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ApronMama

Alternatives to trophies

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My first grader is on a basketball team and we are trying to decide on end of the season awards for the kids. Most teams around here give out trophies. The kids love them, but they are an expense and some parents think trophies should be saved for when they are older and have really earned something. My fourth grader's basketball team gave out medals instead, which seemed like a good alternative. What do sports teams in your community give out for this level of play? They have already been given a basketball at the beginning of the season.

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My kids are on Upwards basketball teams. Their end of the season rewards cycle through basketballs, duffle bags, backpack, lunch bags, and the over the door hoop with ball. Favorites are the balls and the backpack.

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I would give a certificate (fits nicely into a scrapbook or memory book) and an item that they can use. I like sasharowan's list above.

 

I probably sound like a grump, but when kids get trophies and medals at every single activity, they end up with so many. Things get cluttered. Often they're engraved so that they can't even be re-used, so they eventually end up getting thrown away.

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IMO, anything is better than a trophy.

 

If you're just organizing it for one team, I'd probably give each kid a specific award (most improved, most dedicated, etc) with a certificate. If they have to return the jerseys, a team t-shirt is a nice souvenir that they'll get some use out of.

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My kids are on Upwards basketball teams. Their end of the season rewards cycle through basketballs, duffle bags, backpack, lunch bags, and the over the door hoop with ball. Favorites are the balls and the backpack.

 

 

:iagree: And the kids loved the lunch boxes, too. I like the idea of a t-shirt, too. One year when my kids were little, they just got bags.w/ basketball themed stickers, pencils, erasers, etc. Personally, I like the idea of an end of season team party, and no "gifts".

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I hate trophies! Hate, hate, hate them! They are vicous dust collectors. I don't mind the medals. I can do without all of them. When my kids did karate earning the next belt was your trophy. The reward for a job well done. I believe in that philosophy. You don't need a trophy for every single thing.

 

I will get off my soapbox now and tell you my kids did enjoy the towel from summer swim team, the t-shirts, and the book bag.

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I would give a certificate with something the kid brought to the team listed on it. Here trophies are given, and kids start to think they are great at things they are not even mildly talented in just because they got a trophy. Certificates with attributes show the kids what they bring to the team and show them a real talent to be proud of.

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We usually do a certificate with a superlative on it--best defender, most improved, best passer, etc. You can come up with something for each player.

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My kid love trophies, but they have never gotten them for team sports.

 

I dunno, what's the big deal with giving out little trophies? Seems the same as medals to me.

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How about a lapel pin?

 

 

This. I buy a hat pin everywhere we go and have created a wall hanging to put on his wall. He enjoys them. I prefer t-shirts. I keep them and dream of making a quilt with them one day.

 

DS has several medals. He has medals that he earned and medals for participating. He keeps them seperate and drags the medals he earns everywhere the first week or so. He does not really care about particpaton medals now but when he was little he loved them.

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We've done practice tees in a variety of designs -- some just screened with the team logo, but the biggest hit in that age group (for us) has always been a plain white tee shirt with the player's name in iron-on letters across the back and then the rest of the tee signed by team members. Twice we did the team's logo on the front left breast, but that cost more and depended on the parents that season :)

 

Also personalized water bottles (can be plastic or aluminum), and kids can decorate themselves OR a crafty parent can decorate/customize with names and/or team name/logo.

 

For a basketball team you can get those inexpensive nylon bags (like these) for kids to carry uniforms, practice clothes, or water/snacks. Personalize each with a name or number.

 

Terry wristbands? None of mine did basketball LOL trying to think of what might be somewhat related ...

 

But the kids always liked a unique certificate, too, as mentioned above - especially in the 5 to 7 age bracket.

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I prefer medals, pins or something useful. DD gets a trophy for EACH cheer competition, and after several years of two regional and two state competitions a year, I can't WAIT until she gets to a level that stops doing trophies for each girl and does them just for teams at preliminaries-and gives jackets/rings for Nationals! She's developing quite a collection of medals for academic competitions and exams (I think she's done/is doing 8 this year)-but they all fit in a nice box.

 

 

 

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I hate trophies too. Having a DS14 who's went through years of all the sports, and has about 20 trophies collecting dust....but that being said, the KIDS love trophies at a younger age. We just had DS6's Upward Basketball end of season ceremony today. All players got an Upward basketball. Eehh...I mean, that ends up in the garage eventually, right? (Personally I think that's how Upward makes their $$$$, selling the Upward trinkets to the churches). DS6 was happy with the basketball, but did ask how come he didn't get a trophy, once we were in the car. He sees his older brother's trophy collection and kinda expects that he would get one when he plays sports. Since the whole point is to celebrate the KIDS....trophies usually are the most exciting for them. They DID earn it, if they played and finished a season. As a matter of fact, I don't know of much else we humans can do in life to earn a trophy...and once we get to be adults, that opportunity is almost nil.

 

Wanted to add that medals are about the same concept of trophies...exciting at the time, but collect dust after a while. DS14, who has those 20 trophies, has about the same amount of medals hanging from a coat rack behind his bedroom door.

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I would give a certificate (fits nicely into a scrapbook or memory book) and an item that they can use. I like sasharowan's list above.

 

I probably sound like a grump, but when kids get trophies and medals at every single activity, they end up with so many. Things get cluttered. Often they're engraved so that they can't even be re-used, so they eventually end up getting thrown away.

 

 

From another perspective.

Yes, our trophies eventually got pared down to only the most important. And eventually entirely. (every kid got a trophy every year, but there were other trophies, "larger" trophies available for Most valuable, Most improved, etc. Those are the trophies that got kept when we finally decided to pare down the collection. Oh and the trophy given at the one AWANA Grand Prix I went for -- I think it was simply a participation trophy but I was so proud of the car I made. I put the car behind the trophy and this trophy, too, got kept when others were thrown away eventually.)

 

But when I swam on swim every summer growing up, at the end of the summer we would get a trophy. And those trophies lived proudly on my shelves through 8th grade. And a select few lasted longer. So I think they got their money's worth.

 

Duffels, swimming caps, etc... would not have lasted that long or been displayed in the same way.

 

We had BOOKS of the ribbons we got at swim meets. My mother kept every one and put them in our memory books. I don't go back and page through them. But just knowing they are there is nice.

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My kids have never received trophies, ribbons, or medals for any sports they have participated in. Usually they get either hats, t-shirts or nylon bags/backpacks.

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We had BOOKS of the ribbons we got at swim meets. My mother kept every one and put them in our memory books. I don't go back and page through them. But just knowing they are there is nice.

 

 

:) Exactly. This was my point in suggesting a certificate. You can display certificates (or ribbons) or keep them in a book, and they don't take up a ton of space. If you run out of space for trophies, you can't tuck them into a scrapbook.

 

Cat

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:) Exactly. This was my point in suggesting a certificate. You can display certificates (or ribbons) or keep them in a book, and they don't take up a ton of space. If you run out of space for trophies, you can't tuck them into a scrapbook.

 

Cat

 

 

But see. I got the trophy AND the ribbons. And they both served a purpose. I also got certificates for other stuff I did. If I went back to my memory books I could read off for you what they were for. But they weren't the same as the trophy I got to look at every day because it was out on the shelves.

 

But the trophies along the top shelf of my bookcase I remember. All those years of swimming. The year I got most valuable. And the AWANA Grand Prix trophy alongside.

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My husband coaches a baseball team and he has each child sign team balls at the end of the season.  He gives each child a BallQube baseball holder to display the team ball in.  This makes a great keepsake that will bring back great memories for the child and the parents.  You can find them at the Container Store or on BallQube's website.

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My husband coaches a baseball team and he has each child sign team balls at the end of the season. He gives each child a BallQube baseball holder to display the team ball in. This makes a great keepsake that will bring back great memories for the child and the parents. You can find them at the Container Store or on BallQube's website.

Considering that the original question was two and a half years ago, I'm assuming the original poster already figured out what to give the team for the end-of-season awards. *wink*

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Personally, I much prefer any of these:

A car magnet with the sports team on it

A tee shirt

A certificate to an ice cream vendor

 

Really not a fan of trophies except for a true significant accomplishment (not merely showing up).

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Considering that the original question was two and a half years ago, I'm assuming the original poster already figured out what to give the team for the end-of-season awards. *wink*

Awww, that'll teach me to pay attention to posting dates.

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I agree with the parents who think trophies should be given out only when they've actually acheived something.  to me - medal = trophy.  the olympics doesn't give out "trophies". 

granted my kids liked them for a little while - but as they got older they saw it for what it was.  a participation reward (same thing for a "medal") and ultimately, worth nothing. (and potentially as damaging as empty praise.)

 

spend the money on a team party at the end of the season.  you can print off some certficate with the team's name and those on the team for each child if you feel something should be handed out.

 

 

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T-shirts (signed by the team members)

pins

bag tags

flowers (this was gymnastics, probably works better for an all girl team than boys or mixed teams)

 

 

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