The BroadCast | Insights on Team's Off-Season Development Program

by Brian Seltzer Reporter

Throughout his stint as 76ers head coach, Brett Brown has often spoken about his belief that the work a player puts in during the summer holds the key to his success the next year.

With the Sixers hoping to build off a run to the second round of the playoffs last spring, this particular off-season assumed that much more importance.

On a new episode of The BroadCast, hear from Chris Babcock, the assistant coach responsible for helping map out each player’s individualized off-season development program.

Babcock, whose official title is Assistant Director of Player Development, is an original member of Brown’s staff dating back to 2013.

During the podcast, he reflects on a summer that took him all over the world, from Arizona to Los Angeles, and South Africa to Croatia; and also talks about the summer routines of several players.

Click below to listen to the full interview, and check out some excerpts from the conversation below.

How does the team create each player’s off-season development plan?

When we had days [off] in [the playoffs], we were planning our guys’ off-season developments and already kind of communicating with them. We didn’t intend to end [Game 5 vs. Boston]. When that happened, right from there, we had to pull up the documents, and get everything ready. We communicated not only with players, but with their agents. It’s not just us telling them this is what you need to do - it’s a collaborative decision on what needs to be done in the off-season.

Let’s start with Joel Embiid. What was on his off-season itinerary?

Joel is a unique player. He’s so dynamic in many certain ways. One is a lot of balance in the post. He’s a very, very good post player as it is right now, and he’s worked an absolute ton and it’s paying off. It looks great right now. A lot of it was just his balance in the post. He got two moves he really focused on - some of it was attacking closeouts, [and] his 3-point shot.

What were the points of emphasis this off-season for Ben Simmons?

Obviously, he’s working a bunch on his shot. He’s also an extremely dynamic player, he can play multiple positions. He worked on his shot, a lot on different finishing. He put in a ton of work, a ton of work. I was very impressed, we all have been very impressed.

I just want to make sure I heard what you said correctly - Steve Nash and Joel Embiid playing doubles?

It was Joel and I versus Steve and his wife. We did a lot of serve-and-volley. His serve was good that day. He had gotten to a point where his serve was very good. He’s got a very good forehand. His serve, he’s got a pretty good kick serve, puts a little spin on hit. Obviously, with his height, he’s just hitting down, so it comes at you at a very good speed. He’s actually, despite his size, more of a finesse tennis player when you play him in singles. He loves to do drop shots. He’s got a good touch. It was a fun experience.


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