmental levels the weak side spot probably gets 75% of the shots which are either way long or short. All of the athletes that have moved on still tell me how even as they have moved up this simple skill has kept them on teams and competing in the game they love! Keep it up this is the best resource for the game on the web!


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