Participation Trophies Are Ruining Our Generation's Ambition

Participation Trophies Are Ruining Our Generation's Ambition

Why YOUR KID Doesn't Deserve A Trophy
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“Participation trophies” are one of the main causes of our Millennial generation’s worst qualities.

Okay, so you completed a season of soccer, you participated in a dance recital, and you were given a trophy. But what did you do? Children are being rewarded for their efforts, which in itself is important, however, this does not mean that every child deserves a gold trophy. You played soccer and won a trophy- but did you win any games? You get the same trophy as every kid on the team, but did you make a single goal? Children should be praised for the efforts. This is an important part of their psychological development. However, it can be detrimental to their development as well.

This summer, Pittsburgh Steelers James Harrison took away the trophy his son won for participating in a sport. He says that he is proud of them and will always support them, but he does not feel that they deserve a trophy simply for participating. He wrote on Instagram: “While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I'm sorry I'm not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I'm not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best...cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better...not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy.” I love that this athlete made an example of his son’s experience in the public eye, hopefully this sparks coaches’ and parents’ attention to the injustice being done to their children, making them think that they deserve to be called a ‘winner’ simply because they tried.

The real world will prove this impractical.

Giving kids participation trophies takes away their desire to put in effort because they know, regardless, they will be rewarded for it. It has been proven in psychology that when a human or animal is repeatedly rewarded or ‘reinforced’ for a desired behavior, that when the reward is taken away they will no longer put in said effort. Our generation is being taught that unless trophies and awards are promised at the end, nothing is worth putting in full effort.

Giving trophies to the whole team also leads children to believe that they are already at their best ability, and that they don’t need to improve. To a child, especially a young child playing a sport, the rationale is that if everyone receives the same trophy, everyone must be playing at the same level. They need to learn that someone will always be better than them; they’ve got to be competitive in order to truly succeed.

If children put effort into an activity because they expect to be rewarded based purely on efforts and not at all on accomplishments, they will tend to give up when their efforts are not reinforced. In their future adult lives, as some members of this generation is finding already, efforts are rarely recognized unless they’ve produced some sort of result or accomplishment.

Our generation is known for being lazy, narcissistic, and antisocial. We have grown up on technology that does it all for us and parents that don’t push us to be adults. We have been groomed to believe that any effort is a winning effort, when in reality there are winners and there are in fact losers. We have grown up attached to our mobile devices, limiting substantial social interacting and understanding of others. The tendencies of our generation will lead our world to a halt as it becomes us who run the country. We are teaching our kids to be in it for the trophy, to be vain, and to give up when their efforts don’t win. They are not learning the values and skills they will need in their adult lives- to be driven, humble, and competitive. At this pace, they will not What do we need to do? Stop giving kids trophies.
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7 Things That Annoy Volleyball Players More Than Anything

How to get under a volleyball player's skin in two seconds.
Sam
Sam
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I'm not sure why but volleyball players are a very particular group of people — we like what we like and we HATE what we don't, especially when it is volleyball-related. If you're a volleyball player, I'm sure you can relate to this list and if you're not a volleyball player, now you know exactly how you will be able to get under our skin.

1. Girls who wear spandex in public

Don’t get me wrong, we wear spandex for a living. We understand WHY people wear them to workout. But wearing them to the dining hall, class or anywhere that isn’t the gym… please don’t. Put on some shorts or leggings — PLEASE.

2. The “I’ll beat you in volleyball” line

For some odd reason when someone who likes you finds out that you play volleyball, they say this. I’m not sure why, but its really annoying that people think they’re better than you (a collegiate athlete) at the sport you’ve been playing your whole life.

3. When guys mention that they only come to your games because you wear spandex

You’re right, why would any appreciate our athletic ability when you can simply appreciate our butts.

4. Freshman who don’t think they have to do their Freshman duties

PSA: Every single school has freshman duties; YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY FRESHMAN WHO HAVE TO DO THEM. Everyone has done them when they were a freshman. Stop complaining, do your duties, and play volleyball because after your freshman season you’ll never have to do it again.

5. When people try to tell you that volleyball isn’t hard

Why don’t you jump for three hours straight and throw your body on the ground hundreds of times and tell me how easy it is.

6. The word "spike"

I honestly feel bad about hating this so much but nothing nothing NOTHING annoys us more than when someone uses the work "spike". For some reason this word went out of style a longgggg time ago and nobody got the memo except the people in the volleyball world. Instead of telling your friend that they had a good spike, tell them that they had a great "hit." HIT = SPIKE.

7. Balls that aren't perfectly blown up

Volleyball players are hands down the most high maintenance group of people when it comes to our sport. I will go through an entire ball cart to find the best ball possible... if the ball is flat, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad. If the ball is too hard, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad.

Cover Image Credit: Sam
Sam
Sam

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The Ronaldo Effect

CR7's Newest Transfer

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It finally happened. The infamous Cristiano Ronaldo has left the perennial superpower Real Madrid and has taken his talents to Turin. Now what?

Every summer over the past three years there has been rumors about Ronaldo being unhappy at Real Madrid. Whispers of a rift between Ronaldo and Real's president, Florentino Perez, have been said to be one of the reasons that caused Ronaldo to leave. Others have stated that legal troubles over tax evasion have led to Ronaldo being unsettled living in Spain. A quick search will also reveal stories about how Ronaldo felt betrayed by his club not rewarding him with contracts similar to Messi and Neymar despite winning consecutive Ballon d'Or trophies and Champions League finals.

Now, all of that is in the past. Cristiano is a Juventus player.

You can have the Messi-Ronaldo debate all you want but the undisputed fact is that when a player of Ronaldo's caliber and influence completely changes the direction of his career, there are going to be massive ripple effects across the whole footballing world.

The first major change that will happen will be in Real Madrid. What direction will the storied club take? Who will be the next Galactico that they decide to go buy? Immediately following the transfer, the rumor mill started turning. The first three players brought up as a replacement for Ronaldo include Eden Hazard, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. Of course, each of those players would probably require a world record transfer price.

So, what effect does this have on the rest of the transfer market? Essentially, the market would be in a position where the world record transfer price is getting broken on a yearly basis. This yearly rate exponentially drives up the average transfer price of the rest of the market. A player historically worth fifteen million dollars would now be selling for nearly forty to fifty million dollars. At that point, transfers that size are only financially feasible for a small pool of clubs around the world. The way that FIFA has tried to curb this is by creating Financial Fair Play rules. However, the enforcement of these rules is shoddy at best and has not been effective at stopping world record transfers or helping smaller clubs.

My take on this is that if you're going to have laws meant to curb the average transfer price down than it better be strictly enforced. If the rules do not enforce the purpose than FIFA should adopt a free market policy. There simply cannot be laws in place that give the disguise of regulation but in action actually, do nothing. It has corruption written all over it. And we all know about FIFA's history of ethical practices.

Remember, this all comes from the transfer of the notorious CR7.

The other place where Ronaldo's transfer will have major repercussions is in the Serie A, Italy's top flight of club soccer. By joining Juventus, Ronaldo has bolstered a team that continually dominates Serie A year after year. Yet, the Champions League trophy has eluded Juventus despite reaching the final in two of the last four years. Juventus fans will hope that Ronaldo's skill and experience will be the missing piece of the puzzle that will allow them to achieve Champions League glory. Additionally, Juventus has been trying to break the mold and enter into what is considered the top three clubs in the world: Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich. The coming of Ronaldo and in-game success that Juventus has had in their history surely at least puts The Old Lady in that debate now.

Now, let's talk about Serie A as a whole. While Serie A used to be one of the top landing spots and most desirable leagues to play in, following corruption scandals and economic turmoil, Serie A took a major fall from grace. Custom to most sports, when there is money to be made, people will step in and fix issues until there is a profit. In Serie A, over the last five years, many of the major teams have been sold to new owners. This has been the catalyst for the revival of Serie A into a destination top players want to be a part of again. Ronaldo's move to Italy confirms that Serie A is back and will surely prompt the transfers of other star players and coaches.

As you can probably tell, money plays a big role in nearly all aspects of soccer. For Juventus, an investment in Ronaldo for over two hundred million dollars seems like a lot for a player who is already thirty-three years old. Although, when you factor in Ronaldo's massive media presence, jersey sales and sponsorships, the investment will be entirely worth it. The earliest indication of this was the Juventus share prices skyrocketing following the imminent transfer.

All in all, the most positive effect of Ronaldo's transfer is a newfound balance of power between the major leagues in Europe. The Clasico in the coming years will no longer feature battles between Ronaldo and Messi, but there is potential for a rivalry to develop between Messi and Neymar should the latter make his way to Real Madrid. You know in the back of Ronaldo's mind he has to be thinking that success in Serie A will push him ahead of Messi in the all-time great debate. Only time will tell.

Odds on a Juventus vs. Barcelona Champions League final, anyone?

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