Argumentative Essay on Should Kids Recieve Participation Trophies?


Sprinting down the field with defenders quickly approaching, the perfect pass has been made, time winding down by the seconds, the shot taken with 5 seconds left on the clock, the ball hits the crossbar and the game is over. In the final game of the tournament the team has lost. Now what happens after the last game of the season or the final game in tournaments has become a very controversial debate. Should participation awards be given to young athletes or should we allow these young athletes to continue to relish in their achievements of participating? Participation trophies should not be given to young athletes because it sends the wrong message and it awards kids for just showing up. 

To begin, participation trophies should not be given to young athletes because it sends the wrong message. In the article Participation Trophies Send a Dangerous Message Betty Bardan states,”We begin to expect awards and praise for just showing up — to class, practice, after-school jobs — leaving us woefully unprepared for reality.” (Bardan n.pag.) To further explain that the wrong message is conveyed, the message that is implied when everyone receives an award is that “we are all winners” (Bardan n.pag.). If everyone receives an award for absolutely everything we start to do the bare minimum because we know we will be rewarded either way. We are now rewarding kids for just showing up to things instead of rewarding kids for putting in hard work and achieving their goals making them think the bare minimum is okay. However, many parents think that giving awards and trophies actually encourages them to continue trying. In the article, Should Young Athletes get Participation Trophies a parent stated, “Absolutely the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. These kids work their tail off all year for (the) trophies,” a commenter wrote. “These kids need to be rewarded for finishing the season and not giving up on (their) team. These kids earn these trophies even if they don't win a single game.”(TodayShow n.pag.) To contradict that however kids shouldn’t be rewarded for simply showing up because it conveys the wrong message. I believe that kids need to learn how to work hard and learn that it’s okay to fail. In conclusion, not only is the wrong message conveyed when young athletes are given trophies, but it also awards them for simply showing up.

Next, participation trophies should not be given to young athletes because it awards kids for just showing up. In the article The Participation Trophy Debate it states, “ In other words, we hand out trophies to kids, no matter how poorly they performed, so they don’t feel bad about losing. Kids never get the chance to experience failure, or to learn from it. They grow up feeling entitled to rewards for simply showing up.” (Are participation trophies good or bad? n.pag.) To explain when athletes and kids receive participation trophies for absolutely everything they do even if that means they simply just showed up at a practice or school kids will start to do the bare minimum. Each time we receive participation trophies “they diminish in value” (Bardan n.pag.) because that means one more trophy that they didn’t work for. Kids who receive participation trophies start to expect awards everytime they do something and will never truly understand the concept of hard work and learning that in order to succeed you have to be able to accept failure and learn from a loss. On the other hand though many people believe that participation trophies are earned. In the article, In Youth Sports, Participation Trophies Send a Powerful Message Parker Abate states, “ These kids dedicate time, effort and enthusiasm, and they deserve to have something tangible to make them feel that their participation was worthwhile. It could be the only form of athletic recognition they ever receive.” (Abate, n.pag.) However, I believe that kids should not be given participation awards for simply just showing up because they’re other kids who work hard for trophies and get discouraged seeing kids who don’t try get trophies. Instead of giving kids rewards and praising them for doing normal everyday tasks we need to reward kids for actually working hard.  In conclusion, participation trophies should not be given to kids. 

To conclude, I believe that participation trophies should not be given to kids because it conveys the wrong message and they should not be given for simply showing up to practices, games, school, etc. Participation trophies are misleading the younger generation thinking it’s okay to simply just show up to things and still get a reward. The younger generations need to learn in order to succeed you have to learn how to fail first and then rebound. In the article Youth Sport Participation by the Numbers Beth Swanson states, “Roughly 45 million children are playing youth sports”(Swanson n.pag.)  Out of the 45 million kids who play sports, how many kids are getting participation trophies that shouldn’t be ? Trophies should be earned not given for putting in the least amount of effort possible.

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