Rob Davis, CAA
Welcome to the Sedalia School District 200
"Having fun is doing hard things well."
I used this quote with my athletes back in my coaching days. I recently thought about it and knew I wanted to use it for this message. I googled it to see where it originated but all I could find on it is that Duke University Basketball had used it recently with some of their tweets. When I saw that, I knew it would be relevant to this message because right now there are few programs that do it as well, and have for so long, as Duke Basketball.
I think it is a quote worth repeating today because more than ever, we are hearing kids say that they are not having any fun when they are playing a sport. Whenever a kid quits a sport or activity and they are asked why they decided to quit, the answer is almost always that they aren't having any fun. Many times when coaches meet with upset parents, the phrase "not having any fun" will make its way into the discussion.
Having fun is a relative concept. Great teams are made up of kids who have fun supporting each other, pushing themselves individually to be the best they can be, and working hard to reach a common goal. These athletes do not need immediate gratification to have fun and they understand the principles of teamwork and sacrifice. They will inevitably have had bad days but they will show up tomorrow with a renewed determination. They enjoy the process.
Good teams can handle adversity and when faced with challenges, they rise to the occasion. They can accept a supporting role for the good of the team. They embrace being the underdog and overcoming obstacles. They know that there is a real fun in doing something no one thought they could do or beating someone no one thought they could beat.
Poor teams are made up of individuals who are worried about their own playing time, how long practice is going to last, or how they look while they are out on the court or field. If they are not playing, if practice is hard, or if they are not the focus of attention, it is no longer fun for them. The process is irrelevant to them because they are only in it for their immediate gratification.
I have been involved in high school sports and activities as a coach and athletic director for 24 years. Over that time, I have seen a paradigm shift in the way that we coach kids in a more positive way and it is a good thing. The old days of "my way or the highway" are gone and good riddance. However, it is still important that we teach our young people the virtues necessary to survive in the real world. Coaches must be allowed to instill in our athletes that their obligations and responsibilities are just as important as their rights and privileges.
Rob Davis, CAA
Smith-Cotton Activities Director