The Water Cooler – Awards & Trophies

March 24, 2014 12:00 pm · 55 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

Do you think awards & trophies should be given to each child who participates in a competition/sporting event?

Talk about it….

Polticially Correct WIMPs March 24, 2014 at 12:06 PM

By all means let us affirm and encourage future generations of wimps who are incapable of dealing with difficulties in life.

qwerty March 24, 2014 at 12:06 PM

First!…second, and third gets a trophy. None for simply participating.

Cowellian March 24, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I like the scouting way. Everybody gets the patch, the winners get the trophies.

just a concordian March 24, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Everyone who participates in a marathon gets a partecipatory award. But that’s quite the endurance strength and that is an achievement onto itself.

As to kids, not all of them have the same sense of achievement that adults do. But they do brag about what they won. A partecipatory award does nothing on that regard. They’re still losers and there’s only one winner. In fact, that useless award can easily be branded as “loser patch” by the winner, which can create some tension.

Rose Garden March 24, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Competition is very healthy, starting at a very early age. It’s the key to success.

Trophies should be awarded to the winners.

First Place wins March 24, 2014 at 12:23 PM

everyone else loses.

Its a fact of life, teach it young.

CVHS Class of '90 March 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM

No. I don’t like how they don’t keep score in so many younger kids games as well. This way, “everybody is a winner!” and nobody gets hurt feelings. Well, unfortunately that is life. You will get hurt feelings. You will fall short of your goals. You will not get that job or promotion. Perhaps you will get rejected when you ask somebody out. It isn’t fun. BUT, we learn from rejection and losing. Those are tough lessons but valuable lessons! Why are we depriving kids of these things anymore?

j457 March 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Without competition(which comed directly from developing a competitive spirit) we would have less innovations as a society.

aannoonn March 24, 2014 at 12:27 PM

No, because it’s just setting them up for disappointment later. Don’t really think that future bosses will give them a bonus if they just show up every day. We need to instill a desire to achieve and work hard in kids these days. Otherwise, where’s the incentive ?

rkt88 March 24, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Under 8 I really don’t care – they should all get awards and have fun for participating. Somewhere around 8 they need to transition to a reality based system for most sports. After a certain point if you want to feel good without winning then you need to find an avenue to do that with people who agree with that philosophy.

And win or lose you should celebrate as a team at the end of the season, even if there are no trophies or awards to hand out. Putting in the effort can still be recognized.

running girl March 24, 2014 at 12:31 PM

You win some you lose some the sooner you can teach your kids the better. Understanding where your strengths are is important.

anonanonagain March 24, 2014 at 12:37 PM

I don’t think it’s healthy to constantly give out rewards/awards/trophies to those that are just participating in an activity. Sad but true, life is not always about winning. Someone has to lose. Why do we think that because you lost at a sport/game/activity that it makes you a “loser”? If there is no effort then their is no gain…….
Perhaps that this is why there are so many deadbeats still living at home with mom and dad and smoking pot all day……..

wimps March 24, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Thank you #1 you said exactly what I would have said. Its a weakening of America.

What security March 24, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Yes, when you are a little kid a cheapy participation award is okay then trust me they will want to do better.

I got one then when I was a kid and was sooo happy as a kid it made me want to get to the podium in the future.

If not none of your little kids would get basketball, boxing, football or track and field trophies LOL maybe nothing in athletics

claycordian March 24, 2014 at 12:54 PM

The sooner that young people learn that life is competition, and that not every one wins, the better. You win by working harder and by making the best of what luck that you have.

the Shi ite March 24, 2014 at 12:59 PM

There’s a house up the street that’s larger than mine ~ I should have one like that. Why? Because everyone gets a trophy – Not based on performance or talent, but just for the hell of it.
Not teaching future generations how the real world works is setting them up for Failure.

Connie Dobbs March 24, 2014 at 1:01 PM

A lot of those trophies end up at the thrift store. I collect them. Some of the events they commemorate are just hilarious.


RK March 24, 2014 at 1:20 PM

No, competitive events are to encourage kids to put up their best performances, demonstrate their best skills. Not every one is a winner, best three rewards and 1 or 2 exceptionally good ( very close scoring to best performance) but not a winner (complementary) rewards makes sense. This kind of structure encourages kids to work hard, prepare to deal with bigger emotional upsets in future and be sincere. There are more positive attributes attached to traditional structure of rewarding than giving out participatory rewards.

The Mamba March 24, 2014 at 1:22 PM

I agree with the general consensus, when they move on in their education and adult careers, there won’t be prizes for showing up, so they may as well learn young.

Incognito March 24, 2014 at 1:25 PM

An award/trophy just for participating? No.
Awards and trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place are common.
It’s very important for children to understand in any competition there will be winners and losers.

And, parents need to understand the same when it comes to their children competing.

Dorothy March 24, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Depends on the age of the child. Agree with #10, up to a certain age/grade, let them all get something for participation. Young children love to get some prize. After that, only the first 3 or 4 get to win whatever the prize may be. Fact of life they eventually have to learn is that they cannot win all the time.

Old Timer March 24, 2014 at 1:37 PM

My grand kids swim on Dana Hills and, based on the awards ceremonies I’ve attended, they seem to reward everything except accomplishment. I swear, they had a coach a few years back that brought them a lot of success… so they fired him. The kids who look as though they can barely swim get trophies for trying hard, and the kids that can actually swim fast get nothing because they supposedly got ribbons throughout the year.

When I asked why they are the way they are, I was told the last couple presidents’ kids are slow and so they decided to make sure the slow kids get recognized. Which is apparently why they fired their coach… apparently he focused too much on accomplishment.

Marianne March 24, 2014 at 1:43 PM

First, second and third, kids should learn young to be competative, it’s a good life learning.

Michelle March 24, 2014 at 2:59 PM

All kids should get an award! These are little kids, they are out there trying their hardest at the sports their parents feel they should be involved in. Yes, each child should have an effort award–until they become teens, then they should have to work harder for their awards.

Pro Fi March 24, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Nope! Sets them up to think that is how the real world works. If adults all got points for just waking up, then I would be all for it.

Bishop Estates March 24, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Children should learn that in sports as in life there is always a winner and it may not always be them.
Why is winning special of everyone else gets the same thing?

Amen Michelle #24 March 24, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Man – you people are heartless.

Really, you’re going to tell a 4 year-old that he does’t get a trophy because he wasn’t good enough? Nevermind the fact that he went to practice 2x a week, ran his little 4 year-old butt off in the heat and then went to games at the ass crack of dawn on Saturday mornings.

Geeze – glad you aren’t my parents. Glad I parent my kids with a little more sympathy than that.

Cheftoat March 24, 2014 at 5:01 PM

I think common sense ( which seems to have be disappearing) needs to be used when giving out awards. Younger children, children with disabilities should recieved awards for participation. I think older children should recieve awards on achievement.

Pro Fi March 24, 2014 at 5:01 PM

@ Amen Michelle –
Unfortunately, treating children in this manner only sets them up to be privileged teens/adults. My parents celebrated when I gave it 100% and sat me down to talk about how to improve. Through it all I knew they were proud of my effort. I never had to win a trophy to get that kind of support.
They gave me more then any trophy ever could… the ability to take responsibility for my own action/inaction and that when you want something bad enough, it is worth striving for it even after disappointment.

Cheftoat March 24, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Pardon the word *have in my last post……….I promise I do not want an award for it!

anon March 24, 2014 at 5:02 PM

No. They should be learning sportmanship.

Red Headed Left Handed Inuit March 24, 2014 at 5:06 PM

The awards should go to the family that spent the most cash on developing the child. Just like in Pro Sports. Reward the owners, the parents and uncles and aunts and all those who sweat trying to make kids be successful when all the kids wants to do is to have fun.

Just watch March 24, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Friday night Tykes, that should make us proud.
We can’t even teach our young people to read
beyond a sixth grade level, how can we teach
them the ethics and morals of ” healthy”

Triple Canopy March 24, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Another “socially correct” policy?????? THAT STUPID.

No… there are lessons to be learned in losing (or not winning).

just a concordian March 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Well, Gaylord Focker’s parents kept all of his loser participatory trophies. He turned out quite nice, and moved on from nurse to chief of surgery within 3 movies.

Yhe Phantom March 24, 2014 at 6:54 PM

When I was a lid I couldn’t win at anything…I was a fat kid and no good at sports, so I started handicapping the dodge ball games at recess. Wound up with all the lunch money and gained so much weight that it just made it worse.

I was able to buy candy for a fifth grader. She left her jock boy friend for me. When I finally got into fifth grade she moved away.

Sunfish March 24, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Everyone is so judgemental, why?

Starman March 24, 2014 at 7:45 PM

No you earn a trophy. You reduce the value of the trophy if every one gets it

Atticus Thraxx March 24, 2014 at 7:46 PM

Trophies? I say bring me the severed head of the captain of the team you vanquished, boy. I’ll get it dipped in urethane and up on the mantle it goes with the rest of them.

Walnut Creek Resident March 24, 2014 at 8:50 PM

It is the GOOD JOB comment I hear parents telling their kids for the dumbest
things. These kids are going to be really frustrated in their adult years when they discover that when they do a GOOD JOB they may not be rewarded fairly or even at all. So if they get big rewards for participation only or for just doing something well that is not how life is. I wish we would all get rewards for being kind, and fair etc. WE do but the rewards are not always in dollars and cents. It makes kids spoiled and self centered too. So my answer is no way!!

Maribelle March 24, 2014 at 9:21 PM

I have to agree with the red headed left handed inuit, the parents deserve the awards for all they do.

Pegasus March 24, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Atticus, what the hell is wrong with you. Did make me laugh though, maybe I got it too.

caskydiver March 24, 2014 at 10:58 PM

Only for those that win….maybe 2nd /3rd place too. Look at the Olympics – do you see everyone getting a medal?? Does every athlete get high paying endorsement gigs?? Competition is good…if a kid wants a trophy/medal, then they have to learn to earn it through dedication, hard work, and persistence.

The Grant March 24, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Typical American liberal BS. You win or you don’t. Second place is the first loser.

Doc Epharts March 24, 2014 at 11:54 PM

I don’t think a child should even have to compete to get a trophy, no accomplishment necessary! But then again, I’m on a Nobel Committee.

Poon March 25, 2014 at 5:55 AM

I say “No”. You want to enter a sport where you wont get anything unless you earn it, no matter the age. Try youth wrestling. If my kids don’t win they wont get anything. They learn to appreciate the medal they earn and don’t discard it 5 minutes after getting it.

Teacher March 25, 2014 at 5:58 AM

Maybe the children could get a certificate for participation? I agree they should not get trophies just for participation but should at least get recognized for their effort and hard work.

FirstW March 25, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Not a trophy but a certificate is nice. In soccer these kids are running up and down in the hot a$$ weather with parents (sometimes not even their own) shouting at them and telling them what to do. How dare the parents who are relaxing in their lounge chairs with their nice refreshing drink decide that their kids don’t deserve a thing for all their hard work?

And another thing! March 25, 2014 at 9:50 AM

@ Teacher
Yes, recognize them for hard work and effort but remind them it’s the results that count. The reason this nation is in decline is that we mistake activity for achievement.

iwasthere March 25, 2014 at 10:37 AM

#10 hit the nail on the head. Perfect answer.

OnlyIfItis Earled March 25, 2014 at 12:22 PM

No. I do not think that each kid should receive a trophy just for participaitng. I think trophies should be awarded to MVPs etc.

Anon March 25, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Yes, under the age of 6. So many kids are so sheltered and parents are so scared to let them outside to play and run around. I will encourage anything to get them running, playing, getting scraped knees and being with others their own age any way I can it is important and necessary. Giving them recognition in the form of an award keeps it fun and exciting in the hopes they will want to continue. Trust and believe most parents instill that life isn’t fair and they begin to learn that they must work hard to get ahead. As the mother of a four year old it gets him involve in something that I hope will last through High school. It sets a great starting place to encourage active, social, and discipline instead of a kid that stays home playing video games or online all day because some ADULT said they weren’t the best. 3, 4, and 5 yrs old don’t understand that. They are there for fun and it is our job as parents to set the foundation and get them wanting to stick with something and see it through. As they get older that’s when they will progress into the competitiveness of it all.

Claycordian March 25, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Absolutely not. Giving awards to everyone only encourages mediocrity, rather than what they are supposed to do: acknowledge and encourage hard work and exceptional achievement.

Laura Zah March 25, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Yeah, it’s like paying people for not working.

Cowellian March 26, 2014 at 6:07 AM

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