Enrolling your child in competitive sports can do them a world of good. The skills learned in a team atmosphere can help your child excel in personal and professional endeavors throughout the rest of their life, and many parents are dedicated to making sure their child is poised for success in their athletic endeavors. However, the cost of playing competitive sports has become almost unmanageable for many American families. According to GoBankingRates.com, the top five most expensive sports for your child to play are as follows: ice hockey, horseback riding, football, skiing, and gymnastics. Pumping your first in the air because your child’s sport isn’t listed? Not so fast, because it’s not to say other competitive sports aren’t up there in price. From traveling costs to equipment and gear, having one or multiple children involved in sporting events can do damage on your wallet. If you’re looking for ways to cut down costs on your child’s sports habits, keep these tips in mind.
Stay in Local Leagues
Traveling leagues do come with their perks in terms of playing time, competition, and exposure, but they are also addled with extremely high costs. You’ll need to pay registration fees, buy new jerseys and gear, and don’t forget that travel sports mean you don’t get an off-season and that means year-round spending. Of course, there’s also the issue of travel costs and when you add in tournament entry fees, you’ve got yourself a fortune to pay.
Cut Down on Equipment Costs
Depending on the sport your child is involved in, your equipment costs can be astronomical. When it comes to sports gear, local shopping is not your friend. Going to local stores may be great for your town’s economy, but when it comes to costly sports gear, it’s going to wreak havoc on your wallet. E-commerce is the way to go if your child’s equipment is getting out of hand. Is your child’s sport of choice soccer? Check out an online retailer like WorldSoccerShop.com for great deals on jerseys and soccer cleats. Perhaps your little one is involved in America’s favorite pastime. Head to an online site like BaseballMonkey.com to find a selection of baseball gloves at a variety of price points. No matter the sport, you’ll likely find a dedicated site with discounted name brand equipment, and trust that savings add up when it comes to sports expenditures. You might also consider buying your child used equipment from an app like Offer Up. You may find yourself purchasing gear from a parent whose child no longer plays or has outgrown the equipment in question, and get a great deal on items that barely have any wear.
Be a Bit more Realistic
Many parents will justify spending more on their child’s competitive sport playing with the assumption that they’ll be in the running for scholarships and offers from schools and even professional teams. However, it’s important to be realistic about your child’s prospects. Every parent likes to think their child is the best on the team, the one with the most potential, or sure to excel exponentially. Unfortunately, the statistical chance of your child getting a scholarship is minimal. Millions of children play in different sports every year, and there are few positions open on college teams, and even fewer scholarships available for those positions. While these statistics vary by sport, take soccer for example. Less than 1 percent of graduating boys and less than 2 percent of graduating girls received soccer scholarships out of high school.
You’ve likely been a part of or contributed to a crowdfunded venture, as this new way of fundraising has become a popular route to raise money for a variety of activities. It’s a great way to ask family and friends to donate without pressure, and is easily shared on social media channels for ultimate exposure.
If your child’s sporting activities are becoming too expensive for you to handle, consider implementing these strategies to keep your little one and your wallet happy.