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Our ten-year-old's little league team just finished the season and the team mother is getting all the players trophies. Is it a wise idea to give trophies for playing? The team won about half the games this season.


Rhonda Clements Replied: While it is not necessary, trophies of any kind do mean a great deal to ten year old players. A team party with a simple cake and ice cream is a great deal less expensive, but if one parent is will to "splurge" I feel certain that all of the players will place their trophy in a special place. The only difficulty will come in the future, when the children begin to expect awards such as this for their participation.
Posted On 2007-04-01 17:34:15
Steve Virgilio Replied: Trophies, cerificates,or ribbons may be fine when given to all children. The rewards should all be the same, and it should be noted that they are presented for a child's effort, teamwork, and participation. The issues begin to surface when you start giving awards for MVP, and alike. If a team parent takes the responsibility to order the trophies, be sure the award and plate script is approved by a committee of parents from the team, the coach, and the LL director. Stephen J.Virgilio, Ph.D.
Posted On 2006-05-24 08:32:34
Susan Oliver Replied: It can be very hard for parents to agree on the appropriate ways to recognize participation, effort and commitment in youth sports. Different programs are driven by different values. At this age level, we would hope the main objective of the league is to build skills in several child development domains (e.g. physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and more), rather than on winning or singling out star athletes. It would seem reasonable that all children deserve some recognition for playing, which is what the team mother is trying to accomplish. Other strategies for honoring participation might be certificates, medals, a pizza party, whatever--use your imagination. Rather than spend energy on what trophies mean or don't mean, perhaps your time would be better spent helping your child recognize and feel good about what he or she learned to do during the season and where he or she would like to go from here in building physical and athletic skills. Competitive sports are a good fit for some ten-year-olds; others might reach the same health and developmental benefits through free play outdoors with neighborhood friends.
Posted On 2005-06-13 12:59:23
Tina Nocera Replied: I am concerned that we give children awards for everything, which can minimize the value of an award when it is really deserved. Perhaps we can focus on the skills they learned, the lessons in teamwork and all the fun. Have an end of the season party, and perhaps the coach can tell a specific performance story about each child.
Posted On 2005-06-11 16:25:51
Derick Wilder Replied: In general, I believe it is fine to give all the players trophies or some award for participating in the league. There are many factors, other than winning the majority of their games, for which kids playing team sports can be recognized. Children learn character traits such as sportsmanship, teamwork, persistence (especially if they play on a team that doesn't win often) and the responsibility required to show up on time for every game (though this admittedly falls more on the parents than the children). In addition, perhaps the team showed marked improvement over the season. I don't believe in providing false praise, but think parents should look for every opportunity to point out the positive things the team or its members accomplished over a season. Little league will be a springboard to a future in sports for very, very few of the kids. However, making it a positive, fun experience can lead many children to embrace an active lifestyle and all of its accompanying benefits.
Posted On 2005-06-06 12:57:38
Penny Warner Replied: I think they should receive some kind of recognition for their efforts. Perhaps personalized trophies for "Best Attitude," "Made the Most Games," "Always on Time," "Most Improved Player," etc. Just make sure there is one for everyone. That way, you're congratulating them for completing the season, enjoying the game, practicing good sportsmanship, and so on. This might also inspire them to do better next year!
Posted On 2005-05-30 12:32:26
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