Saturday, November 1, 2008

We are NOT all winners

Just got home from a soccer game, in the rain, and am thoroughly annoyed with the coach of my daughter's team. Big announcement at the end of the game... bring your $8 to Tuesday's practice for trophies. Trophies? We have not won a single game, and the girls have not played well or tried their hardest or even practiced very hard. They do not deserve trophies.

The coach's response? Oh, it's a participation trophy.

How about a participation certificate? A new soccer ball? Why a trophy? Because where I come from, a trophy means YOU WIN and, um, yeah? this team? this season? not so much.

Before anyone freaks out, I am NOT a super competitive mom who wants my kid to go! fight! win! But I do expect my child to try her hardest and do her best. And honestly, actually, SHE has. But she is one of 10 girls, and I can name seven right off the top of my head who do not want to play soccer, who put forth 20% effort in the games and who are sassy to the coaches and lazy at practice. THIS IS NOT A TEAM THAT NEEDS TO HAVE TROPHIES THIS YEAR.

My husband SAYS he agrees with me in theory, but doesn't feel strongly enough to say this to anyone but me and also thinks I am being a freak about it. I'll just throw out there that the coach is his BF and that my husband also thinks I am an overly aggressive WIN OR DIE zealot. Which I am not, mostly.

I am not being a freak.

But I am pissed that we already discussed this and I made my position CRYSTAL CLEAR and I said in no uncertain terms that I did not want to get a trophy for my daughter this year. And her coach? He ordered it anyway. So now if I don't pay for it to make my "statement" the only thing I'm doing is letting someone else pay for it. Either way, it's a done deal, her trophy has been ordered and is coming her way.

And I am not trying to punish my child. I am not going to forbid the coach to give her a trophy when the rest of the team is getting trophies. But what kind of message are we sending? What are we teaching our kids? Because the message that I am getting here is: it's okay to be lazy, don't worry about it, you're a winner anyway! Yay, we suck!

As a mom of older kids who have received this message their entire lives, I have to tell you, people, there is a price to pay for it in the long run, when these kids are young adults who have the expectation that no matter what they do, it'll all be okay.

Ugh, I am so annoyed right now.


Lee said...

I'd be annoyed, too. I agree with you. What happened to the old-fashioned "end of the season" pizza party?

Plus a trophy is another piece of crap to collect dust in your home.

deenie said...

Glen and I agree with you, Shana. Trophies for no good reason just add to the "entitlement" thing that kids feel, that they deserve it all with no output on their part. I'm screaming on the inside with you!!

Anonymous said...

I don't have kids, so I know I'm annoying speaking up. But from over here, things do look a little "here's your gift for showing up" now. Like, what's with graduating from everything? When I was in school, you know what you graduated from? FINISHING HIGH SCHOOL. You graduated ONCE. That was IT. You had to wait for the big one, you know? And you got a trophy when you won something. I have become a crabby old curmudgeon so I will stop now.

Lisa Milton said...

I'm with you. I'm all for having fun at sports, and I get not every kid is a star athlete, but everyone eventually finds their spot.

The trophies I have: earned.

It's an epidemic, these awards and two fabulous snacks every game.


Oliver Rain said...

My husband was telling me about how corporations have to train their employees to give new recruits the recognition and praise. The new graduates are so conditioned to receiving "participation" awards and getting heaped with praise that they won't be able to cope if someone doesn't tell them they are doing a good job. Who's to blame....coaches who encourage "Participation trophies". I'm so with you on this.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

I'm on your side, too. There is no good coming from a false sense of having accomplished something.

Nothing is wrong with kind, encouraging WORDS from coaches, parents, teammates but a trophy? Ridiculous, especially when you are forced to buy it.

Your dilemma and my Cowboys game are firing me up this afternoon...Bah.

Anna See said...

I agree completely. BTW, my favorite thrift store is teeming with trophies. Obviously, they don't mean as much as they could if they were actually earned. I have never earned a trophy in my life, and I understand why not.