Coaching Irish Grassroots Football

Some Golden Nuggets From Kobe Byrant #ProjectPlay

Some of the take homes from Kobe Byrant Meaning of Play:

  • “Look at the mistake that were made, makes the corrections and moves onto the next one”;
  • Kids do what they see. They want to impress you and they want you to be impressed by them. If you’re on your device, they will also be on their device;
  • We are modelling for the next generation;
  • Say what you mean and DO what you say;
  • How you do the little things is how you do all things;
  • Words matter;
  • Basketball is played with 1-2 players and soccer is played with 3-4 players in triangles;
  • Define Play: Play is loving what you want to do. You don’t work a day in your life when you love what you’re doing.
  • Play and Hard-work are one of the same;
  • Never lose the joy of playing;

Coaches I had:

  • They were never condescending, never abusive with how they taught the game.
  • The spoke the tactics and encouraged you to ask questions. They wanted you thinking more.
  • Here’s the idea and what are you reading from this;
  • Our job is to give you the fundamentals and from that you then have the ability to go out and problem solve.
  • The FUN part is being curious;

On Imagination: “At least once a week, the first 20 minutes of practice is imagination play” for his under 12 girls. 

  • Imagination is key, because you have to be able envision it and dream it first;
  • When I was growing up I would envision myself playing against the Celtics, that’s what I would see in my mind and it’s important to hang onto that because Sports has become so structured and we don’t have time to bring that imagination out and that is a really big concern;
  • If the parents /coaches are constantly providing the answers for them they will not figure out how to problem solve;

“Give the the tools to help them chase that dream and along that process they will learn what excellence looks like”.

“As Coaches/Parents we need to continue to be curious ourselves and learn about the best way to connect, to reach, to help, to inspire, to inform is extremely important”.


“The one Nugget: is to teach kids what excellence looks and feels like.. it’s our job not to tell them to be realistic or have perspective but  to give the them tools to chase that dream and along that process they will learn what excellence looks like. It’s the journey they want to be on. “This is the journey they want to be on, this is what they love to do and through that process they will understand the blend between WORK and PLAY. Thats the best thing we can teach them, thats what excellence looks like”

Sometimes the most important thing you can do is OBSERVE!


  1. Get out of the way;
  2. Watch;
  3. Learn;
  4. Listen and
  5. Guide!


“LEARN and don’t underestimate the importance that sports plays in the lives of children. It’s the greatest metaphor we have in life is sport. You can tell kids all you like… to be a great team mate, how to deal with anxiety, how to deal with pressure, Sports put them in an environment on a daily basis in which they are challenged by those exact things and emotionally they have to navigate themselves through it. So we have to learn what it is they can be going through, this way we can help them guide them through these things”.


This post was inspired by Understanding The Learner And The Learning Process By Footblogball


I always like to hear your opinions and views. If you feel you have something to say, please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. As always, thanks for reading.

I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary and @LetTheKidPlay

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