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Who's the real MVP?

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

If you played on a high school sports team (I was a volleyball player), then this will bring back some memories. Once a year, there’s typically an awards night where awards like most valuable player (MVP) and most improved player (MIP) are among the awards given out.


The MVP award typically went to the team member that was the star of the team and consistently played well. There was always that one person on my team who was naturally great, and it showed; however, they did not put in a lot of effort to get there. The MIP award typically went to the person whose performance drastically improved throughout the season by putting in a lot of effort to make that happen. While the MIP was considered an award, it was almost embarrassing to be the person who received it. The MVP was “the award” of all of the awards.


Is the MVP award promoting and reinforcing the right behaviors? It may simply go to the best person and not take into account what they did to become the best … which may be nothing. To receive the MIP award, a team member would have to show they were motivated and willing to improve by making the effort to do so, while the MVP award may not.


This is a concept I’d like to incorporate into who I am as a coach. You may or may not be the best at something, but that can’t stop you from improving as long as you are motivated and willing to improve by making the extra effort to do so. And you should be proud to be recognized with the most improved player award! I'd argue that is more of an accomplishment than that of the MVP.

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