The Cost of youth sports seems to take more and more out of parental wallets every year. The cost of equipment, travel teams, travel expenses, private coaching. and miscellaneous fees can add up to thousands of dollars spent each year for one family.
Is it really worth it? And what are you hoping to get from your investment?
Investment Return #1: College Scholarship
Many parents hope that the cost of youth sports is an investment that yields the return of a college scholarship. The only problem is, the chances of this happening are rather slim. According to the NCAA, the probability of high school athletes competing in college varies from 3% (men’s basketball) to 11% (men’s ice hockey).
A study of numbers provided by the National High School Federation and the NCAA shows that the number of Division I scholarships offered in a given year accounts for anywhere from less than .5 % to 2%. So unless your son or daughter is a standout athlete, the youth sports investment that expects a full college scholarship return is not a wise financial venture.
Investment Return #2: What the Rest of Us Can Get
I will be honest and tell you that we hoped for college scholarships for all three of our kids, who played sports from pre-K through high school. We spent money on camps, clinics, traveling sports, equipment, private coaching, gas and food for travel, and once we foolishly spent a ridiculous amount on a college recruiting service that did us absolutely no good.
All three of our kids ended up playing sports in college, but not one of them got an athletic scholarship. They got other scholarships to help foot the bill, but those aids did not cover the entire cost and so, even with the money we spent on youth sports, we still ended up paying thousands for college.
Some might concur, then, that we wasted a lot of money, that we invested in a venture that went nowhere, but I would have to strongly disagree.
You see, our investment provided a return that was actually worth more to us than any full ride. Our reward was seeing our kids grow into strong, caring, humble adults. The cost of youth sports was well worth it for us because we saw how the youth sports journey shaped our kids’ lives.
Whether or not you choose to spend a lot of money on youth sports is totally up to you, but I will tell you this: the return on your investment can be just as good as–or even greater than–any college scholarship. Just because you don’t see a full ride in your child’s future doesn’t mean you are wasting money.
As the American Express commercial puts it, some things are “priceless,” and the character growth that can come out of playing youth sports is something you can never put a price tag on.
Are you tired of the high cost of youth sports? It sure adds up quickly, doesn’t it?
21 years of being a sports mom has given me some money and time-saving ideas. I’d like to share that with you!
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