This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.
"Coaching 6th-grade basketball, my assistants and I are trying to decide whether to name a team MVP at our end-of-season banquet. Any advice?"
PCA Response by Mike Farley, PCA Trainer-Milwaukee
The answer is a big "maybe." The reason to give out this team award is to honor a real accomplishment. Striving to be the best you can be is at the heart of what any athlete works toward. Of course, PCA is all about winning and life lessons. One life lesson is the thrill of success; another is the sting of losing out on an award. And, let's face it, a few kids will be disappointed not to win. That's a life lesson, too.
Is the point of your program to build better players? Better teammates? Keep kids participating longer? Consider how naming an MVP may affect your program's ability to achieve those goals. A number of very successful high school teams have gone to not selecting an MVP -- emphasizing an MVT (most valuable teammate) or MIP (most improved player) instead. Or skipping the trophy sessions altogether and focusing all attention on the team's accomplishments.
In the end, it's your call, but simply showering an individual with accolades at an early age can be detrimental to all teammates, unless the foundation of your program is consistent, fair and above all, positive.
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