Participation Trophies Are Worthless

At some point in time, somebody somewhere decided it would be a good idea for every kid to get a participation trophy.

This must have been about 30-plus years ago when this started to happen.

In my day (Yeah, I know I sound like an old man), you only received a trophy if you actually deserved on. Just showing up at the right ballpark at the right time wasn’t the only necessary requirements to win an award.

You may be asking, Vin, so what? Let the babies have their bottles, let the kids have a souvenir. What will it hurt?

I told you that to tell you this. The something-for-nothing crowd has grown up. They’re now entitled adults.

If it wasn’t an isolated event, I would let it go and chalk it up to chance. But, I’ve noticed a trend of laziness. There’s a whole crowd out there who want to get paid and do as little as possible.

If they could get away with doing nothing at all, they would.

What ever happened to taking pride in a job well done? What about an honest living for a hard day’s work?

Thirty or so years ago, we began giving kids trophies for successfully picking their noses. Those kids looked around and said, “Huh, I must be pretty great. All I did was maintain a pulse, and now I’m a winner!”

Those kids grew up to be snot-nosed teenagers, and then aimless adults.

When it comes to your health and fitness, don’t assume “just showing up” will lead to success. You have to put in the effort. You have to work for it.

There’s no magic pill. And there is certainly no diet or exercise participation trophies.

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  1. Buzz Park says:

    So true. And, when you add the sense of entitlement to the natural lethargy that comes from the hormone imbalances and cognitive impairment of a wheat & sugar-based diet, you have a couple generations of stupid, lazy people in the workforce. Maybe the is the REAL reason our economy is struggling…

  2. James Murray says:

    Couldn't agree more! Plus, the money spent on the trinkets would be better sent going towards equipment, facility enhancement, coaching, player development, etc.

  3. Well said. As an elementary principal I deal with this alot with parents who also think there child should receive better grades because their child did the work, whether they put effort into it or not. I constantly talk to my students about taking Pride in working hard and doing their best.

  4. Lizzie Sager says:

    There was a great editorial in the NYTimes about this same subject titled Losing is Good for You, definitely made me think of some stuff you've said on your podcast:

  5. Jim Keith says:

    Please don't send hate mail my way; but, I disagree to a point. I think participation, teamwork, effort are all deserving of something – those are things we should encourage. But does that get the biggest or best or winningest trophy? Certainly not. Look I dropped out of little league (I hated it); the coaches still tried to give me the participation trophy and I declined it. This comes down to good parenting. Trust me that sense of entitlement probably has more to do with the parents than it does with team sports. Have you seen the amount of crap that kids get for bithdays, christmas, just because "I can't spend enough time with you so I have to buy your love with junk."

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