Tim's Take: Participation trophies - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

  • Do you agree with children receiving participation trophies?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    2 votes
    7 votes
Tim's Take: Participation trophies

Tim's Take: Participation trophies


If nothing from nothing leaves nothing, you got to have something if you want to be with James Harrison.

The Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker spoke for everyone who is fed up with the pampering America's youth when he told his sons to return the sports participation trophies they had received, he felt, for doing nothing.

"As a pediatrician, as a mother, as somebody who participated in sports when I was in high school,’’ said Dr. Lolita McDavid, “I don't think showing up gets you a trophy.’’

And there is something to Harrison's stance against today's "everyone wins'' culture in youth. Because kids should know that sometimes you lose.

"You learn to take your lumps and live with them,’’ said Duane Lundy. “And I think that made better people as they grew up.’’

But Harrison might have spoken too vaguely about "feel good'' awards, which just might carry a lesson for the youngest athletes.

"The lesson,’’ said Ann Brewer, “is to try their best and they should be awarded for it.’’

I always thought I saw this subject the same way Harrison did, until last weekend. That's when my wife showed me a bundle of participation medals and ribbons my kids had decided they didn't want anymore, and I surprised myself by being sad to see them go.

It wasn’t because they represented some level of achievement, but rather because they were from a special point in their childhood that is not coming back.

So maybe participation trophies do have a place when kids are just starting out in sports, serving a purpose by encouraging future participation.

And then they're probably no longer necessary when, like Harrison, athletes are trying to win the Super Bowl.

Copyright 2015 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly