Basketball is not all about scoring. Yes, scoring points will get you the game, no doubt, but what about the things you need to do in order to score points consecutively. What a team needs is a good battle under the rim, the battle of the rebounders. A rebound is a battle for retrieving the ball in both offence and defense. Simple as it sound, it is not coincidence that it is compared to a battle.
For many players in basketball, rebounding is the ultimate achievement and the pillar of scoring points. Not every jump shot ends with a score, so if the ball doesn’t hit ‘nothing but net, and it bounces off the rim, than it is the rebounders job to retrieve it. If he retrieves in offense, than there is a second chance to score; if the retrieves it in defense than that is a kind of a ‘stolen’ score from the opposing team.
Playing under the rim when the ball is on its way to score (or not) is a battle between the players where elbows make contact with the body, legs make firm positions for higher jump, pushing is involved and everything a player can do for retrieving the ball. Of course all those things must be pushed to the very limit of fouling. If one move looks too aggressive then the referee will blow the whistle.
A rebounder must be full of determination to receive the ball; every pain he receives from the other player in a form of elbow punches, pushes and etc. must be taken like a man. There is not a single defensive player that does not end a basketball game without few bruises or scratches. Let’s say that those things go with the territory; a small price to pay for extra score.
Anticipation is sense that a rebounder must poses. When the jump shot releases the ball towards the rim, the rebounder must anticipate its trajectory; whether it is too short or too long, whether it will hit the board and the rim, or just the board and etc. It is like, the rebounder plays chess – he must be a step forward for the advantage of catching the ball.
Height is not always an advantage. Logically and quite normal, the higher player is most likely to catch the ball first; but with a few pushes, good leg positioning, perfect prediction of the ball trajectory, anticipation and determination the smaller player will get the rebound the ball without a problem.