Rob Davis, CAA
Welcome to the Sedalia School District 200
An old coaching mentor used to tell me “Rob, unless you’re consistently winning championships, five years is about all you can expect to last in one place. If you’re not winning championships, your kids will grow tired of the same practice style, the same motivation tactics, and the same speeches. It will be time to move on.” I was cognizant of this advice as a coach and never let a lot of grass grow under my feet. My tenures as a coach before coming to Sedalia were 2 years, 2 years, 1 year, and 4 years. Part of the reason was because of that advice but mostly it was because Courtney and I were still looking for a place for us to call “home.” Either way, because I respected the source, and it was a good quote, I always considered it as a savvy way to look at it.
Two or three years into my tenure at Smith-Cotton, I thought about that advice and asked myself if it was as appropriate for an athletic director as I had believed it to be for a coach. During that time, the S-C Athletic Department had won very few championships, and in fact, in the early to mid-2000’s many of our programs were not very successful at all. Our coaching staff was constantly turning over and the general mood surrounding the program was not good. According to the maxim of my mentor, maybe it was time to move on again.
Here is the thing though, Courtney and I had found home. So, before packing up and moving out because things were not great, I was reminded of something someone even older and wiser than my old coaching guru had once said. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”-Albert Einstein
Instead of changing jobs, why not change the style. Change the motivation. Change the speeches. When necessary, change the facilities, change our collective focus, change the evaluative process, and change our communication methods.
It has worked. Over the last several years, coaching retention is up, we enjoy more student participation than ever, we have great facilities, and as a whole, our teams are more competitive than they have ever been. However, we cannot be satisfied with where we are because once you become satisfied, improvement has stopped.
The dissolution of the West Central Conference has become the perfect spark to continue our improvement. However, to do so we are facing the biggest change we have had to face in the last 30 years. We are very close to completing the creation of a new conference. Although the WCC was a very good conference it will pale in comparison to the competitive level we will find in the new one made up of Battle, Hickman, Rock Bridge, Helias, Jefferson City, Capitol City, and Smith-Cotton.
In order for this change to be successful, we will need the help of our entire community. We are asking everyone to have some trust, patience, and vision. The road ahead is not always going to be an easy one. You must trust that every decision we make is done so with the best interests of our students, our school, and our community in mind. Patience is needed because sustainable success for all programs may take time to achieve. Finally, all of us must also have the vision to balance our immediate needs and wishes for the long term vitality of our entire athletic/activities department.
I understand the skepticism of some and the concern over whether or not we can be successful in such a competitive conference. I must remind everyone that success is often cyclical. Some of our most successful programs, not too long ago, had very difficult seasons. Our boy’s soccer team struggled for several years when playing Jeff City but currently, we have a four game winning streak against them. In 2012, after not playing them for several years, our football team lost to Hickman 56-7. We have come back and won the last two contests with them. After that 2012 loss to Hickman, many folks were clamoring for us to drop Hickman from our schedules. Just think if we would have heeded their demands. Our kids would have been cheated out of two wins against a quality opponent and we would have been left to believe that we could never compete with them.
We are committed to our student-athletes, to our school and community, and to taking our athletic/activities program to a higher level. The future holds challenges and the potential for disappointing losses. However, it also offers great opportunity and the chance to experience unbelievable victories. It takes all of those things for true growth to occur.
We welcome all to join us as we take our school and our activities program in this new direction.
Rob Davis, CAA
Smith-Cotton High School