Is Everyone a Winner? (Op-Ed)

In an athlete’s life, many people are involved in his or her hardwork and success. These people include teammates, coaches, and parents. To those involved, seeing a win come from the effort is the most rewarding thing there can be. As a result of winning, players start to obtain a collection of trophies that show the dedication they have to the sport, but when do trophies become pointless? Are kids feeling a sense of pride when they receive a participation award or a personal best? The answer is no because they should not feel satisfied with a trophy that makes it okay to be a loser. There should be no gratification in receiving an award because they show up and display the least amount of athletic skill.
As someone who has competed in various high level sports including softball and swim, I can say coaches hand out more trophies to avoid hurt feelings than they hand out candy on Halloween. There should be no such thing as a participation award because that teaches kids to not work as hard because they will end up getting an award anyway. If that person is not the best of the best, hardest working, or top producing athlete, they do not deserve a reward. After players pass elementary school, it is time for coaches to stop coddling players if they are no good. If a player lacks skill, they should be told that their skillset is not where it needs to be and given advice on how to better themselves.
I have seen athlete’s age; as they mature they gain a sense of their skill compared to others. They are one of three types: behind average, average, or advanced in their skill set. Players develop a sense of themselves and depending on their status, they continue or drop out. The average or above will continue to out hustle, out work, and out play the less skilled players. These hard working athletes see their grind payoff in the wins they bring. One thing that will bring down a win is seeing the other team get excited over a second place trophy or a participation award. The losing team does not deserve to be given anything, they need to work on their skills and try again.
Overall, trophies are not for everyone. If all athletes receive are participation and personal best awards they need to consider quitting their sport and focusing on the academic side of their life. Sports should be left to the more skilled athletes, who are willing to work hard and give everything to benefit of the team. Those are the athletes who deserve to be getting the real awards.