Our boys, at the age of 4.5 have played soccer, ice hockey, and t-ball. They took gymnastics before they started their young athlete careers. At the end of each season, they would receive a participation trophy or certificate. Their little faces lit up! I of course loved the photo op of them in their pint sized team jersey. However, when it was time to sign up for another season they always asked if they were going to get a trophy.
Some of you may recall the great participation trophy debate from last year. If not, you can read about it here. I know there are so many valid points on both side of the table, or field. Today, while I was at our boys’ soccer game, I overheard another family talking about one of our boys. Now, trust me, I am our children’s biggest cheerleader. I actually cheer for each child on the team, but maybe just maybe our boys a little louder. This dad, whose child is on our team, made a comment about needing to take #21 (our son) off the field because he was the only one that went after the ball and no one else tried. Before, I let Mama Bear come out, I stopped myself. Our boys, even though they are twins, are two completely different children. We have one that excels in sports. He has a very natural ability and has genuinely been great at each sport he has played. He loves them all! On the other hand, we have our other son, who is about like you would expect all the other 4.5 year olds to be. He likes to jump around, kick the dirt on the baseball field and every once in a while chase down the soccer ball. He also is much more into academics than our sports lover.
Now, back to the participation trophy debate. What are my thoughts on it? I do believe that there is a time, probably in early elementary school that the participation trophies need to be cut out. I believe that in order to receive a special recognition such as a trophy or medal you should earn it. I don’t think that If your son or daughter busts their rear end practicing and working really hard at a sport while my child merely showed up to the game is really fair when it comes to be rewarded. I also think it teaches our children, the one that just showed up because mom made them play or the one that sweat practicing at home, anything about the real world. We all know the real world isn’t fair. Why should someone be rewarded for something they don’t deserve when we worked harder for it? We have all been there.
Until the Mission is Complete,