Corey Costelloe, Columnist, The Tehachapi News

The Roadrunner Connection: Warrior Advice 2015

Posted by Corey Costelloe, Columnist, The Tehachapi News, on August 14, 2015

I canít help but notice itís almost football season. I might work at an institution that doesnít field a football team but itís not like
I canít appreciate the sport for everything itís contributed to my life and society in general. High school football, especially.

Sorting through some boxes last week I came across some of my very own high school football memories, from victories to accolades to pictures
of my friends and teammates, I was reminded that those few short years donning a Tehachapi Warriors uniform were some of my most important developmental years.

I donít know if any of the players on the 2015 Warriors football team will read this ó maybe someone will force them to ó but I hope
they will be open to some advice from someone who previously walked in their shoes.

First of all, enjoy this moment, every second. Every practice, every lap, every wind sprint and every down you get to line up across from someone else. Practice teaches us the value of preparation. In order to be successful both on the football field and in life afterward, preparation is vital. Very rarely in professional careers after football will you get a chance to spend an entire week preparing for one moment. Make the most of it and appreciate the time you put into being your very best.

My career ended after Tehachapi High School, and I was fine with that. I had other plans for my life, but I used the lessons, the discipline and the work ethic instilled in me during that time and applied it to other areas. Just like weight room sessions in the summer and practices during the season, the most important work in order to be successful is done well in advance of game day. Those principles are still applied today personally with a mentality of planning for success well in advance of the opportunity to be successful.

You have several brilliant coaching minds and mentors at your disposal. Donít just take the coaching instruction; listen to the life lessons buried in their words and actions. Thereís a reason much of the coaching staff from the varsity level on down have been doing this for so long; they know what they are doing and have a proven track record of not only winning but also turning out fine young men who are regular contributors to society. My 1997 team alone produced doctors, high-ranking military officials, soldiers, firefighters, teachers and law enforcement professionals, just to name a few. We all listened to what was being taught to us a few hours a day and applied it beyond the football field long after our last whistle blew.

You will never hear more important philosophy than that which you receive while on one knee before and after a game. Donít tune those
things out; people pay thousands of dollars for that type of education. Youíre receiving it in exchange for your sweat and your effort. Take good mental notes.

While many would like to play this game, very few people actually do, and even fewer find success. This is the 85th season of Mountain Football, bringing this class into the select fraternity of those who have played for Tehachapi. You are one of the few teams in California that represents the entire town. Thatís a rarity and a privilege, so donít ever forget that.

Finally, you will never get a chance to legally hit people this much in the future. Right now it is encouraged. In 10 years you will wish you could put on some pads and address a problem with a form tackleÖitís not going to happen so take advantage now. While youíre at it, drop someone for this old Warrior who will be watching and wishing you nothing but the best in your games and your futures.

COREY COSTELLOE, a Tehachapi High graduate, is assistant athletics director for communications for California State University, Bakersfield.

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