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Pro's and Con’s of Participation Trophies for Kids Sports - Platinum Awards

Pro’s and Con’s of Participation Trophies for Kids Sports

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Pro’s and Con’s of Participation Trophies for Kids Sports

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The hot topic between making our kids soft and building their self-esteem via participation awards.

What do you think? Leave your comments and let us know…

It’s a hot topic. Participation Trophies. Awards are given for showing up. No particular achievement. But in a time where technology takes over and keeps our kids glued to their screens…is it not the solution to the problem? Or are we creating a generation of slackers?

At Platinum Awards, we’ve been discussing participation trophies.

The idea behind giving Participation Trophies is to encourage attendance. Being that we are in a technology battle to get our kids back to playing outside, isn’t it a super idea? To teach by positive reward? Or does it encourage our kids to slack off? Is it only creating an easy win? And not motivating them to do better?


Naveen K. Jain is a business executive, entrepreneur and the founder and former CEO of InfoSpace. His work at InfoSpace was one of the contributors to the dot-com bubble. He says, ‘As a father, I believe that involving children in sport at a young age is generally, a wise proposition. I believe that healthy competition is…well…healthy; that sporting events foster a spirit of teamwork that far surpasses the events themselves; and that active participation keeps children moving and is good for their self esteem.’


On the other hand, according to HBO, in an article posted by Men’s Journal, they say ’there has been a seismic shift in American culture in an effort to make each child feel special. The mentality has created an atmosphere where everyone gets a trophy, but awarding medals and trophies just for participation sets the bar very low, according to experts. Trophies make kids feel like finishing in last place may be good enough.’


Coming back to the other side of the discussion, Walter Hubert Annenberg was an American publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat. He built up his family’s magazine business with great success, extending it into radio and TV. He says, ‘Many activities and team play participation will give you a training that will prove invaluable later on in life.’


On the other hand, in a HBO interview, Ashley Merryman, the author of Losing Is Good for You, told HBO that “none of it works.” She said that the self-esteem movement failed to teach kids how to succeed, and giving kids a participation trophy stunts their competitive edge.

Reference: http://www.mensjournal.com/adventure/races-sports/how-participation-trophies-are-making-our-kids-soft-20150725

So has our spirit of encouragement gone out with the traditional ways, like meeting for a coffee? Have we become robotic like in our methods? Or are we saving our children from disappointment by employing tough love principles that worked for our parents and grandparents, and possibly helped them survive times we would possibly flounder in given the same circumstances?

GIVE US YOUR OPINION…Leave your feedback and/or experience in the comments.

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Platinum Awards supplied and engraved my sons football teams trophies. They provide an excellent stress free service… Highly recommended
Ric BurrowsDadEpping, Sydney