Basketball Rebounding Drills
Kickstarting Your Fast Break

Basketball rebounding drills such as this one are great additions to any fast break practice. Besides practicing the obvious - rebounding skills - it also develops the mindset and passing skills of outletting the ball quickly, as well as building in the focus from the outlet to look to the middle for the second pass to start the fast break. It does more than just improve your players' basketball rebounding skills.

Rebounding drills need to focus on form - like any other basketball skill, there is a "right" way to do it and a lot of wrong ways. Every coach would like to see his rebounders leaping high above the rim, but it's more important that they position well and are in a power position (use these simple basketball post player drills to develop that power positioning), time their jump well, protect the ball when they come down, and outlet quickly. All of this is what this basketball rebounding drill aims to improve.

Once players understand the drill - it isn't complex, so this shouldn't take long - emphasize that it must happen quickly. Not that we want to neglect proper rebounding and box-out technique, especially once defense has been added in. But the purpose of this is to get the fast break started, and so a quick outlet and push to get the ball out and upcourt is needed before your opponent transitions into defense.

Basketball Rebounding Drills
Getting the Fast Break off to a Running Start

1. Rebound and Outlet

  • The guard (#1) tosses the ball off the background to the rebounder on the opposite side to start the drill.

  • The rebounder (#4) on that side goes up strong (simulating game situation), comes down with the ball in both hands, immediately pivots and outlets the ball to #2 at the outlet position.

  • Focus: Strong rebound and quick outlet, using a strong overhead pass. Outlet needs to step in to the ball to recieve the pass.

2. Center and Reverse

  • The outlet passes to the guard who is cutting across the top of the key toward the ball.

  • The guard then immediately pivots and tosses the ball off the backboard to be rebounded on the opposite side (by #5).

  • Focus: The guard needs to cut hard across the top of the key, and receive the pass as he is still moving into it. Remind players that if they wait until the receiver has reached his spot, and then start the pass, that the defense will catch up with the cutter and likely steal the ball. Hit the man while he is moving to the ball.

3. Outlet and Center Again

  • The rebounder (#5) goes up strong (again, simulating game situation), comes down with the ball in both hands, immediately pivots and outlets the ball to #3 at the outlet position.

  • The outlet (#3) immediately passes to the guard (#1) who is cutting across the top of the key. Again, be sure the pass is made as the guard is moving to the ball, and not after he gets to the spot.

  • Focus: this is a quick drill, with focus throughout on 2 main areas: strong rebounding and quick passing. Stop if you need to improve something, but otherwise let them work the drill as quickly as they can, while maintaining good form and ball control.

Continue this rebounding drill in the same fashion, moving from one side to the next, for as long as you want to run it. I have found 5 minutes is generally a good length of time - players get enough training without getting bored.

Basketball Rebounding Drills
Adding Pressure

Advanced: Add in Defense

  • Once you have run the drill a few times, add in defense.

  • Start with defenders on the rebounders, so they can practice boxing out.

  • Then have the defenders block the outlet pass and force the rebounders to pass around them, using bounce passes or fakes before overhead passes - passes still need to be quick.

This is a straightforward basketball rebounding drill to learn, but a good drill to focus on improving the skills needed to get the fast break moving quickly and effectively.

And its a good way to keep it fresh in your players' mind that transition is so important to playing good ball. The more they practice a quick, strong outlet straight off the rebound, the more automatic it becomes in the game, and the quicker your transition will be.

"Don't be content with average because average is just as close to the bottom as it is to the top."

- Danielle Ballentine