When I was young I had the impression trophies were rare and precious things, won only through the sweat and tears of hard-earned victory. It seemed there was a super secret committee that reviewed the legitimacy of all trophies prior to issue.
Now I know how the trophy scene really works. The coach or team mom sends around an email telling parents what to pay, and voila, your kid gets one just for being on the roster for the season. There really isn’t a minimum level of performance or even attendance required. As an old-schooler, I miss when a trophy meant having to win something, like even third place.
Although the ball parks love trophies, the most memorable team experiences we’ve had were those where the coach presented each player with a certificate of appreciation and shared some heartfelt words about each individual at the end-of-season party. Personally, I would rather spend trophy money on bowling or laser tag and have a nice party with a real sense of closure and ceremony. (Admittedly, I’m biased because I hate to dust around them.)
If your kid would be devastated by not receiving a trophy (assuming he/she has had the experience of receiving them before), it’s work asking why. After all, you took dozens of photos; the season will not be forgotten. Is the trophy just an unquestioned tradition? And would he rather put the $10 to use in a great end-of-season party, or even have 10 downloads on iTunes?
If everyone is too busy for a party and the team mom will just wind up pulling trophies out of her trunk to hand the players after the last game, don’t bother. Instead, take your kid out for an ice cream and tell them how you enjoyed their season and seeing them improve with practice and effort. It doesn’t take a trophy for them to know that you are proud of them.
Save some room on the mantle for the eventual win he is bound to achieve.