I don’t think that participation trophies are too much of a big deal. My outlook on it is kind of in between, I think that it does have the capability of sending the wrong signal, but can be good on a kid’s pride. It could send the wrong signal by showing that even though you may fail, you still receive the same thing as if you win. Which is not the way to look at sports when you are involved in them. It is a competition, so if you win you should be noticed by things for winning, and if you don’t end up winning you should not get anything for that.
Now there are places and corporations that do give participation trophies, such as Kids Incorporated. In track after every race they have colored ribbons for every participant. Now though they do have different colors that represents different places, the kids just take them and are happy with the effort that they put forth. Which I totally agree with, these kids are here having fun and don’t need their prides brought down by some old guy who shoots a gun and holds up a ribbon. I do think that up until a certain age or level of competition this should go on. As soon as the sport turns from kids just out there having fun, to kids who are there to compete, they should stop giving participation trophies. Some kids aren’t even there because they want to be in the first place, they may not even like what they are doing they are just there because their parents made them. So some could care less about it they just may want to get a trophy and go on about their day.