Lakesha Costello was a guest coach for the Downingtown East Football team during their game win over Avon Grove on October 15, 2021. Read further for her observations.
What I learned from my experience as a Guest Coach…
In the motivational speech from Mr. Hearns about “swimming in the deep end” I learned that you must challenge yourself by making yourself uncomfortable to be great. The message speaks to every area of my life. I learned that growth comes when you go outside of yourself and although it feels uncomfortable it is necessary to achieve success spiritually, personally and professionally.
When Mr. Matta told the bus driver to take the long way and drive through the borough of Downingtown I learned the importance of never ever forgetting where you come from. It is important to honor those that have come before you and those that support you. The words were simple but the message was so complex, I heard stay grounded and humble in all you do.
I observed that Mr. Matta led the players and assistant coaches off the bus, onto the field, and to shake hands with the players at the end of the game and from this I learned that someone is always watching you so be a good and responsible leader. I learned the importance of leading with pride and purpose. The players and coaches respected Mr. Matta and trusted him to lead the team to victory.
On the field Mr. Matta never took his eyes off the field and used every play as a teachable moment. I learned the importance of providing feedback in the moment to allow for corrections and congratulating success in the moment. The players were receptive to his feedback because they respect Mr. Matta. They respect Mr. Matta because of the relationship he has with them individually.
The lessons I learned during the week as a guest coach will stay with me forever. I learned the game of football and what exceptional leadership looks like from Mr. Matta throughout the week. It was amazing to see students from all walks of life come together for a common goal. The color of their skin did not matter, how much money they had did not matter, what they will do after high school did not matter, what they scored on standardized tests did not matter. All that mattered on that night under the lights was working together to win.
I learned that no job is too small that night. The students who filled the water bottles took pride in their role on the field.
I observed incredible dedication, tenacity and grit from all the players and coaches throughout the week.
I have a new respect for the sport of football, and the players and coaches at DEHS.
I am so grateful and honored to have been chosen to be a part of the team for a week.