An Open Letter About Participation Trophies From A Millennial

An Open Letter About Participation Trophies From A Millennial

We like them less than you think

Dear Baby Boomers and Generation X,

It's no secret that you like to complain about how participation trophies give millennials an unnecessary sense of entitlement. But, as a millennial, I'm here to tell you a secret that my generation has:

We hate those stupid trophies too.

Maybe not all of us, but a majority of us fail to see the point in them. If you didn't win, then you don't deserve a trophy. Not once as a child do I remember crying about not getting a trophy or a medal after losing. It's almost as if those little-leaguers you like to laugh at actually understand the concept of only being rewarded for success rather than failure. Nevertheless, coaches continue to give out participation trophies, and the rest of you continue to mock those receiving them.

But never mind the fact you, the Baby Boomers and Generation X, created participation trophies, you're literally laughing at the young children receiving them. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think you guys would be old and mature enough to realize how shameful you must look for laughing at children. Think about that - you think it's okay to give a seven year old something you created and brought into this world and then laugh at them for it.

And you can't even try to tell me I'm wrong and that participation trophies have always plagued this nation. When I was in the fifth grade, I entered my very first science fair. Do you know how many winners there were? Three. Do you know what I placed? First. Do you know what I received because of that? A trophy. Do you know what all the other people who didn't win received? Nothing. That's right, folks, at my science fair, if you didn't win then you didn't get a prize. And nobody cried about walking away empty-handed.

Now that I (hopefully) have you realizing that whichever one of you created participation trophies made a horrendous mistake and that we like them even less than you do, let me try to relate to you on a personal level. I think participation trophies are one of the most ridiculous things to ever grace the Earth (second only to reality TV). I wholeheartedly believe that the team that loses a soccer tournament deserves nothing more than a meeting with the coach about how to improve for next year. No one needs to be rewarded for losing. The only reason children have begun to expect those gold-painted plastic pillars of lies is because you've conditioned them that way. This is a monster you've created it, therefore, you have to destroy it.

This isn't like the ruined economy and housing market that you passed on to us, your successors. No, this is a problem you have to fix yourselves; don't expect millennials to swoop in like Superman and clean up your mess. We're not here to play janitor and mop up your mistake. We never asked for this, so it's not on us to deal with the repercussions. Next time, think before you create something else stupid.

But hey, if you guys clean this up fast enough, maybe we'll give you a trophy for putting in the effort.


A millennial who earned all her trophies and medals

Cover Image Credit: A.F. Branco

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.

I fell in love with the game in second grade.

I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass, and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school, and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone, it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach:

Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off," and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake, I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself, not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, but you also turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It's about the players.

You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won't have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time

Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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ASU Baseball Is Already Knocking It Out Of The Park

All eyes are on the Sun Devils as they enter the national poll this previous week. The Sun Devils are the last unbeaten team left in the NCAA.


Starting off the season 18-0? Not bad, considering the Sun Devils' haven't gone undefeated at the start of the NCAA baseball season since 2010 when they went 24-0, but honestly where did this come from? In the 2017-18 season, the Devils finished off with 23-32, sitting towards the bottom of the Pac-12. Now they're the top of the conference, past the usual Pac-12 baseball powerhouse, Oregon State.

On a team with only 27 on the roster, which makes it the smallest team in the Pac-12, you wouldn't really expect such an explosive start to the season. Take a look at the improvements made, though, and you'll see why.

For starters, catcher Sam Ferri is back healthy and ready for this season to start with both pitchers Alec Marsh and RJ Dabovich, who've both thrown some great games, but if we're being honest here, have been a little inconsistent with a few errors, but have been backed up by the offense to get the job done.

On offense, Hunter Bishop and Spencer Torkelson are the ones to watch out for. Torkelson was named Pac-12 freshman of the year last year, after setting the Pac-12 freshman record of home runs. Now he's back with some deadly at-bat presence, as you can always expect a few RBIs from him, and also doing a great job at infield (#TorkBomb). Bishop's following suit, with major at-bats against Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Xavier.

Safe to say being ranked #23 right now is huge for a program that struggled majorly in the past seasons and has had some great players transfer out recently. Despite being faced with huge adversity before the season, this lineup is really producing some good stuff this year, and by being undefeated through the first month of play really exemplified that.

Hats off to Head Coach Tracy Smith for helping these young men after having the program suffer for a while.


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