A Pair of Team Rebounding Drills Used by Michigan State

In this week’s player development feature, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo demonstrates a few of his favorite team rebounding drills. The drills have become a cornerstone of his Michigan State basketball practices and have proven to be effective for years. Coach Izzo first breaks down each drill step-by-step before letting players demonstrate them in live action. See what pointers and tips you can take away from this coaching session and then implement with your own squad this season.

1 v 1 Rebounding

Start with one player under the basket and then another player out on the wing area. One coach should stand with the ball on the opposite elbow area. He will shoot the ball and purposely miss, allowing the players to battle each another for the rebound.

This rebounding drill exemplifies the “hit, find, and get” technique. The job of the players is to hit each other. The minute that the player under the basket hits the other player, he will turn, find the ball, and then go get it.

Meanwhile, one of the biggest keys for a team is to get rebounds above the rim – as long as they aren’t on the ground. Get all rebounds above the shoulders. This means we are aggressively pursuing the ball instead of letting the ball come to us.

Defenders must hit their man and then immediately release to find the ball. Don’t hold. If the player is doing the drill right, the ball shouldn’t ever hit the floor. In terms of sequence, go from offense to defense and then to the end of the line.

Tips for good rebounding: The ball is caught above the head, the ball is caught with two hands, and the ball is pulled down to chin level.

Also, be sure to remember offensive rebounding techniques. Try to avoid contact as an offensive rebounder. But at the same time, you need to read the rebounder. Too many times guys will take the path of least resistance. Coach Izzo prefers players who hit and like to be hit.


2 v 2 Rebounding

The 1 on 1 and 2 on 2 drills are both conducted at Michigan State every day. This time, we’ll get two players down low in the paint and tow players at the top of the key. It’s one team against the other as the offense faces the defense in live action.

Make sure the players go after the ball and pull it down with two hands. The offense should be trying to avoid contact and the defense should be trying to make contact. Meanwhile, the job of the offensive rebounder is to get even (AKA even footing with defenders). Once even, they have done half their job already. Also, don’t just lean on the guys’ back. According to Coach Izzo, that’s lazy and a poor tactic.


The above clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Tom Izzo’s Basketball Smorgasboard of Drills and Basketball Wisdom.” Check out our entire Tom Izzo/Michigan State DVD catalog by clicking here.

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