Here at TL's Trophies we would like to encourage acknowledgement, not just participation. Regardless of the player, each team member brings an individual quality to the team. For baseball, you may recognize the big swinger, golden glove, hustle award, etc. For basketball: Best defense, sportsmanship, best percentage, most free throws.
Here are a few other ideas that can work for a variety of sports.
Most Valuable Player
Every team has a “most valuable player” (sometimes even two). Decide who is best to fit the bill and award that player with his very own football trophy, acknowledging the player for his/her hard work and proven ability. Although usually an award is given to the most physically talented, the MVP award can be given to any individual who has helped to carry the team – on the field or off.
Give out a football trophy to the player who demonstrated the most improvement during the season. Regardless of the player’s contribution to the team's overall success, these football trophies will represent hard work and progress and should be given to a deserving candidate. Consider growth that occurred not only during the season, but any work the player may have put in during the offseason that made them more of a contributor to the team. These football trophies can go to any player, regardless of the talent level.
Football is a contact sport. Consider giving out football trophies to the team’s best tacklers. On every team and on every level, there is bound to be one or two players who stand out when it comes to hitting and tackling. Award these players with football trophies that recognize the player’s hard playing style. As with other specialized awards, you can find football trophies that are made specifically for defensive players.
Hard work pays off. So, why not reward the player who demonstrated their ability to work hard by presenting him with a football trophy. This award is particularly important when dealing with younger players. By recognizing the player who gave everything they had in games as well as in practice, not only provides positive reinforcement for that player, but it also demonstrates to the rest of the team how hard work rarely goes unnoticed. Find football trophies or plaques that the player can hold onto and use as motivation in other areas of life.
Particularly with the younger age groups, it is important to award those who may not be the most athletically gifted, however, still manage to use their positive attitude to help those around them get better. Pass out football trophies to the player who kept the team motivated – even if it was from the sidelines. Acknowledge the player's positive attitude and communicate to the rest of the team why players with this important attribute are vital to the team’s success. Look for football trophies that represent teamwork, or find a plaque that will allow you to inscribe a special message to the player. When working with a younger group, remember, awarding elements of the game such as teamwork and positive thinking with football trophies will help provide a solid foundation for future development.