HBO’s Real Sports goes inside Participation Trophy Culture

nashvillegoldenflash

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Dec 10, 2006
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If you don’t have one yourself, you most definitely know someone who does – a participation trophy. They’ve taken over seemingly every sports league in America, and those on opposite sides of the debate argue they’re either ruining or saving today’s kids.

HBO’s Real Sports devoted a segment of its most recent episode to its phenomenon. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find the entire segment online — how dare HBO try to sell subscriptions — but there’s enough online to give you a gist of where things stand. Correspondent Bernard Goldberg spoke with the executive of a youth sports league (unfortunately Goldberg’s subjects aren’t identified in the clips so we can’t name them here) who said he’s never had a parent ask for his or her child to not receive a trophy, and then to an opponent who argued participation trophies remove kids’ incentives to improve because the reward is there for them no matter the results.

Then cut to a coach, with trophy in hand who says, “We lost almost every game this season…. but we had a heck of a good time doing it!”

“It’s not even a trophy for effort or trying, it’s a trophy for participation,” says one expert. “It sets the bar pretty low.”

Goldberg also spoke to a trophy wholesaler whose company did a whopping $50 million in sales last year (click web address below).


Speaking from experience, as a child of the 1990’s who played whatever sport was in season, participation trophies were already fully ingrained in the youth sports culture by that time, so I didn’t think anything of it. It was just a thing that happened after every season; it didn’t ruin the experience – or my competitive drive as an adult – nor the guarantee of a trophy keep me coming back next season. I, and most other kids, just wanted to play. Though I will say, as a younger child it made me look forward to playing sports in junior high where not everyone received a trophy, because that’s when you knew you’d left little leagues behind and finally made it to the big time.

What say you: are participation trophies ruining the competitive drive of today’s kids and softening up an already coddled generation to the realities of the real world? Or do you think kids today have it hard enough already, so you don’t see anything wrong with a little mass-produced positive encouragement.

http://footballscoop.com/news/video-hbos-real-sports-goes-inside-participation-trophy-culture/
 

nashvillegoldenflash

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As a conservative, I have a problem when liberal parents give kids participation trophies just for playing sports. Why do they do it you ask? Well, one of the fundamental tenets of liberal philosophy is that self esteem is more important than anything else. So this is the primary reason for giving awards for "participation" and why public schools give students a C for trying even though they really failed. But this mindset even goes further than that when you consider Obama voted "present" most of the time he was in the Senate and got rewarded with becoming President. The problem with giving participation trophies is that when these kids grow up they will compete against other children who will be taught that the best person wins and the kids who think "participation equals winning" will lose badly. At that point, their self-esteem will be wounded and they won't understand why they can't just get an "honorable mention" trophy.
 

nashvillegoldenflash

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Pittsburgh Steelers LB James Harrison Takes Away his Kids’ Participation Awards

Football fans know the name James Harrison, and unless you’re a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, you dreaded the thought that your team had to take the field against the monstrous outside linebacker.

Harrison won two Super Bowl’s with the Steelers, and before that was a walk-on for his college team, Kent State.

The man knows a thing or two about perseverance and sacrifice in order to accomplish the ultimate goal.

No handouts here!

When Harrison came home to find that his children received awards for merely participating, he wasn’t amused.

In fact, he was very upset.


From ESPN:


Not everyone gets a trophy in James Harrison’s house, as the Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker wrote on Instagram on Saturday. Harrison is taking away his kids’ participation trophies because he wants them to “EARN a real trophy.”


Explaining his position, Harrison said he’s proud of his two sons and will always encourage them. But the “2015 Best of the Batch Next Level Athletics Student-Athlete Awards” are going back.

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This is the progressive fantasy. Everyone gets an award, nobody is declared a loser.

There’s a problem with that, though. It’s not reality.

Out in the real world, people lose every single day in business, or this, that, and the other thing, and nobody is there to coddle them with a pat on the back saying ‘good job.’

All participation trophies do for children is weaken their abilities to be fully functioning adults when they turn 18 and their parents cut the cord.

Unfortunately, with our current welfare state, America has become a nation of hangers-on; a nation that is dependent on others to get the job done.

Good for James Harrison for taking a stand, and setting a strong example for his kids.

http://www.youngcons.com/pittsburgh...son-takes-away-his-kids-participation-awards/
 

RaiderDoug

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Jul 26, 2005
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I tend to agree with you - the everybody always wins culture is a major problem, IMHO.

We don't allow our kids to fall - so they don't ever learn how to pick themselves back up.

My theory is that we're babying and coddling our children for so long, that when they do get into the real world and everything isn't handed to them on a platter - if they don't get into grad school or some girl turns them down for a date - they flip out and go shoot people up.
 

TeKEraider

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Dec 29, 2006
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I find it funny that anyone could try to pin this on liberals. You have to be just desperate to blame all the worlds ills on liberals to do that. The biggest offenders out there are groups like "One Goal" that don't even keep score. They are run by conservative christian church groups. Blaming liberals is just sad, pathetic and separated from reality.

Having said that I think the whole thing is overblown. I don't think its a big deal to give a small souvenir for these kids to have to remember there time on the field. Kids know the difference between winning and not winning. They recognize the difference between a participation trophy and and a championship trophy. Heck my one experience coaching in "One Goal" was that all the kids were keeping score even though the league wasn't. Trust me. They know the difference. I think this is just something else for people who like to complain to complain about. The kids will be fine. The people who try to make this political are the ones that are beyond help.