Participation Trophies

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Young children are given participation trophies for showing up to games in the world of sports. Participation trophies are based on the idea that rewarding children will improve their self-esteem, resulting in better adults. The awarding of medals at that young age is based on a false theory with no direct empirical evidence, resulting in self-centered attitudes among the youth. The reaction is elicited by praising the teenagers for putting forth minimal effort in pursuit of any trophy (Anderson et al. 699). The topic has sparked debate over whether participation trophies are meaningful and whether coaches should be allowed to handle the awards. Over the years, young people cannot comprehend their employers when they lack a platform to express their vision. The argument against participation trophies is that they lead to a sense of entitlement for the kids later towards their lives, workplaces, and the society as a whole.
The presentation of trophies in regards to participation intimidates the power and performance model of sports known to every nation. The model consists of both highly competitive and organized sporting emphasizing on selected procedures in which the participants have to meet for outstanding performances. The demonstration of elite standards offered the players a chance to either be included or continue being part of the team. Moreover, the measure is essential since they act as the primary motivating factor for the participants in sports like football (Buonamano et al. 269). In some instances, kids receiving the awards do not make valuable contributions to the team and in the worst scenarios some of them were not even put into the game. Therefore, the removal of participation trophies most importantly makes it easier for the progression and development of children in their childhood.
Additionally, the sense of entitlement for the participation trophies was brought about by the teenagers' knowledge of obtaining a reward whether they were involved in the games or not. In that case, the youngsters cared less about the sports, and for that reason, they were in it just for the reward. The theory behind the stipulated reasoning is known as the overjustification effect which a psychological term explaining how external incentives decrease an individual's intrinsic motivation to execute a specific activity. As a result, an abundance of participation trophies causes the children to give apathetic efforts in the games they play. Besides that, the kids have a conviction that they need not necessarily have to be the best to receive a trophy. Therefore, rewarding a medal to every single participant leads to the award having no value at all (Anderson et al. 704).
Furthermore, the possibility of occurrence of a strong mental letdown in kids is on the rise. The controversy over the giving of participation trophies is that despite boosting the children's self-esteem and making them feel better about themselves, the kids tend to struggle with self-worth as adults upon facing the reality of life. Also, the young adults are unsure how to cope with specific responsibilities as they experience culture shock on the manner to handle themselves towards them (Buonamano et al. 280). Moreover, participation trophies pose a great idea of making the teenagers happy which is not always the case in the world. In fact, the youngsters need to deal with difficult issues of disillusionment and insufficiency that neither the coaches, parents, nor the leagues taught them. Therefore, it is crucial that the reward system ought to make changes to become more helpful in the long-term.
Moreover, participation trophies lead to non-development of appropriate character for the children. Some of the kids do not depict good team traits such as collaboration but feel entitled to receive the cool goodies hence would be distressed if they did not get any appreciation. Through sports, the kids should be taught life lessons such as the importance of hard work and positive attitude towards teamwork (Campbell and Jean 70). A lot of findings has observed that awarding all participants in the team destines them for failure. In such circumstances, too much praise brings no good for the teenagers hence leading to a lower resilience in them. Furthermore, acknowledging every achievement have a higher likelihood of undesirable consequences in their inspiration to work hard. Therefore, parents and coaches should let the kids lose then teach them to applaud those who win which would help in the building of endurance in facing real-life challenges (Kleiber and Glyn 118).
Besides that, participation trophies are the primary reason that makes the rewards less unique to the participants who have earned them since they remain as crowd-pleasers at the tournaments, sports programs and especially to the young competitors. Some of the coaches have a difficult time explaining to the parents the need for the children's training and subsequently most of the times they are overprotective (Merryman 27). Also, other parents interfere on the playing field and at the end of the season expect their children to at least receive a participation trophy. As a result of the parents being highly responsive to the kid's welfare, they deny them the opportunity for growth in learning to deal with their difficulties as young adults. Therefore, over-parenting undermines the child's education and understanding of essential skills of organization and restraint which they carry on with after they leave the classrooms.
Finally, the receipt of participation trophies tricks the kids into entitlement mentality thus lack the true meaning of competition. The young generation today is afraid of failure, therefore, to avoid the delicate egos from mediocrity, the parents put them into sports teams and other related activities that award trophies irrespective of lack of achievement, talent, or real triumph over the other side. The crowns lead to them expecting unqualified approval in every aspect of their lives (Rueda 58). Besides that, as lack of competition erodes firmly and slowly in them, the abilities of the teenagers to improve their talents from learning from mistakes are limited. Therefore, the rewarding of the participation trophies is not meaningful in the long-term as they do not signify egotistical triumph.
In conclusion, it is evident that sufficient rewards and recognition practices ought to reflect the children's fundamental values of hard work and competitiveness in every manner. The awarding of participation trophies lead to unutilized potential amongst the participants in the team as they ride on the performance of other team members. Besides, the kids are spoiled continuously as the parents and learning institutions do not build a capacity for them to be resilient to frustration. Therefore, participation trophies lead to the threatening of power and performance model of sports, an overjustification effect, substantial mental letdown as youngsters, non-development of appropriate character, and lack of competition as they become adults.

Work Cited
Anderson, Emylee, et al. "Giving negative feedback to Millennials: How can managers criticize the 'most praised' generation." Management Research Review 39.6 (2016): 692-705.
Buonamano, Roberto, Alberto Cei, and Antonio Mussino. "Participation motivation in Italian youth sport." The sports psychologist 9.3 (1995): 265-281.
Campbell, Stacy M., and Jean M. Twenge. "Is it kids today or just the fact that they're kids." E. Parry (éd.), Generational diversity at work: new research perspectives, New York, Routledge (2014): 69-80.
Kleiber, Douglas A., and Glyn G. Roberts. "The effects of sports experience in the development of social character: An exploratory investigation." Journal of Sports Psychology 3.2 (1981): 114-122.
Merryman, Ashley. "Losing is good for you." The New York Times (2013): 23-29
Rueda, Eréndira. "Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture." (2016): 57-59.


September 21, 2021




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