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Trophies are for Winning

Should kids be given trophies for playing sports, even when they don't win? Former Olympian and LA Galaxy soccer star Cobi Jones thinks they’re destructive.

The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 9

(8) Dvirah, January 16, 2018 7:14 PM

How Far to Go?

We need to balance between building motivation and making being "a winner" - or even "the winner" - so important that a person - child or adult - will just refuse to continue an activity unless he/she was the "star".
For example, in a symphony orchestra the violin section has two rows, so some must sit in the second row. If violinists refused to play with the orchestra unless they all had front row positions, the orchestra could never have a full violin section.
So yes, sometimes we do need to realize that it's OK to be second or even third best in an activity.

(7) Nancy, January 5, 2018 12:36 PM

To commenter Canuck

IMO the child's mother who screamed "Kick him with your skate!" should have been told to leave the game. That behavior is egregious. Did your son continue with peewee hockey after that experience?

(6) Kenny, January 5, 2018 12:43 AM


Not to mention, my kids have many trophies cluttering up the house, only two are for actually winning.

(5) Heather, January 4, 2018 10:17 PM

No one "deserves" a trophy

Praising the process of a child's ability it better than a trophy for being there. For example, instead of saying, "you are a winner" or "you are a loser" it is best to say, "You worked really hard to run better this season and you did it." or "All of your evening practices really paid off when you scored that goal today."
Kids know that trophies mean nothing when everyone gets one, they are not stupid. Encouraging a child doesn't mean they have to get a ribbon or a trophy...

(4) Alan, January 4, 2018 7:12 PM


In my opinion, it depends on the ages of the participants. At young ages (e.g., age 7 and younger) the idea of competition isn’t well formed. The goal often is simply participation. Otherwise, I agree that trophies are for winners.

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