A quick dadletics shout out to Bryce Harper for his thoughts on participation trophies. As reported by ESPN, and many others, Bryce Harper basically told a group of little league players that participation trophies are crap. I couldn’t agree more. Well, he actually said:

“No participation trophies. First place only.”

Now, I would never call myself a Bryce Harper fan, but I would call myself a winner. Even if you’re not a fan, you’ve got to respect what he’s done on the field (when it’s not the playoffs). More than that, however, I respect his stance on the participation trophy. It’s making kids soft, lazy, and entitled. I’m not going to sit here pretending any of my kids are going to grow up to be professional athletes. That would be ridiculous. What I do expect, is that they learn some life lessons when playing organize sports. My dadvice to all the kids I coach is work hard to get what you want. If you really want that trophy at the end of the season, you have to earn it. Obviously, working hard isn’t always going to make up for natural ability, but it will certainly help.

And, if you’re actually lucky enough to be born with the genetics and ability to actually make it in the sport of your choosing, you still need to bust your ass to make it a career. You also need to let me know if you need a dad to join your entourage. But really, no one is going to hand it to you. Just like they’re not going to give you your dream job because you went to a good school. You’ll still need to work hard to achieve any goals you set. There are no shortcuts for real success, and no get rich quick schemes that actually pay off.

Before I end this rant, the one thing I want to make sure doesn’t get cut after a sports season – even a losing season – is the pizza party. There’s nothing better than getting the kids together one last time to enjoy some pizza while the dads enjoy a few beers. Wait, is that not a thing?

How do you feel about the participation trophy? Good, or gots ta go? Share you thought in the comments below.