In response to Joe Weaver’s column of Saturday April 8, I can only say, while in theory I support his opinion, in practice there is another consideration. Parents and coaches, listen up!
All six years I coached at the recreation center, my teams ended up with losing seasons, but we did manage to win one playoff game. After that one win, we appealed to the Wilson community to come out and cheer for us and the current mayor, Bruce Rose, and two clerks from the courthouse heeded the call (you see, all six of my teams were made up of mostly disadvantaged children whose parents either had to work while the late afternoon games were played or simply did not care).
At the initial meeting for each season, some child would ask “do we get a trophy and a pizza party?” I explained that trophies were given to the winners but that we would have a party when we played our last game. Looking over the kids assembled, I realized most of them were playing for a prize. They were too young to realize that trophies were just for the winners.
But, I realized something too — that these kids didn’t just want a trophy, they needed one for their self-respect, to know they tried hard to make their parents and siblings know they were someone. It is funny, on the night of the party, whole families showed up, but few ever saw the kids play.
I have always believed that a trophy should be earned and not just given, but sometimes, just sometimes, there are exceptions. A simple participation certificate or yes, even a small trophy, may spur a child on to earning a real winner’s trophy. Let each coach make that final call and support it!!