The Great Trophy Debate

My 7-year-old daughter’s basketball season wrapped up a few weeks ago and we didn’t hand out trophies (we went to a local place for milkshakes – that was their “reward” for putting in the time and effort during the season). The year prior, we did. At this age, I don’t mind either way and see the trophy more of a symbol of the girls putting in the time and effort to complete a season.

With my older daughter’s soccer team, I’ve given them a variety of items as we’ve completed seasons. There have been trophies, necklaces with a soccer ball and our team name on it, and this year a print with an image, their name and soccer terms scattered on the picture. Regardless, the most important part of the post-season gathering was to have each player stand up individually and I’d share my thoughts on what they contributed to our team this past season (all positive at this age).

I know the great trophy debate is a dividing one with the people against trophies seemingly in the majority these days and the most vocal. Usually, I fall in line and pick a side on these hot topics, but in this one, I don’t see the harm in either way. The players are smart enough to know if they receive a trophy, it’s not because they were grade-level, town or area champions – I’ve coached enough teams that haven’t won a lot of games – they know where they stand.

But, I’m wondering where you fall in this debate. Are you adamantly against trophies? Are they OK up to a certain age? Is it the trophy or all forms of symbols after a season that you oppose?