A Guide to Buying Youth Sport Trophies

Youth sports are a great outlet for kids. Children learn fundamental skills about being a team player, fair play, and sportsmanship, all while developing athletic skills. Playing sports can even encourage children to remain abstinent. According to a survey by the National Household Survey of Drug Abuse, students who participated in athletic sports were less likely to smoke cigarettes or use illicit drugs.

If you’re a coach or team manager, here are some things to keep in mind before you purchase sport awards and trophies for your team of all-stars.

Should every kid get a trophy?

According to a recent Reason-Rupe poll, 57 percent of Americans say only winners should receive a sport trophy. This is in contrast to 40 percent who say all kids should get recognized with a trophy for their participation in youth sports. Whether you agree or disagree, both sides of the trophy debate seem to present valid arguments.

People who say only winners should receive a trophy claim that it creates a healthy culture for motivation. The winning team is rewarded for their success while the losing team is encouraged to work harder. If all children receive a trophy, then it teaches kids to always expect recognition even if they don’t try—in essence, there’s no motivating factor for kids to excel in sports because they’ll get an award whether they win or lose.

On the other side of the argument, some people say that giving trophies to all participating athletes teaches children a valuable life lesson—that is, wining and losing doesn’t matter. According to this group, sports should be about having fun instead of a serious competition that pushes kids beyond their limits to win. Some of these proponents say both winning and losing teams should receive a trophy until the age of ten, after which only the winning team should be recognized.

Consider Your Budget

Not all sports awards are created equally. For example, a crystal baseball award can be as cheap as $50 while a golf trophy cup can be hundreds of dollars. Regardless of whether you’re recognizing a team for achievements in baseball, golf, or basketball, it’s a good idea to consider your recognition budget before you place an order. Set a limit to the amount you’re willing to spend, and if you don’t have a budget, consider asking the team parents to contribute.

With a budget in mind, it’s also important to consider the type of award you’re planning to order. Are you looking for trophies, badges, or medals? Maybe glass trophies are too expensive, but engraved plaques are much more affordable. Find something that fits within the constraints of your budget, and don’t be afraid to look for other alternatives if your budget is limited.

Determine the Type of Recognition

Sports awards and trophies can be customized to recognize anything from extraordinary achievements and sportsmanship to participation. Determine what’s appropriate for your team and design an award that commemorates your season. If your team won state, then perhaps the award can be engraved with the words, “state champions.”

Keep in mind that many athletes hold onto their sports awards and trophies for years to come as mementos of a past time. While it may be cheaper to buy a generic award that doesn’t depict a particular sport, try to find something with a sport-specific design—or at least something that recognizes the said sport with a team logo or an engraved graphic.


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