The fallout of over-trophying

In youth sports today, trophies are handed out like snacks and juice boxes…and they have the same effect – a quick boost and quickly leaves kids feeling empty.
Trophies had meaning for kids in the past…a feeling of accomplishment, the thrill of victory, pride, joy… a surge in confidence. Now they merely are another form of instant gratification, something parents frown upon, but ironically continue to instill in the younger generation.
Parents, who are the coaches, have lost sight of what trophies represent. They have taken the liberty to abolish a sports tradition. Trophies were meant for winning. Nobody is bigger than the sport.
The Olympic medal is a small award for such a big event. Why? Because the real reward of the Olympics is achieved before any medals are handed out, the real reward is discovering what it takes to make it to the Olympics. The gold medal signifies that sports are not all about finishing first, but more about personal accomplishment and triumph.
What must young athletes think when they see Olympians receive only small medals for winning while they receive big trophies for winning nothing. The messages being sent out to kids today are not being monitored. Parents are at sea without a captain.
We need to help young athletes understand that it’s the size of the experience and not the size of the trophy that matters. Let’s reserve the trophies for the elite events and bring back the old, firm handshake for the rest.

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