One of the challenges that coaches and parents often have to deal with is the increasing trend of children, especially in sport, being handed trophies for participation rather than actually winning. While some say that this is a good move towards appreciating the tremendous effort that kids put in despite not winning, others feel that this kind of rewarding and recognition prevents young athletes from pushing themselves further and setting higher standards.

James Harrison, the Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker in the NFL, an elite sportsman himself, had this to say when his sons came home with ‘participation trophies’:

At Grassroots Football India (GFI), we feel that participation trophies are alright up to the Under-10 age group, but as young footballers graduate to older age groups, prizes must feel like they have greater value and that they have been earned. Yes, players need to be given encouragement and appreciation, but trophies should be reserved only for the very best performers.