There are No Participation Trophies in Life

by Shawn Collins on October 31, 2011

This past weekend marked the final game of the regular season for me as a rookie soccer coach, and I am proud, because we finished with a record of 6-0-1.

Participation trophies are for losers

I am proud of these kids and our success as a team. They worked hard in practice and in games and earned that standing.

But I got an email about the playoffs that bugged me. In part it read…

“ALL teams will participate in the end of season tournament. ALL players will receive trophies.”

I have a problem with both of these items. The tournament (playoffs) should only be a portion of the teams that had the best records in my opinion.

And the team that wins it all should get trophies. Participation trophies? They get a shiny award for showing up and picking their nose? That’s crap.

Yeah, they’re five, but I think it’s a good lesson to learn that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

I was there once. I started playing soccer in first grade and we won the championship in my first season.

That was the last trophy I saw for a few years. Playing and not winning humbled and inspired me.

The empty spots on my trophy shelf pushed me to get better by working harder.

Back then, you either won the championship or you were on one of the teams that didn’t win. Only the winners got trophies.

Over the years, I collected a decent amount of trophies, but didn’t win that last one.

We lost in the state semi-finals in my senior year of high school. I still think about that game. We didn’t get a trophy for almost winning the state. We didn’t get a trophy at all, because we didn’t earn it.

It sucked, but we don’t always win. That’s how life is. There will be lots of losses personally and professionally.

Those wins are so sweet. We appreciate them, because they are special and rare.

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