The soccer season is now over and it is time to reward the kids for a job well done. In youth soccer when handing out soccer awards it is important to remember it is about recognizing effort and participation, not an all star competition. There will be plenty of time for those accolades when they are older.
Awards such as Most Enthusiastic, or Most Vocal are more appropriate than offering awards for Most Valuable Player or Most Goals. The purpose of soccer at this level is to teach kids about teamwork, having fun and getting exercise.
An excellent way to distribute trophies is to include the kids. After your final game of the season announce it is time for their soccer awards and have the kid sit in a horseshoe in front of the bench. Take the trophies and line then up facing away from the kids.
As the coach you will start the process of handing out the awards, first by giving a short speech complimenting the team on all of their hard work and effort reinforcing what a fun experience it was regardless if your team was 8-0 or 0-8. Then randomly select one of the trophies. Think of one trait or special play that that player had during the season and share that special information with the team without revealing the name. Have the kids guess who the player is and the first player to guess correctly gets to select the next award to hand out doing the same process. Younger kids may need a little help in coming up with something unique about the player.
It is fun and exciting for the kids who enjoy giving out the awards sometimes more than actually receiving them. The adults will also probably get a laugh from some of the best traits that the kids see in each other. Rarely will the kids focus on actual soccer ability when announcing their fellow players rather something that would slip past most adult's attention. One season our "MVP" was the quiet boy whose parents divorced recently and his newly single dad brought Ding Dongs for the half time snack as opposed to the usual fruit moms brought.
This just highlights how when you hand out soccer awards and rewarding little kids; to them, wins and losses and goals usually rank well behind a nice chocolate snack with a creamy filling.