Tangible incentives aren't required, but kids love them & I believe they can be good if they are used in the right way. For example, in recreational soccer, you can use them to reward practice and game attendance & hustle. You can also use them to reward team effort such as the team that wins a practice game. (Rewarding individual effort doesn't work as well unless your players all have about the same ability because a few kids will probably win all the time & some will never win). A few years ago, the mother of one of my players bought some gold iron-on fabric and cut out stars which we gave out for practice & game attendance & hustle. The kids loved it. Later, we started buying small iron-on soccer ball patches. These come in 4 colors & the players iron them on their jerseys. We gave out a red and white one for bravery and tough play and the boys called it a "Blood Patch". We asked for $10 donations to buy these. A tip: if you give out rewards, don't give out more than 2 per player per practice and 2 per player per game, otherwise they lose their value & the kids aren't as excited to get them. Another idea is to do like teachers do & give a special reward for perfect practice & game attendance. For example, a computer printed attendance certificate. Read letters from Coaches who have used SoccerHelp iron-on incentive patches and the results they have achieved.