Sunday, January 22, 2017

#63 The Contagion of Rebounding

The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.  Wilhelm Stekel

It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so 'don't fuss, dear; get on with it'. ― Audrey Hepburn

I chose two galvanizing quotes about selflessness because I am writing about a topic that requires young men and young women to fully embrace the ideas of selflessness and humility to truly see the individual and group fruits of the topic:  The Contagion of Rebounding.

Contagion is a word that usually is associated with the spread of disease, but it also can mean the spread/transmission of an idea from person to person.  Rebounding is just that type of idea because it requires an individual to buy in whole-heartedly to not just the effort required but to fully understand how that effort translates into confidence for one's teammates.

If you ask most coaches how rebounding affects shooting, you will usually get a long pause before an answer because most have never really connected the two.  Most would even tell you there is an extreme disconnect or opposite correlation.

"Rebounding relates to a person missing a shot, so how does one help the other?"

The biggest problem with most young people is that they are in constant worry of disappointing their coaches and teammates.

"I'm wide-open, but if I miss, I will have let my team down and my coach may remove me from the game."

I can actually see those thoughts in the eyes of players in every game I coach or observe.  Now, the great scorers the world has seen (i.e. Jordan, Bird, Iverson, Curry) didn't have those thoughts...and if they did, they were quickly eradicated once they learned how detrimental they were to their personal gains and their team's success.

These are special players.  1 in a 100 maybe.  Whether they understand that their special, personal confidence comes from the "contagion of rebounding" or whether they just have innate confidence in their own ability is not here nor there.  These are not the players that any of us coaches have to worry about.  Most of us are not blessed with a 1/100 player in a career, let alone a season.

The contagion of rebounding is how we, as coaches, have an opportunity to enable those other 99 to learn how to discard that fear of letting their teammates down and just shoot the ball.

The contagion of rebounding really has 3 different perspectives that need to be taught, modeled, and then supported.

1.  Offensive Rebounding=Scoring Opportunities:  "If my coach is not running the offense through me, or I do not have built in opportunities to score, or I am not expected to score, I must use the opportunity to take advantage of missed shots to create my own opportunity."

2.  Defensive Rebounding=Offensive Possessions:  "If we don't have the ball, my team does not get the opportunity to play on offense.  If the other team can get as many shots as they like every possession, my team will never be able to catch up."

3.  Offensive Rebounding=Confident Shooters:  "When I am open, I am going to set my feet and take a good shot.  If I miss, I know my teammates will get the rebound, and we will have another opportunity for me to shoot again or for my team to score again."

As a coach, you don't just have an opportunity to spread the "disease" of rebounding; moreover, you have an obligation to create the contagion of that disease.

Think about it.  Who are the teams you hate to face the most?  This should be a unanimous answer...the teams who play the hardest and are relentless and demonstrate the most consistent desire on defense and on the boards.

Teams who are driven in practice every day on defense and rebounding to play their hardest for long periods of time can create this.  Teams who are given drills that are competitive in nature where scoring means nothing, but offensive and defensive rebounds create points for the win can create this.  However, it is the coach who preaches "Shoot when you are open," and "Attack the defensive rebounders shoulder to create a 50/50 or better offensive rebounding position," and "Crash the glass like a pack of wild, starving wolves" will create this every time.  This cannot be a once per week ordeal.  It has to be a daily and ever-present voice and message that rebounding on both ends of the floor will not only create a positive end result, but the tenacity of our rebounding will eventually break the spirit of our opponent.

You can keep on believing that your well-thoughtout offensive magic and your dynamic 1-3-1 swarming amoeba defense is going to win you a State or National Championship.  I wish you luck with that.  However, I hope you don't face the team during that run who has been infected with contagion of rebounding.  I would put money on the possibility that you may not be carrying that trophy home.

It's not to late to start the infection.  It will take more than one injection of that virus.  It must be infused daily!

Coach Matt Rogers
Twitter:  @madcoachdiary
Phone:  (312) 610-6045

Matt Rogers is a 20-year high school and college coach veteran.  He has led two teams to the NCAA National Tournament and one team to a High School State Championship.  His teams hold numerous school and one NCAA record. He has mentored and coached players at every level while serving as an athletics administrator at the high school and NCAA levels. He has helped numerous players continue their careers at the professional level. He currently is the Head National Scout/Recruiting Specialist for NCSA - Next College Student Athlete where he has helped thousands of young men and women from around the world achieve their dreams of playing at the college level.  Coach presently lives in the Denver, CO area with his wife of 19 years and his two children. 

To request Coach Rogers to speak at your school or event, you can reach him through any of his contact information above.