Playing sports is indescribable. It evokes this sense of passion and drive that only comes with competition. This desire to win and succeed is a driving force behind many athletes. When that victory comes, the achievement is met, the goal is complete, and athletes are notably recognized and awarded with a ring, a trophy, a medal, or a ribbon.
For most athletes, these awards are displayed front and center. From shelves to shadow boxes, our kids want their hard work on display and parents do too. We are proud of our kids for sticking with their sport, working hard, and persevering.
But, do we place too much importance on these awards?
Sometimes winning isn’t enough. We don’t just want the rush of the win, we want recognition and tangible accolades to show others our achievements. But, if your kids struggle with a need for awards, it might be time to have a chat.
Sports are incredible. They are fun, they build character, they keep you healthy and fit. There are endless benefits to being active and playing sports. Winning awards are hard-earned. They’re deserved. But when the love of the game is replaced with a need for recognition, a need for success, a need for trophies, awards, etc., your athlete might need to take a step back.
Have a conversation with your kiddos about their desires and dreams. Ask them why they play, why they love their sport, and how they feel when they play. Let them know that their hard work has not gone unnoticed, regardless of plaques on the wall. Be their source of encouragement. Be the one who grounds them and keeps them humble.
There’s nothing wrong with showcasing trophies and awards, but it’s important that our athletes know that bringing that hardware home isn’t everything. They may experience a losing season the next time and that’s part of the process. The emphasis should be about building their skills and character development.
Being a sports mom is tough. The passion that spurs our athletes on is intense and navigating those emotions can be difficult. Having open and honest conversations with our kids is crucial as they progress in their sport.