Trophies are for everyone

You can see people online and offline expressing their disdain for participation trophies. We hear all the time that we have created a participation trophy culture. That young people expect things to be handed to them.

This is not a uniquely “boomer” idea. Some do genuinely hate the idea of “being okay with losing

Or as Ninja says

“The phrase “it’s just a game” is such a weak mindset. You are ok with what happened, losing, imperfection of a craft. When you stop getting angry after losing, you have lost twice. “

And this is why I don’t think that’s true

  1. The primary argument against participation trophies is that they reward kids who lose and would instill the belief that losing is good enough.

While I do agree with the fact that losing does make you want to work harder

The second part of the argument assumes that students are satisfied by just receiving a plastic trophy. Young children still do understand scores and know they lost.

Just like snacks given after a game doesn’t make the players feel satisfied after a loss. Participation trophies don’t make players feel losing is good enough.

With a participation trophy one can look back on an event with satisfaction that they have done something worth doing and learnt a lot in the process

2. Today’s psychologists and parenting experts favor reinforcement over punishment — they recommend that you catch your child doing something good and reward her for it.

In this case we are rewarding them for participating.

It’s basically giving a kid a high five for playing through an entire season,”, Chris Stankovich a sports counselor and author says. “It’s difficult for a kid who may not see the field often to be motivated to be there. I have no problem at all with the first-place teams getting bigger trophies. But to completely eliminate basic participation awards I think misses the point

3. In the end, the odds are stacked up against you, in most competitions only 3 people win a trophy or get first second or third places , all of the others will feel like losers for participating regardless of receiving a participation trophy and this might make them more unlikely to participate in other competitions. The ones who receive the participation trophy will be glad to have participated.

4. The idea that there are some winners in life and the others are losers is toxic because life is not a zero-sum game. Just because your peers win, it doesn’t mean you lose

This idea is so toxic that people who cooperate and do good for others in competitive workplaces are hated for it.

“Some people like to bring co-operators down a peg, especially if they think the good guys make them look bad in the workplace, boardroom or other organisation”


With tools like the participation trophies we appreciate the effort and time put in by the participant and the students learn to not chasing a meaningless high which lasts for a moment and instead enjoy the journey and actually participate and cooperate with their peers.

We know that showing up and putting in the effort will eventually lead you to victory.

We can see that those who are competitive just to not lose are trying to not feel awful and avoid feeling awful by winning instead of correcting the mentality that caused it in the first place

In the end, You may win by competing against people, your competitors will move on to doing other things and the other good winners simply do not care about you, you might end up looking like someone who cannot control their rage and anger and end up on angry sports compilations

Is it really worth subjecting ourselves to this hatred just to win?



I try to make stuff

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