End of Season Soccer Award Ideas
Awards have always been a big part of soccer. The greatest players worldwide compete for trophies that can help further their legacies. Lionel Messi notably won his record eighth Ballon d’Or, the trophy given to the best player in a season.
Not all trophies have to be for the world’s best, though. Giving soccer awards at the end of the season is a great way for coaches to show appreciation to the players and staff, boost the confidence of players who win them, and share smiles (or laughs!) after a long season. However, it can be hard to think of which awards to give. Here are some end-of-season youth soccer award ideas.
The Goal of the Year Award
Everybody loves an incredible goal, whether it’s a solo dribble or an acrobatic kick. Even the professionals acknowledge the best strikes. The FIFA Puskás Award is handed out to the player who scores the most beautiful goal of the year.
Consider this a mini-Puskás award. Whichever player scored the best goal during the season wins. There are plenty of different ways to decide who to give this to. Ask the players to vote. They can nominate a goal each or you can simply choose yourself.
The Practice Makes Perfect Award
One of the most important skills a player can have is to be hard-working and dedicated. The world’s best players wouldn’t get where they are today if they didn’t have the motivation to practice.
Show some recognition to the youth player who always showed up and gave 100 percent during practice. This not only rewards someone for their hard work but can also encourage their teammates to show the same enthusiasm and energy for practice.
The Energizer Bunny Award
This award is named the Energizer Bunny Award, after the famous rabbit that never runs out of energy. This can also be called the N’golo Kante Award, with the French midfielder sharing similar levels of stamina.
This is for the player who always has the most energy on the field. The player who spends the entire match running from box to box and seems like they are everywhere. This rewards players who are relentless on the field and may inspire others to play with the same energy.
The Top Scorer Award
Everyone likes a goal; some players love them. This is for the player who found the back of the net the most throughout the season. Most professional leagues have these, and the prestigious World Cup gives the Golden Boot to the top scorer.
This can probably only work if you keep statistics unless your team has someone who clearly outscores the rest. It can also be a fun goal (pun intended). Make it a record that other players want to break.
The Brick Wall Award
Of course, the defense deserves love, too. As is often said, defense wins championships. It’s easier to outscore the opponent if you concede fewer goals. This award goes to the best defender on the team: the player who no opponent could get past.
So much credit goes to attackers and goal-scorers, so this award is a great way to show appreciation for the players who prevent the goals from going in. It also can give defenders a confidence boost. Even if it was a rough season, point out the positives in their game.
The Future Captain Award
This is for the child who shows the most responsibility, whether on or off the field. It rewards the players who can motivate others, show others what to do and how to do it, and help everyone be the best player they can be.
This is given to helpful and responsible players and encourages them to continue to do what they are doing. It’s always important to help youth players be leaders, as leadership is extremely important and something that they will take with them as long as they play.
The Most Improved Award
This is a classic award. This goes to the player who has improved the most over the course of the season. This is especially important with youth players as it can show players who are just starting out the progress they have made.
The Most Improved Player Award encourages players to continue developing and growing and can also show some less confident children that it’s always possible to become better.
The Rain or Shine Award
There will always be reasons that players can’t make a game, whether it is a sudden change of plans, concerns about the weather, or an injury. Soccer coaches have to expect the unexpected.
Still, it’s important to appreciate players who are at every game and practice. Regardless of the weather, the day, the time, the birthday party they have to be at in two hours — they will always be there.
The Swiss Army Knife Award
Every coach loves a versatile player. Someone who can play any position on the field. In today’s modern soccer, it’s important to be able to play more than one position, but sometimes, they don’t have the confidence to try a new position.
This award recognizes those who can fill in anywhere and do so without complaining. It also encourages players to try new positions and test themselves elsewhere on the field, which can lead to developing new skills and a better understanding of the game.
The Best Goalkeeper Award
Goalkeeper is one of the most difficult positions on the field. They are the last resort. The furthest player back, the only one that can use their hands, and the one tasked with keeping the ball out of the net at all costs.
Naturally, being a goalkeeper can be somewhat scary for younger players. Giving an award to your goalkeeper is a good way to relieve some pressure and give a boost to their confidence, both of which lead to happier, better players.
The Brainiac Award
The mental aspect of soccer is important. You don’t have to be physically or athletically gifted to become a great player. Sometimes, the best players just understand the game differently. Whether it’s the way they read the field or a strong understanding of the rules. Maybe they just understand what offside means.
Give this award to the player you think is the most knowledgeable about the game. This rewards those who make efforts to learn all they can about soccer and can encourage others to do the same.
The Optimist Award
Optimism and a good attitude can be just as important as a good understanding of the game. Optimistic players can spread an infectious attitude that they will win, leading to confident and excited players. Think Thomas Müller from Germany.
This award goes to the player who always shared positive thoughts with the team, no matter the circumstances. This is the player who always led the rallies and helped others achieve what they thought they couldn’t. This rewards positivity and can help other players develop a more positive mindset.
The Ice Cold Award
Every team needs a clutch player. The person who can step up and take the last kick to win the game. A player who can ignore the pressure and the stakes. A player who shows up when you most need them to.
This recognizes the players who can tune out the noise and show up in high-pressure situations. This award can motivate others to take similar risks and try to show up for their team, no matter the circumstances.
While youth soccer is a way to have fun, it can be a bit stressful for young players not used to the game. That’s why it’s so important to hand out awards or recognition. Giving them at the end of the season offers an opportunity to improve confidence, make some memories, and have a good time.
These are just a few fun soccer award ideas. There are dozens of different awards that you can give to your players. You can come up with your own, use these ideas, or change these ideas slightly. The important thing is to make sure to have fun!