Participation trophies are the latest craze in sports controversy world. Some people like to think that participation trophies are the key to helping kids learn the most about competing in the sports world. Personally, I think participation trophies are ruining the competitive sports among are youth today.
Participation trophies really don’t teach you anything. If you have a kid who works hard and has natural ability with whatever sport they are playing, giving them a participation trophy practically says,”Hey, thanks for your hard work, but keep trying.” You didn’t get the trophy from working hard and beating another team. You got the trophy for showing up to play. According to the nytimes.com in an article called “Participation Trophies Send a Dangerous Message” , the author states ,”Trophies for all convey an inaccurate and potentially dangerous life message to children: We are all winners.”
Participation trophies teach the kids who don’t put much effort into the sport they are playing or the ones that are less skilled in the sport and don’t put any effort into getting better, that is is okay to be below average. Who cares anyways? They will get a trophy for “all of their hardwork.”
In an interview after a loss to the University of Maryland, the University of Louisville Women’s Basketball Head Coach Jeff Walz describes that we live in a generation where we have kids that are raised to get a trophy after everything. “You finish last, you come home with a trophy,” he said. “You kidding me? What is that teaching kids? Its okay to lose?”
We should do away with participation trophies because they teach kids that everything should just be practically handed to them. This can carry over immensely into adulthood. Walz goes on to say ,”Everybody thinks that they should get a good job. That’s not the way it works. But unfortunately, that is what we are preparing for. You finish fifth, you walk home with a trophy and your parents are all waiting for you excited. No you lost. I hate to be blunt, but you got beat. You are a loser. ”
Instead of participation trophies, we should teach kids at a young age what it takes to win and what it takes to lost. As crazy as it sounds, I can say from many experiences in my sports career, my biggest lessons of the game I was playing came from the losses that I had in that season. We need to teach kids that sometimes it is okay to lose. You can play well, but sometimes it may not be enough to beat the other team. If kids start to learn this at a younger age rather than later on in life, I could see sports getting way more competitive and a younger level, which is a good thing. Kids will start to see that they want to get better to become winners and get those cool, huge trophies that actually mean something for all of the hard work they have put in preparing for their seasons.