With the NBA season now upon us, Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Nate Babcock’s advice to some of the world’s best players is to watch, learn, and improve.

Nate Babcock is tasked with overseeing the video room and assisting with player development for the Hawks and is a firm believer that video is a vital tool for player improvement.

Pushed for any tips he’d give any colleagues working with video, the Hawks coach said: “The best advice I can give anybody with a video background is don’t waste time.”

“So many coaches waste so much time on stuff that’s just not valuable,” Babcock said. "Figure out what you value the most, what your players value the most and build from there. Don’t waste time on getting clips and chopping up video for something that isn’t of high value to you.

“Figure out what you value then spend time with your players, whether that’s grabbing clips of practice, filming one on one, videoing player development is so important.”

Hawks forward Taurean Prince in action against the Sacramento Kings.

Babcock sometimes sees players and coaches over-complicate learning processes. He believes simplicity is more effective when it comes to video.

“You don’t need a big system or ten guys running around filming everything,” Babcock said. “If you can film it then that’s a start, if you can break it down then great but make players part of the development process. Sit down and watch it with your players.” 

“So many coaches waste so much time on stuff that’s just not valuable, figure out what you value the most, what your players value the most and build from there"

Babcock has rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in the NBA and believes player improvement can simply be put down to studying your peers.

“The best players I’ve seen are all learning from other players. They’re thinking that this guy does this really well so I’m going to steal that,” Babcock said. “They create their own body of work through this and for example at Brooklyn we had players who would ask, ‘can I get some clips of this guy’s finishing’? 

"Stealing from other players is how you get better".

In terms of learning from the best in the game, Babcock introduced us to the phrase, ‘stealing from the best players is how you get better.’

“Being able to use video to teach and for player development is very important, maybe show a player a clip of another player doing something really well,” Babcock said. “Manu Ginobili back in his prime was really good at coming off the roll guy, he’d fake a shot and be able to lift the big guy up then get the pocket pass, he was really good at that so if you’ve got a player who is struggling with that then maybe show him Ginobili doing it.”

Coach Babcock outlines how you can learn off NBA legends such as Manu Ginobili.

Competition is fierce across the NBA and Babcock has his players using video for an added edge which could make all the difference.

“At Brooklyn we’d put the team’s previous game or two onto Hudl so the players could go on and watch the full game,” Babcock said. “A lot of the players would also ask for all of the clips from their previous games for the player they’re guarding so they can see how a player scores and how he does his thing.”

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