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Tip Rebounding - Rodman

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

I posed this question on Twitter: Would you ever let your player rebound like Dennis Rodman? Which at first glance, seems somewhat ridiculous. What coach wouldn’t want a player who leads their league in rebounds as an undersized big? But when you watch Rodman’s actually rebounding style and technique, many coaches cringe at the sight. The blatant disregard for the fundamentals.

Long held is the belief that fundamental rebounding is with two hands, strong, powerful, and ripping it down into a chin position. “Two hands on every rebound.” And I don’t argue these are ideal. This is the way to purely secure a rebound. But the game isn’t always pure. If every player rebounded exactly the same, wouldn’t that just favor the tallest players? Can an undersized player really expect to rebound the ball with two hands vs a taller player?

These are the questions I’ve been asking myself watching Rodman’s film. And the one technique that keeps jumping out is is the Tip Rebound. He does this constantly. Sometimes almost to a fault it seems.


But when you are trying to get every rebound. When you’re trying to get over 20 RPG, you won’t be in perfect position every chance. And in Rodman’s case, you certainly won’t be the tallest player. The Tipping in his rebounding is the mindset to get anything he can on every rebound. He might not be able to grab the rebound, but he might be able to tip it and keep it alive for another try.


He became so good at getting a hand on every rebound that he was able to start directing the ball for the second attempt. Tipping it into location better suited to his positioning.


And even if he was just able to keep it up and alive, he was the only player who could feel where it was going on the tip. That gave him an advantage to reposition for where the tip was going. Whether he needed to tip it again more cleaning to direct it or whether it was enough of an advantage to snatch it in.

Would you ever let your player rebound like Rodman? The answer is, you probably won’t be teaching this concept anytime soon. But is it hard to imagine it helping an undersized player? I don’t think so. The question I find most fascinating however is do we practice rebounding enough? Is rebounding this whole separate category, this whole separate art that we drastically under-teach? Maybe Rodman was too far ahead of his time.

See you next time.


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