Walz is wrong: ANY reward is good at young age levels!

Walz is wrong: ANY reward is good at young age levels!


By John Engh

NAYS Executive Director

This is getting a lot of play on the internet today – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko42EXjYCyw – the whole "participation trophies are killing competition and creating a generation of losers" rant.

What a crock!

And especially in this sport where so few teams dominate so many other teams. Does Louisville win so many games because this guy creates winners with his incredible coaching? Those ladies playing on UT Martin, Belmont and Lindsey Wilson College that were crushed by this Louisville team are such LOSERS, right?????

Those ladies on those other teams should not feel good at all about battling for 48 minutes against a team where NONE of them could even dream about making the roster. Those women are LOSERS, right coach???

And let's talk about those 8-year-olds you are referring to...

There they are - playing in a tournament, hopefully learning to love the game, but faced with a first round opponent with ONE girl that happens to have a late birthday and happens to have grown at a faster rate than the other players in her bracket. She's a foot taller and scores 90 percent of her team's baskets because her coach feels like you do - just win - right coach?? (man, I think I should stop using this term for this guy). They lose in the first game 24-6 because they can't reach that girl's armpits. Go home girls, obviously you didn't work hard enough in practice. Why should you get another game! No friendship bracket for you - you are ALL LOSERS!

Sad. I get the entitlement rants and there are really some issues with the whole helicopter parent deal. But THIS guy needs to just go get a room with James Harrison and figure out that there is a much bigger picture when it comes to how we reward kids for participation.

I remember getting a 3rd place ribbon in my first youth wrestling tournament when I was about 10. I lost two matches to experienced kids, but somehow squeaked out a win over another experienced kid to finish the tournament 1-2. I had no idea that I would be awarded a ribbon, but man did I keep that thing pinned in my room for a couple years as a source of pride. I am sure I was a loser in this guy's mind, but that taught me a love for sport and competition that lasted well into high school.

Later that year, I was "drafted" after trying out for youth baseball. At that time it was 10-12 year-olds playing together. Our two "coaches" just happened to have the two best and most mature (oldest) 12-year-olds in the league on their team. Yes, their sons! They only had one loss the season before when these guys were 11. I think I got to play about 10 innings the whole year because I was 10. We went 12-0 and won the title game something like 15-3.

Yeah, the other team got three runs in the last inning when one of the "coaches" let one of the other players pitch once we were up 15-0 in the bottom of the 6th - man was he mad about those three runs! Hey, but at least we were ALL WINNERS! Right coach????

I know we all got championship trophies for that game, but I can't tell you what it looked like or what it said on it.

But my third place wrestling ribbon was yellow with blue letters!

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