Participation Trophies Have Negative Impact On Society

Participation trophies have been handed out since 1922.  However, it came to the limelight in 2015 when then-Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison returned participation trophies that his kids had earned.

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This is the type of thinking that more parents, coaches and children need.  You don’t get a trophy just for showing up. Trophies were meant to be for people that won and performed the best out of a group.

The thought of trophies and praise is what is supposed to be motivation for kids to give maximum effort and do everything to the best of their abilities.  Trophies are meant to push kids; when everyone gets them, all they are doing is making them feel entitled and lazy.  

There are always going to be winners and losers in life and nothing is going to change that.  There is going to be somebody that gets the job, and there is going to be someone who doesn’t get the job.  The person who got the job won, and the person who didn’t get the job lost. When we give out participation trophies, we ruin the kids for the real world.  They are not going to automatically get the job just for applying for the job.  They have to be the best out of the group and if they aren’t they won’t get the job.  However, this failure can be used to do better at the next interview.

There are always going to be winners and losers in life and nothing is going to change that. ”

— Kolby Marting, sophomore

Participation trophies have also become a way for overprotective parents to get their way.  Overprotective parents have used these awards to ensure their child doesn’t have to go through the pain of losing.  They are taking away the internal motivation by saying “it’s okay you didn’t lose, you gave it your best.”  Yes they gave it their all, but they lost and that’s it.

Some people say that participation trophies are a good way to celebrate the hard work of the kids, not the achievements.  However, that is exactly what the real trophies are doing. You don’t win the trophies during competition time, you win the trophies in the days and hours put in working on your skill.  If they didn’t win, it serves as motivation to work harder during prep time to be the best.   

A logical solution to this is to put more emphasis on how the kids that won got there.  Put more emphasis that the work they did before the competition is what allowed them to win.  Participation trophies are ruining the art of competition and putting kids at a disadvantage in the real world.  Stop handing out trophies and don’t accept them if presented to you, or your child. This will help society to get back on the right foot.