Participation awards for kids?

Why young players should not be receiving trophies for just participating


Jack Venneman

Participation trophies do not teach kids how to lose.

Drew Hollman, Staff Writer

Participation is completely different than success. It’s taking part in something when success is the accomplishment of the task a person is trying to complete. An actual success shows you how it feels to legitimately do something right and it shows how hard work pays off. Not always are we going to succeed in everything.

Kids should not receive participation awards when taking part in youth sports.

As adults and young adults, we know pretty well what we succeeded or failed in, but for younger children, they do not know what the difference is yet. Giving them participation rewards takes away from that. From birth to five years old, the brain develops to 90% complete. This is the age where humans are most receptive to new information. Giving them participation rewards such as medals & trophies are a bad influence and robs them of a necessary lesson in life: learning how to lose. It can be very tough at those ages, but it gives them a sense of reality and getting over a loss is a trait that will be with them for the rest of their life.

They also need to learn that people who win at something or beat the other kids aren’t better people and the kids who lose aren’t worse people. It is just a marker of hard work and greatness at that point in time. Losing is a reminder that we aren’t perfect and we all have our areas of success and areas where we need work. In my life, I have experienced loss and I have experiences where I failed but still got rewarded. When I lost, I was like any other kid, I was upset that I lost. I still said good game and shook their hands.

After a kid loses something, it is possible that motivational thoughts go on in their heads. They will want to work harder in order to succeed. This skill is vital because not everything is going to go the way a person wants it too. Learning to be motivated after failure and strive for better results is huge in creating a lot of professional athletes and overall hard workers.

Kids can benefit a lot from not receiving awards for participating in youth sports. Life lessons arise as they can learn how to lose, understand hard work is what helps a person gain success, and be motivated to strive for success.