The idea of every child who competes in a sporting event being given a trophy is a surprisingly divisive subject for many parents.
One the one hand, you don't want kids losing interest in a sport because they leave discouraged and empty handed, but on the other hand, the idea of rewarding everyone who participates is something that competitive people cannot understand.
We've all experienced the 'sideline parent' who regularly mortifies their children by getting far too emotionally invested in the result, but these are not the only people who scoff at the idea of participation trophies.
As someone who is widely recognised as one of the greatest sportsmen to have ever lived, you may expect Kobe Bryant to lie on the 'participation trophies are for losers!' side of things, but instead he found a way to use them as a motivational tactic for his basketball-mad kids.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 5, 2017
My kids are playing basketball, came in 4th place at a tournament. So they were disappointed.
We're getting ready to leave, and we're like; 'It's fine, you guys played hard', and they're like no you have to stay for the ceremony. What ceremony?
'You guys get 4th place trophies.'
You get what? That exists? So all the kids were disappointed, like we don't want no 4th place trophy, so I said well, listen:
Get the 4th place trophy, go home, you take the 4th place trophy and put it up right where you can see it, and when you wake up in the morning you look at the trophy and remind yourself of what you'll never win again.
It's a win-win.
If your child is chuffed to bits with their participation trophy, then that's brilliant and hopefully they will be happy and encouraged to keep playing. If your child is disgusted with his/her self for not winning, then use it as a motivational tactic to keep them focused.
But whatever you do, don't be like Paul.