It's intersting... I dont know that I care one way or another specifically, but this summer, Little Jax, aged all of 8, was in a track club. It was something just to get him doing any kind of athletics. They'd do little, informal meets with other clubs. It wasn't organized in any great way. But they'd run events and group the kids by age and such. The first time he was in a race, the group was at least 10 kids, only the first 8 places got ribbons. He was last and got nothing. He wasn't overly phased, so I wasn't. The next week, the group he ran in was only 8 kids. He still came in last, but he got the 8th place ribbon. Rather than dwelling on the fact he only got something because there were only 8 kids, he locked onto the idea that he needed to get a 7th place ribbon next. Of course, the next week, he was 7th of 7, but he got that 7th place ribbon, without even acknowledging he was still coming in last. So he went for 6th, and you guessed it, only 6 in the group the following week. He honestly didn't care about getting a ribbon by default essentially, he was trying because he thought he was working towards the next level up, which he essentially did. And I was proud of him for it.
What it really spurred was his jealous little sister, who didn't like that he had more track ribbons than she had from gymnastics, which she got for completing a level and moving up.