Coaching kids is one of the most rewarding things that a person can do. Not only do you get to pour your knowledge into the future generation of athletes, but you also teach them principles that will carry them for the rest of their lives. Once the dust settles on the season, you need to make sure that you close it out with some meaning. 

Giving out team trophies and awards is the best way to do this. There are all sorts of ways you can recognize your players using these awards. Keep reading to learn more about some team award ideas that will strengthen you as a coach, and inspire your players to be better athletes and people. 

Come Up With Some Team Award Ideas

Now that it's time to recognize the hard work and dedication of your players, make sure that you put some thought and effort into the awards that you give out. Here are some excellent starting points:
  1. The Team MVP. This one goes without saying. When you have an outstanding player that has gone above and beyond on the field or the court, it's important that you recognize their accomplishments and achievements. The most valuable player award is perhaps the most prestigious and should belong to the best all-around and your team. Look into professional sports and find out how they choose their MVP candidates and use it as a basis when making your decision. Outside of stats, make sure that you also consider the intangibles that make them the driving force behind the team's success. Think about what the title actually means. If you take this player off your team and the team significantly loses its chance at success, then this absolutely denotes the MVP of your squad.
  2. Most Improved Player. The most improved player award often gets a negative connotation, but it absolutely shouldn't. The life lesson involved in the most improved player award is something that can transform a kid's life. Dr. Carol Dweck stresses the growth mindset, and why it's important to encourage the development in striving in children, rather than simply praising natural talent and ability. When you encourage kids to know that they can get better when they work hard at something, you'll help open their minds in ways that help them achieve in all other areas of life. While this may not be as glamorous as the MVP award on the surface, it is important to recognize whenever a player has dedicated themselves to working hard at their craft.
  3. Best Offensive Player. You've got to put points on the board to win. Consider the Best Offensive Player award when you're thinking about the players that can change the game with the offense that they create. If you're a baseball coach, your offensive star will involve things like breaking down batting averages, home runs, and RBIs. In basketball, you'll consider players that consistently score and who also get their teammates involved with assists.
  4. Best Defensive Player. As the old adage says, defense wins championships. Rewarding defense is so important because defense is often linked to effort. Players who are new to the game and aren't skilled can contribute right away when they try their hardest to prevent others from scoring. Teams that work hard together on defensive schemes will also be able to shut other teams out to the point that the tide shifts, and it creates more opportunities for you to score. Think about this award both in terms of stats, and which players change the game by making huge defensive plays. Pay close attention to players who are able to create turnovers.
  5. The Leadership Award. Everyone has a role on the team. Winning is about more than just raw skills. When you have leaders, it hones the direction of the team and helps everyone get better. Think about more than just the leadership that happens on the field. Consider this award for the players who motivate each other to put the work in outside of organized practices, and to give 100% effort in practice every single day. Leaders lead from the front, so make sure that they're setting an example rather than just talking.
  6. The Best Teammate Award. When you put together a team, you're dealing with an amalgamation of different personalities. The Best Teammate Award should be given to that "glue" person that brings everyone together and bridges the gap. This is the player that is giving high fives when someone does well, and who picks a player up when they fail. These are the intangible qualities that take you from a winning team to a championship team over the course of a long season. 
  7. The Citizenship Award. Finally, go out of your way to recognize players who are also serving their community and striving to become a better person off the field. The NFL has the Walter Peyton award for players who give back to their community through volunteering their time and effort and standing behind causes. By encouraging your players to become better people, you're teaching them life lessons that will extend well beyond the short period of time that you coach them. 
Reward Your Players for Achievement in Sports and in Life

Now that you have some team award ideas, use the tips, and start shopping around for the perfect trophy, plaque, or medal. These awards will put the icing on the cake to your season and will help you leave an impact on the kids that you coach. We would love to help you out. Reach out to us with our contact form, or give us a call at (800) 370-3564.