3 Valuable Team Rebounding Drills that Produce Results

Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Hurley has racked up more than 1,000 wins and 26 championships during his illustrious career. In this week’s team concepts feature, learn three of Coach Hurley’s favorite and most effective rebounding drills. The drills – used frequently by St. Anthony’s (NJ) – can be adapted for any level of basketball and focus on recreating competitive, game-like rebounding situations.

Bluejay Drill

First, have your players set up at one end of the court. Get two “white team” players on the baseline and two “blue team” players at the elbows. (Also, you can put two more elbow players behind the other two as the next group on deck to participate in the drill.) Down at the other end of the court, there should be six more players doing this same exact drill. A coach has the ball on the baseline.

The Bluejay Drill is all about aggression and has nothing to do with technique. Simply, it gets guys to really go after the ball. Have a coach throw the ball to one of the elbow players. The player will catch it and if the baseline players don’t close fast enough, they can just catch and shoot it. The elbow guys must score twice and the baseline guys must score once.

Note: Often in this drill, the baseline guys will bust out and the elbow guy shoots a jumper but the defender will turn and get the rebound and lay it in, resulting in his team winning. Therefore, the shooters must go in and get the ball on a miss.

The two teammates must work together to get the ball in the hoop. It’s 2-on-2, so use your teammates and finish the play. The drill rotates players through and make sure that players take turns at the different positions.


Huggins Drill

Looking to teach your players proper box out technique? In the Huggins Drill, players start out back-to-back and sitting on the floor in pairs. When the coach yells “Up” the players get up and block each other out.

Tips: Get your elbows out, feet wide, and look to hold your positioning for about five seconds. Drive the hands and get your hands up.


4-on-3 Blockout Drill

Start out with three teammates (the defensive team) in the lane and standing next to each other while facing out. Meanwhile, there are four other teammates (the offensive team) spread out around the perimeter.

The coach will throw the ball out to any one of the offensive players. When he does, the defensive players come out and guard the ball. The second guy takes the next pass, and the third guy sits on the help side. As the ball gets moved, always look to guard the two most dangerous and then split the distance with the other guy. When it moves from the corner to the nearest up-top guy, the defenders change up their positioning. The middle guy now goes to play the ball and the others work the passing lanes. In other words, when the ball moves, there should be constant defensive rotation.

First, work on movement and getting proper positioning on defense. When the coach says to shoot, the player with the ball grabs it and immediately takes the shot. The defensive players must block out everyone but the shooter. Therefore, it’s key that the defenders communicate effectively. As soon as coach yells “shot”, a fourth blue team player comes into the play and blocks out the shooter. Be sure to switch teams from offense to defense.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Hurley: Practice Planning & Program Development.” To check out more rebounding drills, click here. To check out more videos on program development, click here.

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