Sports Participation Trophies: A New Perspective by Brad Jubin of APIVEO

From Dr. Larry Lauer‘s Blog –

Sport psychology consultant to:

USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, MI;

Michigan State University Men’s Tennis team;

East Lansing High School Girls Varsity Basketball,

St. Stephens Tennis Academy in Austin, Texas,

Professional Tennis Player Marcio Torres,

and many other athletes from youth to professional.

I would like to begin by saying that I am not in favor of “participation” trophies for youth athletes. The reason is not that we are giving out trophies to every player; instead, it’s the lack of creativity in what we call them and the meaning behind them. After coaching dozens of youth teams, I know that an eight- year-old player who came to practice, worked hard, played in the games and cheered on his/her teammates is not excited to be recognized as a “participant.” As parents and coaches, we have to be able to come up with something more meaningful than “participant.”

Kids love getting trophies and adults love handing them out. Trophies are a good thing. However, there is something missing here: the sense of accomplishment.


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