February '21

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4 0 T E A M S A L E S R E P O R T 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M W hile this article might be read by adults, it is all about the kids. It's about team sports for kids. It's about awards for kids partic- ipating in team sports. And it's about awards for kids participating in team sports during a pandemic. We all experience the world from our own unique perspective. The same goes with kids. They are each going through their own unique pan- demic experience at the time of this writing. We can think about how, as adults, our lives have changed this past year. And the changes we have experienced are laid against other experiences we have had during the course of our lifetimes. The good times we have had. The bad times we have survived. The ups and the downs. The gains and losses. But what about the kids? Aren't they doing the same thing: us- ing their previous life experiences to help them understand this new world order? The difference is they have so much less time to compare this past year to. A 10-year-old has probably five years of memories. So for them, this past year represents about 20% of their entire life. That would be the equivalent of a 10- year pandemic for a 55 year old. So, when we think about our kids and this pandemic, we should strive to understand why it feels like such a big thing to them. And why it feels like it is lasting so much longer to them. One of the ways that kids experience life is through partici- pation in team sports. Sports provide so much to kids beyond just physical health, which is important. Other benefits include socialization, building self-esteem, developing determination, practicing teamwork, goal setting, and learning how to win and how to lose. We can all agree that these are great things for our children to learn. And when kids learn these things, it is worthy of being re- warded. So how do we as an industry support all the great things that come from team sports participation? AWARDS OPTIONS AND IDEAS Despite what some people might say, traditional awards are still a great way to recognize young athletes. At younger ages, kids are often encouraged to participate in a team sport by the adults in their lives. Many times, the child does not want to join a team. But once they do, they are encouraged to work hard and play fair. They learn how to be part of a team. They learn why it is important to show up to every practice and every game. They are being encouraged to lean in and participate. THE IMPORTANCE OF TEAM SPORTS PARTICIPATION DURING A PANDEMIC NONTRADITIONAL AWARDS PRODUCTS TO MEET THE CHANGING MARKET B Y D A N M E S S E R S C H M I D T Despite what some people might say, traditional awards are still a great way to recog- nize young athletes. (Image courtesy JDS Industries)

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