Participation trophies: Supportive or detrimental? - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Participation trophies: Supportive or detrimental?

Trophy at Egypt Trophy & Awards in Herrin, Ill. (Source: Loreto Cruz KFVS) Trophy at Egypt Trophy & Awards in Herrin, Ill. (Source: Loreto Cruz KFVS)

Carterville Coach Jason Fischer has been playing and coaching sports for the better part of 35 years, and said there's a fine line between healthy motivation and giving children false hope.

“As a parent, you always want to tell a kid they're excellent, no matter what,” Fischer explained. “You say hey, you gave a hundred percent, you tried, but there's a point in time where you have to say you can do better, I know you can."

His son Brooks, named for an MLB player, has already developed quite the arm, but Fischer said he wants to avoid forcing a pastime on any child.

"As a coach,” Fischer began, “when I go out there and I coach my kids, I tell everybody that all I ask is that you give 100 percent and if you participate, and you show up and you do everything that you can, then that's all I can ask from you."

As far as his three-year-old son; Fischer doesn’t see foul play in a little reward, as long as it isn’t excessive.

"It makes them want to get involved and get out there and participate, but they don't hand out sixteen scholarships to every high school baseball team," he said. "It's gonna be the ones that go out and give the extra effort."

Many say they're against the "points for trying" mentality altogether.

"I think it's just a great recipe for mediocrity," explained Percy resident Todd Kennedy. "That's not the mentality that made our nation great, but it is the one that that's gonna make us less than great."

Kennedy explained that while parents have good intentions, the "unjust reward" can be misleading.

"They just have no motivation to thrive, in anything,” Kennedy said. “If there's no motivation to stand out or to find something that you're good at."

"Not every kid is good at sports, so why tell them that?” Fischer continued. “It can be science, it can be theater, it can be art, it can be music. Whatever they choose to do, you have to make sure that they are giving 100 and not just showing up."

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