For Belmont University’s newest head men’s soccer coach, David Costa, the job is about more than just soccer.
“I’ve learned how to invest in people and take care of them because of my family, and I’m excited to take care of this team,” said Costa. “I’ve been a husband and a father, and I’ve become a better coach for it.”
Starting from a young age, soccer has been central in Costa’s life.
“My father was the person who introduced soccer to my community, and through time it became something I was good at,” he said. “I had the opportunity to play in college and do something I was passionate about.”
Costa went on the play soccer at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and during his time was the recipient of the David Schlee Memorial Award, an award given to players who display a desire for success, according to the Belmont Athletics website.
Costa would like to see the same desire for success in the Bruins both on and off the field, he said.
“Our job as a team is to leave this place better than we found it,” he said. “This group of guys has a lot of talent, and it’s our job to use the talents we’ve been gifted with and share them with other people.”
Having the opportunity to coach at Belmont is an honor, said Costa.
“Going through the interview process, I just felt like I belonged here,” he said. “Everyone at Belmont is so proud to be here, and that’s something I admired.”
Though Costa would like to lead the Bruins to a conference championship this season, he also wants to focus on developing strong leaders.
“I know what good players look like when I see them play on the field, but what I really care about is what they can do to make everyone else around them better,” said Costa.
Having the opportunity to bring a new mindset and energy to the team is what Costa is most excited for, he said.
During the 2018 season, the Bruins went 4-12-2, according to the Belmont Athletics website.
“It’s about team 2019, not what happened last season,” he said. “We’re here to get it done this year, and everyone has a brand new opportunity to bring their best to the table, including myself.”
Sophomore Creaghan Diekema has already seen changes from last year’s team, he said.
“There’s been a lot of work with defensive shape and tactics, and there is already a visible improvement in this area at both an individual and team level,” said Diekema.
On the field, Costa wants to coach the players he has to their strengths rather than coach his ideas, said Costa.
“My philosophy is that soccer is a player’s game,” he said. “My coaching always centers around playing toward my players’ strengths and making sure that, as their coach, I bring out the best in them.”
Costa would like his team to represent the best in Belmont.
“There is more to being a college athlete than just the competition, it’s about developing leaders for the next step in life,” he said. “We have the opportunity to represent Belmont as a team, and that’s an honor.”
Developing good character among the Bruins is ultimately one of Costa’s main goals, he said.
“Afterall, the game is about a lot more than just soccer,” said Costa.
This article written by Marissa Avnaim.