It's no secret everyone likes a little recognition. For children, staying in a sport or not can be a decisive factor. A recent survey of parents (conducted by TNS Worldwide) found that more than 76% of parents feel that awards help motivate them to participate and encourage active participation. Parents also said that feedback from the trainer is an essential part of their child's sports experience.
Here are some tips for starting or improving your youth sports recognition program:
Look at the beginning at the end of the season
Think about what you want to label and in what form. Determine which criteria are important for you. Besides performance and diligence, fairness, tolerance and responsibility should play an important role, especially for young athletes.
at the beginning of the season and create a log (e.g. with a notebook or smartphone) with notes on each player's progress. These notes will be helpful at the end of the season when it comes to recognizing and rewarding each player for their efforts and improvements throughout the season.
Show regular recognition
Remember to honor everyone's performance not only once at the end of the season, but integrate recognition into any training, game or competition. Point out positive characteristics, newly learned skills and sporting behaviour. Make specific comments instead of general statements.
Ask parents to take pictures of each child and print out the best pictures. These can then be handed over with the trophies and make the memory and recognition even more intense.
Make it an event
Plan an end-of-year event. This is a great opportunity for parents to get involved. Whether grilling sausages or pizza... There are many possibilities to make a great celebration around the graduation ceremony with award ceremony. Ask parents to help and bring salads, cakes and other things.
Do you have a plan for every child. Don't improvise. Say exactly what each player has contributed to the team. Be specific. Don't say "You've worked hard", but point out something specific for each child. For example, they say: "You've improved your hit rate" or "You've significantly improved your technical skills this season". This is the difference between a participation award and a recognition prize.
With these tips, the experience of the athletes and the memory of your coaching time will be something that everyone will remember for many years to come. We are more than happy to help you choose the right cups and trophies.