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No more trophies for participating
5

No more trophies for participating

RE: No more trophies for participating

I think that's awesome!

RE: No more trophies for participating

They are absolutely correct, the "non-competitive" approach hasn't significantly improved behaviour anywhere, all it does is teach that mediocrity is ok. The idea of, "Winning is not important, it's the taking part that counts" never has been true.

AS Human beings we ARE at our best when trying to achieve a worthwhile goal but if everybody gets the same prize, ... What's the point in trying?

Chris.

Indifference will be the downfall of mankind, but who cares?
Time flies like an arrow, however, fruit flies like a banana.
Webmaster Forum

RE: No more trophies for participating

I never understood the participation trophy and why it was even ever a consideration. Personally, what drove me on the court/diamond/etc. was to be the best and subsequently be recognized as so at the end of the year awards. When I wasn't awarded it, that fueled me to try harder and put more effort into becoming the best I could in whichever sport. Trophies/Awards should be praise for above and beyond play/work ethic/overall performance. As stated by ChrisHirst, "AS Human beings we ARE at our best when trying to achieve a worthwhile goal but if everybody gets the same prize, ... What's the point in trying?" which is a statement I fully agree with.

Nothing in life worthwhile is given to you. The more you put into receiving something, the more you will cherish it.

Learning - A never ending quest for knowledge usually attained by being thrown in a situation and told to fix it NOW.

RE: No more trophies for participating

Well, there are events where participation does warrant some kind of recognition. My wife ran a marathon a couple years ago. She ran the entire distance, but finished pretty far back in the pack. But she did finish. She got recognition for that and it was well deserved.

Winning wasn't important (or probably), but the participation was everything.

Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.

RE: No more trophies for participating

@Sambones, remove the word sometimes, and we are in complete agreement.

On a related side note, I heard of an incident a couple of days ago in Texas where a football team lost by 91 - 0. A parent of the losing team filed a formal complaint of bullying against the winning teams coach. When I went to source it today, I found the investigation found no grounds for the complaint (thankfully). I have to wonder how broken a system must be though to allow this sort of thing. No one gains anything from something like this. It would have been no challenge to the winning team and no hope for the losing team. Neither team could develope anything under these circumstances. Seems kinda pointless to me. No one won that day.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: No more trophies for participating

Quote (kwbMitel)

@Sambones, remove the word sometimes, and we are in complete agreement.

You've apparently never driven a woman to the hospital to give birth. bigsmile

RE: No more trophies for participating

@SamBones While I will agree with "Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination" I would like to stress the opposite of what kwbMitel was stating. Your wife was given the award not for participation, but for completion. Two very different things. Since many people start the race but don't finish, that puts that award not on the participation level but as an achievement. But yes, some things such as life, I would think most of all, the journey is the biggest part and the finish is kind of poor unless you believe in an afterlife which is a WHOLE other discussion. But we are not discussing life within the context of the story presented so I stand by my original thought.

Learning - A never ending quest for knowledge usually attained by being thrown in a situation and told to fix it NOW.

RE: No more trophies for participating

2
strangely I find my self thinking that the most important reason for competitive sports & awards for winning is not rewarding the winners (a minority) but in teaching the rest of us how to loose.

A Maintenance contract is essential, not a Luxury.
Do things on the cheap & it will cost you dear

RE: No more trophies for participating

2
==> remove the word sometimes, and we are in complete agreement
In other words, "The journey is more important than the destination".

An interesting ideal, but how true is it? How accurately does that ideal reflect the world in which we live? And if not, is that the lesson we want to teach?

Above, reference was made to a football game with a score of 91-0. Note that the immediate focus is on the destination - the final score is the outcome, not the journey. Why did a team lose 91-0? Because they were bullied by the better team? Apparently not. Perhaps it's because the losing team didn't teach and work on fundamentals; perhaps they didn't engage in physical conditioning; perhaps they didn't teach and learn the value of teamwork; perhaps they didn't even practice. In other words, that team lost because they weren't paying enough attention to the journey. I don't know, but perhaps it's because they didn't appreciate where that journey was to take them. The immediate response is to be critical of the winning team; whereas, it may very well be likely that the losing team, by failing to seriously engage in their journey is largely responsible for this debacle. It's wrong to criticize the winning because they're taking their journey seriously when their opponent has chosen not to. Jumping to conclusions based on the outcome of one game is probably not the best response.

Nor do I believe that it's true that "No one gains anything from something like this." When the score is 91-0, granted, something went wrong, but we must first understand just what it was that went wrong. Everyone can learn from discovering and addressing just whatever that may be, from a possible unfair distribution of talent to an inadequate selection of coaches and teachers, and who knows what in between. Anytime, every time, there is a problem, there is an opportunity to learn. It may not be lesson you think it is, nor may it be towards who you think needs the lesson, but there is always something there for someone to learn.

Yes, learning how to lose is a very important lesson to learn, because in life, you probably lose more often than you win. Let's not underestimate the value of how you respond after a loss. What you do after a loss is very important, and arguably (another discussion, another time), more important than what you do after a win.

When you enroll is a class, whether it be first grade or a graduate level course, is the journey more important than the destination? The journey is going to class, doing the assignments, doing the homework, picking up and learning things along the way, but at the end of the day, your grade is based not on how hard you worked or how dedicated you were, but whether or not you learned the required material or developed the necessary skills. Your report card or transcript doesn't reflect your journey; it reflects whether or not you met the goal. You don't pass the class or are promoted to the next grade unless you reach the destination.

When you are given a support task at fix a customer's problem, the customer is not all that interested in your journey. The customer wants to know if you reached the destination. Have you fixed the problem?

Your boss may take an interest in the things you do, how hard you work, if your taking extra courses, and so forth and that's wonderful, but in the final analysis, your paycheck is based on the destination. Are you getting the job done?

It's nice to learn new efficient and clever programming techniques, but when you fire it up, does the program work?

When you take your car to a mechanic, what's your concern? The mechanic's journey or the mechanic's results?

How many of us are interested in the wild ride that is journey of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Or are we more concerned with the end results of the ACA? Does it work and provide the intended services?

No one is saying the journey is not important, On the contrary, the journey is important and there is much to learn along the way, but it's the destination that directs the journey. There would be no journey without a destination. It's a commitment to the destination that keeps you on that journey; otherwise, the journey has no direction. Whether you're talking sports, hobbies, education, careers, fun activities, or actually traveling for that matter, the purpose of a journey is get from point A to point B. You need both, but a journey without a destination is wandering aimlessly. You can't aim if you don't have target.

I will grant that many advocate a position where you don't keep score, there are no grades, there are no performance evaluations, and so ever fails to reach a destination. No one ever loses. It's a wonderful ideal, but then no ever finishes, and there are no winners either. There is nothing to earn, and so, there is no accountability either. That's just ... easy. Nevertheless, give me a reward for participating, I'm entitled to at least that.

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RE: No more trophies for participating

@CajunCenturion, I completely understand what you are trying to say but I do not buy in to the winning mindset, never have, never will. I value the effort, determination, dedication, of every participant regardless of outcome. I do not assume a team loses because they weren't paying attention, were poorly coached, didn't focus on fundamentals, didn't practice, didn't value teamwork or any of the other possibilities that you've mentioned. I always assume that a team/person tries their best under the circumstances. I can think of many ways the outcome of the 91-0 game is preordained without relying on critiquing the merits of the losing team.

I value the journey over all else. You can disagree with that mindset in the same way that I disagree with yours. I can value your beliefs without needing to agree with them in the same way. I do not need to "win" as winning is not my goal.

One part of your response really stood out for me.

Quote:

When you are given a support task at fix a customer's problem, the customer is not all that interested in your journey. The customer wants to know if you reached the destination. Have you fixed the problem?

This is what I do for a living and I'm good at it. Some might even say I'm very good at my specialty. When I am faced with a problem that needs to be fixed, I analyse the problem. I determine what is wrong. I experiment with solutions. I analyse the solutions for flaws. I propose options to the customer with pros and cons of each scenario along with my recommendation. I accept the customers informed decision even when it disagrees with mine, and then I fix the problem. They are others in my industry that simply "Fix" the problem. I'm the guy that follows those guys and actually fixes the problem. The journey is far more important than the destination even in cases such as these.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: No more trophies for participating

Interestingly enough, there was a recent discussion on the Green Bay Packers web site of the merits, or lack thereof, of a team running up the score when playing a badly overmatched opponent. The discussion was precipitated by the historically large point spread in the game between the Broncos and Jaguars. All of the comments below are by Vic Ketchman, who covered the Steelers during their dynasty years and is now editor of packers.com

Quote (Vic Ketchman 10/9/13)

I covered the game that previously had the highest point spread: 1976 Bucs at Pittsburgh. The Steelers won, 42-0. Here’s Terry Bradshaw’s stat line from that game: six of eight, 79 yards, two touchdowns. That’s how a great team conducts itself against inferior competition.

Quote (Vic Ketchman 10/11/13)

I was there. I covered the game. I know what happened. It was a game-long kneel down. It was the only time in my career that a head coach didn’t speak complimentarily of the upcoming opponent during the week leading up to the game. I’m trying to use stats from that game to convey what I witnessed. Of the Steelers four Hall of Fame skill-position players (Bradshaw, Harris, Swann and Stallworth), none of them reached a hundred yards in that game.

Quote (Vic Ketchman 10/11/13)

Q: Will Denver play like a great team this week?

Vic: It depends on how we define great.

http://www.packers.com/news-and-events/ask-vic/art...

http://www.packers.com/news-and-events/ask-vic/art...

Of the football games I've personally attended, the worst mismatch was Michigan vs. Wisconsin on October 3, 1987. Michigan won 49-0, but scored only 7 points after halftime, and not at all in the fourth quarter. So there are definitely some Hall of Fame caliber coaches, such as Chuck Noll and Bo Schembechler, who don't feel obligated to score 91 points in a game just because they can.

Incidentally, the 1987 game was memorable to me because it was the only time in my life I had a chance to chat with Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch, who is in the NFL Hall of Fame. He was Wisconsin's Athletic Director in 1987.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987_Michigan_Wolveri...

RE: No more trophies for participating

==> but I do not buy in to the winning mindset, never have, never will.
That's fine, but my post is not about the winning mindset. It about the notion that the journey is more important than the goal, which as should be obvious, it not a position that I advocate. I'm not discounting the journey, but neither am I under-valuing goal achievement. My post is about understanding the difference between the journey towards a goal, and the actual achievement of reaching that goal and what you earn with that achievement.

There are cases, such as competitions, where winning is the goal and there is a journey to get there, but not everything is, nor should be, a competition. There are countless other events and activities that are goal driven, with a journey to achieve that goal, but which are not competitions. There is no winning mindset there; the winning mindset doesn't apply in these situations, because they're not competitions. But goal achievement, and the rewards that go along with that achievement, still happen in those situations.

I think people should be rewarded for achieving their goals. I hope that everyone learns from the journey, but the rewards come with the achievement. If that goal happens to be winning a competition, then the person deserves the rewards that go along with achieving that goal. If that goal is in a non-competitive activity, then the person deserves the rewards that go along with achieving that goal.

==> The journey is far more important than the destination even in cases such as these.
I think it's wonderful that you make that extra effort when dealing with customer problems. And I'm sure your customers appreciate that, too. However, how valuable is that journey, even after you've given it your absolute best, if you're still unable to fix the problem? Did you achieve your goal? No, you did not fix the problem. Is the customer satisfied? Doubtful. You didn't fix the problem; you didn't earn the reward. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try and despite our best efforts, we come up short. That's life; it happens to everyone (at least to those who actually set goals) But, that's makes earning the rewards of achievement that much more fulfilling, because you know the disappointment that comes with coming up short.

Similarly, that happens in competitions, too. The win is that much more satisfying after you've tasted defeat. I see no reason to deny a person the rewards that come with achieving a goal, just because that particular goal happens to be winning a competition.

--------------
Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
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RE: No more trophies for participating

==> who don't feel obligated to score 91 points in a game just because they can.
Earlier this year, I watched a game where the home team won 70-7. Did they run up the score? No, the fifth and sixth string players were playing, probably the only action they'll see all year, and still were making plays.

But you also have to understand that in college football, small schools schedule to play the big boys on their field, knowing full well they'll go down by scores of 70-7 because they get paid to do so. These are known as "money games" and in reality, are the largest sources of income for the athletic departments of these smaller schools.

--------------
Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
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RE: No more trophies for participating

Quote (CajunCenturion)

These are known as "money games" and in reality, are the largest sources of income for the athletic departments of these smaller schools.

I find it ironic that you would probably object to the losing team getting a participation trophy but that receiving money for participating is acceptable. I also find irony in the fact that the journey for the losing team seems to be all that matters. I will admit however that this possibility never occured to me as we do not have paid competition in non-professional sports where I'm from.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: No more trophies for participating

Quote (CajunCenturion)

Nevertheless, give me a reward for participating, I'm entitled to at least that.

I gave you a star for participating in this thread. bigsmile

(plus that post was pretty good)


RE: No more trophies for participating

--> These are known as "money games" and in reality, are the largest sources of income for the athletic departments of these smaller schools.

I bet the players from the small school cannot wait for these games. The chance to play against someone who may become an NFL Hall of Fame alumni would make a great story.

Dad talking to his son every football season "Yep, that Joe Montana was good, but your old man was better! I remember making an interception against him and ran a whole two yards before I was tackled!" (of course, like any good story, over the years the yardage he returned the ball will increase until he ran it back for a touchdown)

Not to mention the best way, IMHO, to better yourself is to compete against better opponents.

RE: No more trophies for participating

==> I find it ironic that you would probably object to the losing team getting a participation trophy but that receiving money for participating is acceptable.
Then I suggest that you don't fully understand the situation, because both teams are getting money. Every university gets money for every game they play. The split is negotiated before the game is played and who wins and who loses has no bearing on the amount that either teams receives. Hopefully, they're earning more money than it's costing them, but often that's not the case. The amounts will vary based on the amount of revenue that game generates, and that depends on the size of the schools, where the game is played, and how much broadcast revenue, if any, is at stake, and of course, the contract terms negotiated between the two universities. It's business and it's how college athletics are funded.

When two smaller universities play each other, there is not a lot of money generated to split between the two teams. They are not attended by very many people and ticket prices are not very high. Correspondingly, concessions don't generate a lot of money and there is little, if any, revenue from broadcast rights. On the other hand, when two large FBS universities play, revenues are considerably higher. Far more many people attend and pay higher ticket prices. There is a corresponding increase in concession revenues and very likely, schools are receiving broadcast fees. There is a lot more money to split between the two schools. So the smaller schools ask to play the bigger schools so they can get a share of that higher revenue. They know they're not likely to be competitive on the field, although upsets do happen, e.g., App State beating Michigan and this year Eastern Washington beat Oregon State. It's an opportunity for the smaller university to split the revenue from a considerably larger pool that it can then put back into and help build its own program, and again, is not based on who wins or who loses.

==> I also find irony in the fact that the journey for the losing team seems to be all that matters.
What I have said that gives you that impression?

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Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
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RE: No more trophies for participating

I just love that State Farm TV ad featuring Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers where the little girl says:

Quote (Mr Hubble)

Mr. Hubble says trophies are for people with self-esteem issues.

Everyone gets scored for math class in the form of a report card grade; some who work hardest get a trophy "A" while others don't.

I am not including anyone with a learning disability.

RE: No more trophies for participating

==> some who work hardest get a trophy "A" while others don't.
Since it's a math class, what do those who get the right answers receive?


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Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
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RE: No more trophies for participating

100

That's the best (only) witty retort I could think of.
Obviously I didn't get the trophy "A".

RE: No more trophies for participating

==> I also find irony in the fact that the journey for the losing team seems to be all that matters.
What I have said that gives you that impression?

Nothing you said really, but considering that they are not there to win but to get a share of the revenue and all they need to do is show up, it strikes me as a participation award.

Is this money changing hands true in High School football as well? If so, that's messed up IMHO. The 91 - 0 game was between 2 high school teams (Aledo High School and Western Hills). Again, I only have my own experience to go by but locally in my city of around 800,000 people, our high school football teams are divided into 3 divisions of varying ability. There would never be such a disparity of talent. This system is designed to allow the bigger schools with the greater depth of talent and funded sports programs to play each other without beating up on the smaller schools or academic ones with different priorities. My son just finished his season with 2 wins and 7 loses. He was really bummed out last night about missing the playoffs. I took him aside and asked some key questions.

Basically:
Did you do your best? - yes
Did you practice hard? - yes
Did you miss any practices? - no
Did you like your coaches? - yes
Did you think you could have won more? - yes
Did you like your team mates? - yes
Did your team mates try just as hard? - most
Did you have fun? - yes
Can you tell me any reason why you shouldn't be proud of your efforts? - no
Do you think you'll try again next year? - yes

By the end he was smiling just as much as I was. He just doesn't know my smile was partially because I don't have to sit out in freezing weather anymore this year. It's been warmer than usual up here but still hovering around 0C / 32F on some nights. Hockey arenas are warmer!

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: No more trophies for participating

==> Nothing you said really, but considering that they are not there to win but to get a share of the revenue and all they need to do is show up, it strikes me as a participation award.
You're making an invalid assumption. They are there to win, and sometimes they do. They know their odds aren't very good, and they know their opponent is better, but that doesn't stop them from going out and giving everything they've got to win. Because if they do, that's the biggest win most of them will ever experience, and that reward will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Oh, they are playing to win.

==> Is this money changing hands true in High School football as well?
I do not know the game financial arrangements between public high schools in Texas.

I know that Texas categorizes their high school into divisions based on the size of the school, as does every state that I'm aware of, and apparently as does your home town. That's the normal way to do it.

Aledo High School and Western Hills are both class 4A high schools with enrollments of approximately 1100 and 1500 (grades 9 through 12) respectively, and they play in the same district. Aleda, despite being the smaller school, just happens to have a powerhouse team this year, and they're beating everybody in the district by big scores. A couple of years ago, Western Hills won the district. Sometimes, things just work out that way without anything nefarious being afoot.

==> There would never be such a disparity of talent.
Actually there can be. It's very unusual, but as in this case, a rare collection of talent comes together at the same place at the same time. That doesn't mean the system is broken; it means that this is an anomolous year. It happens - not very often - but it happens. And the investigation into Aledo seems to bear that out.

The conversation you had with your son is great, and right on the money. As I said in an earlier post (25 Oct 13 9:56), what you do after a loss may be more important than what you do after a win. Yes, he's understandably bummed about missing the playoffs, which is a perfectly natural and normal feeling. Your son's answers indicate that he feels they could have done better, that they could have won more, and that's a healthy feeling. I hope that next year he puts force the effort to reach that goal, and he'll be a year better. And if he does and makes the playoffs (and I really do hope he does), it will be that much sweeter for him because he knows how it feels to not make them. If he does make the playoffs, I hope you ask him to compare the feelings of making the playoffs vs the feelings of missing the playoffs. I highly doubt he'll answer that it's about the same because it wasn't about winning and making the playoffs; it was just about playing and having fun.

--------------
Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
FAQ181-2886: How can I maximize my chances of getting an answer?
Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something. - Plato

RE: No more trophies for participating

Participation trophies don't bother me as long as those who achieve/win get their deserved recognition. The achievers/winners need to be given more recognition. I have a problem with events that have no winners. Everyone simply gets participation ribbons. That approach may be fine for really young ages like 5-7. Children need to learn that they do not get paid for simply participating in work regardless of outcome.

RE: No more trophies for participating

< [You] do not get paid for simply participating in work regardless of outcome
Obviously you never worked for Government.
(Sadly, not a joke...) sad

Have fun.

---- Andy

RE: No more trophies for participating

@Andy,

I am working for a local government now.

Tom

pc2

RE: No more trophies for participating

I think for the younger group < 7 or 8 it has a purpose. Once you get old enough to understand that there are kids who are more athletic than you it's time to reward success and not give everybody a medal or whatever. Don't look at his thru your eyes, look thru the eyes of that little kid who is just trying to figure it all out. You would be suprised how much they understand at a young age. But when they are really young they need the added incouragement that the awards can pass along.

Jim C.

RE: No more trophies for participating

(OP)
>Obviously you never worked for Government.

I can remember after my freshman year, I had a co-op assignment at a US Naval Air Development Center, as a GS 5 drafter (when they used T-Squares and Triangles to draw with pencils on vellum).

One of the en approched me toward the end of the first week and told me to slow down, or else I'd make them look bad.

Once my summer assignments were over, I never had another urge to work in that kind of an environment. It was a productivity and personal incentive killer.

Skip,

glassesJust traded in my old subtlety...
for a NUANCE!tongue

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