Local Sports

June 27, 2013

Fightin' Words: Trophies are earned, not given



They became pointless, possibly even condescending now that I knew what it took to earn something real, something that meant my team had worked harder than anyone else and I had fun doing it.

A kid that stays in the sport specifically for the trophy more than likely doesn't really enjoy the sport. To me, it shows they are looking for some form of appreciation they're not getting anywhere else to make this journey worthwhile.

I look back on my time in soccer before I was on a solid team for different reasons. I had fun with my teammates. My coach was a good teacher and I understood learning was the key to success. But the most important thing I remember was my mother, father, sister, and sometimes even grandparents, were always there. 

A few seasons my father, a man who had never kicked a ball in his life much less watched a game of soccer on television, even coached my team, and that is a memory that no trophy could even attempt to symbolize. 

For kids younger than 10, trophies only serve to distract. At this age, it is more important for a family to be involved, whether they are in the game or cheering on the sideline. Practice, teamwork, steady improvement, and learning are far more important than the weekly results of games or a trophy at the end of the season that can serve to confuse a child when it comes to the value of hard work.

I think what Chickasha Little League has done is strictly based on budget, but participation trophies are exactly what President Bruce McGrew described them as: a luxury. They are unnecessary and can do more harm than the good of a child simply understanding that their hard work and practice makes them important to the people that matter the most: mom and dad.

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