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Thursday, June 9, 2016

PETE NEWELL ON REBOUNDING AND A STORY OF WHY THE GREAT ARE GREAT

The following comes from the USA Coaches Clinic: Instant Review Basketball Notebook, Volume 2, written in 1999.  But it's a great passage that shares a powerful message that far too many young players don't get.  That message is that the best are the best because they are intentional and deliberate about their improvement.  If they make the game look easy, it's because they have spent countless hours in quiet gyms improving their game.  It also means that even though they have reached levels of greatness that they are still looking to improve.

The following was written by coaching legend Pete Newell:

About six years ago during my NBA camp, I got a call from Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar).  He asked me to work with him on his rebounding.  I certainly wasn't going to bring him into camp because of his stature.  I had a lot of young NBA players there.  He said that he would bring over a couple of tapes.  He came over and we talked.  He said his rebounding stats had fallen off and he didn't know why.

I looked back at them over the weekend and he came back Monday.  Actually, the problem was very simple.  You get into bad habits in basketball even as as he is.  On defense, when the shot was taken, he was releasing right away and getting caught under the basket and was not in jumping position.  He has always been worried about his eyes, and when he got caught in there he wasn't aggressive.  But when he screened, his angle would change, his rebounding arc become much better and he become much greater and he became a much better rebounder.  Offensively, when the shot was taken, he was looking at it.  Then when the shot missed, he would react.

One of the purisms of offensive rebounding is when a teammate shoots, you should anticipate the miss.  All great rebounders move when the shot goes up.  They are moving all the time.