1. Who Learns By Winning All The Time?
Growing up, I know for a fact I learned a lot more from doing something wrong than when I did something right. In baseball, if you don’t get in front of the ball, odds are it’ll end up going right past you. The way I see it, life should be lived the same way. Sometimes life flies right past you. It takes some failures to realize that in order to keep moving forward, you have to stay in front, and take the challenge head on, no matter what it is. It took me a long time to learn that lesson. If it were not for failures, no one would know how to take challenges head on, much less want to. If no one ever failed, there would be no motivation to succeed. If everyone gets a participation trophy, no one learns any lessons.
2. Everyone Needs To Learn How To Lose
Losing is inevitable. Everyone loses at some point in their lives. What separates people is how they take those losses. We need to teach people how to take losses with honor and with humility. How do we expect to teach these qualities when children grow up believing they have always won, when they have always received a trophy no matter what place they came in. We may think that we are keeping kids from their feelings being hurt, but when does the real world ever care about peoples’ feelings? What we are really doing is telling kids that they will never lose. This only sets them up for greater failure down the road.
3. Since When Is Competition a Bad Thing?
Participation trophies eliminate any competition in sports. If everyone always wins, then they lose all motivation to get better. This is just another metaphor for life in the real world. Those who grow up receiving participation trophies their whole life, thinking they have never lost, believe they will magically get their dream job and dream life. In the real world, competition lies at every doorstep, and in many cases, there is only one winner, one person eligible for that dream job position. Those who have received participation trophies believe that they are entitled to that position and that is just simply not the case.
4. Many Want To Win, Few Put In The Work
I remember vividly the first time I did not receive a trophy after a season of playing soccer. It was my team’s end of the year party and the coach had finished the cliché speech on how he had a great time coaching our team and wishes us the best in the future. After the speech, everyone just started heading home. I immediately looked to my dad and asked where our trophies were. His response was very blunt; he told me in a laugh, “You have to win to get a trophy.” It was at this moment that I became one of the most competitive people I know. A lot of kids today are never taught this lesson. They believe that they can go through life being mediocre and still achieve everything they want. The few people who have put in the work to become winners and earn their trophy are the ones who end up succeeding in life. These are the same people who have also felt what it was like to lose. They have taken those losses and turned them into motivation in order to work harder and do what it takes to win. These people will always come out ahead of those who are happy to settle for participation. Now, what I have written may seem harsh, but I am not only writing about participation in sports. I am writing about settling with participation in life. If you want to succeed in life, you must not settle for mediocrity. You have to strive to better yourself every day. That is the difference in receiving a participation trophy and earning a winner’s trophy.
5. Sometimes, Life Just Isn’t Fair, and That Is Okay
Sometimes, even when you try your hardest, even when you take all the right steps, things just don’t go your way. Sometimes, you really do deserve that winner’s trophy and you just don’t get it. It is at these times when you have to keep pushing. The world does not give everyone an equal opportunity. Some people have to work much harder than others. However, The ones who work hardest, and continue to work harder, always end up where they want to be. The fact is though; no one is going to want to work hard if they are being rewarded for something below their best. No one will work their hardest if all their lives, they have been given a participation trophy.