All children, regardless of their athletic ability, should be encouraged to participate in youth sports. Participating in youth sports has numerous benefits that can help children develop into healthier and happy children that are able to face challenges and overcome difficult situations. No matter how much skill or talent a player has in a particular sport, each child should be recognized for their accomplishments and their achievements. It almost goes hand-in-hand: sports and trophies.
The Participation Controversy
Many parents, athletes, and celebrities in the spotlight are questioning whether or not children in youth sports should be given a participation trophy. Many people may say that children should not receive a trophy for simply participating and rather only awards should go to the best and the brightest. This claim is not supported by research, and, in fact, research has proven the exact opposite. Recent studies have found that participation awards are great for children’s self-esteem and trophies are a great way to remind children that they were part of a team.
Benefits of Recognition Awards for Children
When a child wins an award or a trophy, they will likely place the trophy on a shelf, show it to all of their friends and family, and look at it for years to come. The trophy is a symbol of their accomplishments and their commitment to a team. Whether the trophy is a first place trophy or a participation award, it most likely means the same thing to a child participating in youth sports.
Winning a trophy has a large impact on a child’s self-esteem. While all children may not be athletically inclined, any child who devotes their time and learns the skills necessary to play a sport should be recognized for their effort. No child joins a team, goes to countless hours of practice, and then gives less than their best. When children put forth their best effort they should be recognized for it.
Whether children hope to become the next Phillies all-star or are just looking to be part of a team and try something new, each and every child no matter how much skill they have are going to learn the importance of teamwork. Youth sports is one of the best ways to teach young children the value of working together. Recognizing children for their ability to work together as a team and show each other support is something that all children should be rewarded for. Most adults cannot work as well on a team as many children do. For this, children should be given an award recognizing their ability to work as a team and show each other good sportsmanship.
Recognition awards allow children to see that hard work pays off and then when you put in effort people notice. Everyone wants to be recognized for the work that they do in their job, with their family, or while doing community service. Children are no different than adults and they too want to be recognized for a job well done. If children give each practice and game their best effort, cheer on their team and their opponents, show good sportsmanship and do not quit, they deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments.
Other Types of Recognition Awards
If you strongly believe that children should not just get an award for participating, you can work together with other parents and coaches to create awards special for each player. Some players can get an MVP or most talented award, and others can get most improved or best team player award. Other players can get awards that fit their personality and style, like most effort, always on time, or best hit or throw awards. Customized awards may take more time to create; however, they may mean more to each individual child. If children see customized awards being distributed, they may try even harder next season to get the award they want. If they are competitive and desire the MVP award, they may practice on the offseason to get better so that they have a chance of becoming the most valued player on their team in the future. Since these awards are going to be displayed in their room or throughout their house in a special place for years to come, it is important that the award means something special to each player.