Avoiding Unhealthy Competition When Honoring Your Little League Players

Competition in little league sports offers many benefits for players to take advantage of, such as learning the ability to handle losing without holding onto resentments. But too much competition within the team structure can result in some negative side effects like emotional burnout and an increased chance of being injured. Presenting plaques at the end of the season is a great way to recognize your players, but it's important to make sure that they don't create unhealthy competition within the team. Here's how you can make sure the vibe stays positive and encouraging:

Don't Place Players

It's a good idea to refrain from placing players as first, second, or third place if possible so there isn't any competition between each other. It's best to focus on competing with other teams as a whole; so by offering honorary mentions to each player, they can celebrate their strengths as a team as opposed to sizing themselves up against one another. While your players are sure to notice being ranked against one another, they more than likely won't even think about the idea if ranking isn't involved at all.

Focus on Personalization

As an alternative to ranking the kids, consider personalizing their plaques to highlight their special skills that are valuable to the team. Whether a player is great at batting, outfield work, or compromising with others within the team, each of the kids will certainly be happy to be recognized as an individual who has something special to offer the team. Having a personalized one-line message imprinted on each plaque is a great way to lift everyone's spirits and encourage self confidence.

Get the Kids Involved

A great way to encourage camaraderie among your players, and therefore minimize internal competition, is to get the kids involved when it comes time to present the plaques to the team. Have a player choose another player's plaque and ask them to present the plaque in their own personal words that describe what they appreciate about the teammate that they're presenting to.

This exercise requires team members to take some time and focus on the positive aspects of each other and improves the chance that everyone walks away from the season full of fond memories and a motivation to keep playing the game once a new game season rolls around again.

These tips and tricks will help you maintain a strong team union that holds steady between seasons. 

To order plaques for your team, contact a company such as All Signs