he's chasing dreams hitting seams.
she's chasing dreams talking sports.
Your parents paid your playing fee…here is your trophy.
You played two games this season…here is your trophy.
You finished first place…here is your trophy.
I’ll never understand participation trophies, and where participation trophies worry me the most is in younger kids.
In the feature picture of this post, I received my first trophy. It was after my first T-ball season, and I was clearly so happy. Then it might have been about the trophy.
(But look at those dirt spots on my pants. Diving in T-ball...who does that...a kid whose mom and dad weren't hitting the ball right at her in the backyard just so she could catch it I guess.)
But anyway as I got older, I can assure you winning was not about the trophy.
Winning was about all the hard work, practices, sprints and late night shooting/hitting paying off. BEING FIRST…that’s what winning was about to me.
Now that I’m out of team sports, “winning” is about being the best. Writing the best story. Getting the best interview. “Winning” is not about getting a pat on the back for finishing the job task. “Winning” is about proving myself. “Winning” is about hating to lose, and letting that drive me.
With participation trophies, you don’t get that mentality. With participation trophies, player A doesn’t have to work as hard as Player B cause HEY WE’RE ALL GETTING A TROPHY AND A PAT ON THE BACK AFTERWARDS ANYWAY.
Instead of giving participation trophies, give lessons on fundamentals. Give teaching moments.
For an example, I played the best game of my basketball career, and I go to my granddaddy for my normal post game hug. He says, “You couldn’t miss tonight. I’m proud of you. But hey, you know on those two turnovers in a row….” Next, I go to my mom who says: “I can’t believe you had a four-point play. That drive at the end of the first half was perfect. But hey, you know there were a couple times in the third you didn’t hustle…were you tired?”
If that was after my best game, you can imagine what is was like on my bad nights, my mediocre nights, my good nights…from pee-wee until my senior year. But ya know what? That’s how I learned to make corrections myself. That’s how I learned to always. work. harder.
Don’t tell your kid they’re great. Because odds are, they aren’t. Not even close. And don’t let you telling them they’re great, be the words that stop them from being great. Instead, praise but also teach. correct. motivate. And teach them accountability. That turnover happened because you made a bad pass..not because so-and-so didn't catch it. Teach them accountability through sports (orwhatever extracurricular activity they like to do or just chores at home) before real world accountability smacks them in the face.
Instead of giving participation trophies, give memories. Teach TEAMWORK. A lot of my memories from playing sports are from the practices, fun games, games we learned together and locker room talks and laughs. My teammates turned into lifelong friends. Two were bridesmaids in our wedding plus three more were at my bachelorette party, and several more came to our wedding. I can tell you it wasn’t because we worked for participation trophies together. We worked to be the best team. We came close…which now is okay because second place with best friends is better than a dang participation trophy with best friends. And in the adult world, I see how important teamwork is in the work place especially when I was in the newspaper business. But again, I learned teamwork early.
I don’t want a participation trophy because I don’t want to just participate. I don’t want to just finish the job task.
I want to put in hard work to achieve my dreams and to be the best. And that’s not going to happen with just a participation trophy…
Matt & Jesica Beaty
Welcome in to dreams and seams! A tell-all blog about our career dreams and path to reaching those dreams with some commentary about sports and life plus some videos too.
"Strive for the impossible because it makes the possible seem effortless." -Matt Beaty