$3k for teen club soccer

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
Topic Author
sunny_socal
Posts: 2159
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

$3k for teen club soccer

Post by sunny_socal » Tue May 28, 2019 8:29 pm

So our 14-yr old tried out for a local soccer club here in TX. I figured it would be ~$1k like it was in CA.

The paperwork after the tryout said he'll land in one of three tiers:
- $2.8k
- $2.2k
- $1.7k

Seems like a lot. Is this typical?

User avatar
TxAg
Posts: 1563
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:09 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by TxAg » Tue May 28, 2019 9:16 pm

More costs will be piled on top of that. It's a racket.

User avatar
Clark & Addison
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:15 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by Clark & Addison » Tue May 28, 2019 9:46 pm

I listened to the beginning of a discussion on the radio a few weeks ago that I wish I would have had time to listen to all of. The main idea was that youth sports are now a bigger business than the NFL. I can't say whether or not those prices are typical, but I do know that youth sports aren't always putting the youth first anymore. As a parent, teacher, coach, and former athletic director I believe there are great benefits to kids being involved in sports (or other extra-curricular activities), but I'm not sure these select/travel teams are always worth it.

livesoft
Posts: 69586
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by livesoft » Tue May 28, 2019 10:09 pm

No way to know from the info given. It will depend on the length of the season, number of games played, practices per week, etc.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

jb1
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:33 am
Location: NC

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by jb1 » Tue May 28, 2019 10:15 pm

I coach soccer where it’s $3k a year to play.

Give me details of your kid, are they on the top team? Realistic chance to play in college? How many weeks is practice? How far are the games? Is it ECNL?

Not worth it to me unless they are the next big star. He can play at any other club and get exposure to the college game.

We have teams where I’m at that have kids on the lower teams, that travel 2 hours one way just for a game.. that is ridiculous to me.

User avatar
vineviz
Posts: 5391
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 1:55 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by vineviz » Tue May 28, 2019 10:24 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 8:29 pm
So our 14-yr old tried out for a local soccer club here in TX. I figured it would be ~$1k like it was in CA.

The paperwork after the tryout said he'll land in one of three tiers:
- $2.8k
- $2.2k
- $1.7k

Seems like a lot. Is this typical?
I'm guess the top tier is for the national-level team, so you probably know if your child is of that caliber.

Your top tier is the same as the tuition in the our son is in, but the other two tiers are less than ours by a little (the fee for U13 to U18 would be $2,600 here, plus uniforms). So, I'd say the costs you quote are in the ballpark (no pun intended) of "typical". It's also possible, depending on where in TX you are, travel is much more of a factor: nothing in TX is as close to everything else as in California.

My son is not a top-level player, but he loves the game and I think the expense is (mostly) reasonable for the experience he's had. Access to good quality fields and professional coaches, year-round training and clinics, etc.: it's still less than some people pay for cable TV.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

CascadiaSoonish
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:44 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by CascadiaSoonish » Tue May 28, 2019 10:30 pm

In my town they're charging the lower end given here for the 11 year olds. And on top of that, there's an obligation to buy uniforms, jackets, balls, and gear from the approved athletic wear sponsor. And the uniforms change each year.

I'm now understanding why I know people making six figures as color consultants at a well-known international sporting goods brand.

stoptothink
Posts: 6791
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by stoptothink » Tue May 28, 2019 10:34 pm

In my limited experience, that range is right around "average". You just have to decide if it is worth it. What's the goal? That probably pays for a lifetime of rec leagues, but if he is a legitimate candidate for a college scholarship (which most club team soccer players are not) then it is probably very much worth it.

FWIW, I have friends and a few family members (in Utah) who pay a lot more for travel baseball, basketball, and softball, and almost every one of their children has about as much chance of a scholarship as my mother's dog.

randomguy
Posts: 8522
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by randomguy » Tue May 28, 2019 11:10 pm

[quote=stoptothink post_id=4566526 time=1559100898 user_id=23067]
In my limited experience, that range is right around "average". You just have to decide if it is worth it. What's the goal? That probably pays for a lifetime of rec leagues, but if he is a legitimate candidate for a college scholarship (which most club team soccer players [i]are not[/i]) then it is probably veyry much worth it.

FWIW, I have friends and a few family members (in Utah) who pay a lot more for travel baseball, basketball, and softball, and almost every one of their children has about as much chance of a scholarship as my mother's dog.
[/quote]

If you put the bar at college scholarship, few things measure up. I am not going to stop my kids music lessons cause the odds of a scholarship/going pro are about Zero. It is about enjoying the activity and what you can afford.

User avatar
Topic Author
sunny_socal
Posts: 2159
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by sunny_socal » Wed May 29, 2019 6:02 am

Thanks all!
livesoft wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 10:09 pm
No way to know from the info given. It will depend on the length of the season, number of games played, practices per week, etc.
It year-round except for two months off for the summer, a couple weeks for christmas/new year and a couple for spring break. A couple practices a week, two tournament seasons. Uniforms extra :|

TheOscarGuy
Posts: 945
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:10 pm
Location: Where I wanna be.

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by TheOscarGuy » Wed May 29, 2019 6:48 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 8:29 pm
So our 14-yr old tried out for a local soccer club here in TX. I figured it would be ~$1k like it was in CA.

The paperwork after the tryout said he'll land in one of three tiers:
- $2.8k
- $2.2k
- $1.7k

Seems like a lot. Is this typical?
For soccer it seems like a lot.
My kid does not play soccer, but he plays ice hockey. The cost is ~2K and rising as he progresses. I tell myself its the cost of getting ice rink for so many practices and games.

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 7114
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm
Location: outside the echo chamber

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by whodidntante » Wed May 29, 2019 7:01 am

There are always plenty of ways to spend your money. You'll have to decide if this makes the cut. I don't think it would for me.

stoptothink
Posts: 6791
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by stoptothink » Wed May 29, 2019 7:33 am

randomguy wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 11:10 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 10:34 pm
In my limited experience, that range is right around "average". You just have to decide if it is worth it. What's the goal? That probably pays for a lifetime of rec leagues, but if he is a legitimate candidate for a college scholarship (which most club team soccer players are not) then it is probably veyry much worth it.

FWIW, I have friends and a few family members (in Utah) who pay a lot more for travel baseball, basketball, and softball, and almost every one of their children has about as much chance of a scholarship as my mother's dog.
If you put the bar at college scholarship, few things measure up. I am not going to stop my kids music lessons cause the odds of a scholarship/going pro are about Zero. It is about enjoying the activity and what you can afford.
I didn't put the bar at a scholarship, I was asking the OP if they were. My kids wrestle, do jiu jitsu, and gymnastics; the chances of them getting a scholarship in those sports is close to zero. Then again, I'm not spending $3k for a season, because the $75/month option does just fine. I'd rather spend the remaining $2k on exploring other activities.

The cost is average. Do they want to have the kids play on a local team with neighborhood friends or take a more serious approach to skill development? Up to the OP to decide if that $3k is spent best on club soccer or some other activity.

trustquestioner
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:50 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by trustquestioner » Wed May 29, 2019 8:18 am

Youth sports have gotten completely out of control. My kid is 8 and some of these other parents are already putting pressure on their kids, yelling at them, etc.

Absolutely bonkers, IMO. I suppose I’d consider it if my kid was really, really passionate and came to it on his own but that seems to be a huge minority. Even then I’d be very worried about cultural osmosis.

Very few youth sports prodigies are happy well adjusted adults. How could they be?

User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 14328
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed May 29, 2019 8:21 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 8:29 pm
So our 14-yr old tried out for a local soccer club here in TX. I figured it would be ~$1k like it was in CA.

The paperwork after the tryout said he'll land in one of three tiers:
- $2.8k
- $2.2k
- $1.7k

Seems like a lot. Is this typical?
Could be worse, you (or your spouse) could be the coach.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 14328
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed May 29, 2019 8:23 am

jb1 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 10:15 pm
Realistic chance to play in college?
You can pay for a lot of college saving $3K a year for it. I think this sort of thing is terrible as an investment. Now if you want to play comp sports, go for it, but don't pretend it's an investment. That "investment" has got to have a negative return on average.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

chevca
Posts: 3007
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by chevca » Wed May 29, 2019 8:34 am

Congrats to the lad for doing so good at tryouts!

Does the kid love soccer and want to play at the highest level they can? If the answer is yes, I'd pay it in a heartbeat. Are the chances slim a college scholarship or MLS career comes from it? Yes, most likely. But, you never know either. But, it's more about the experiences, challenges, and friendships that come from playing higher level sports. That stuff can last a lifetime!

Yes, I know there are some negative parts of kids playing serious sports. But, there are many positives also.

Nowizard
Posts: 2428
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by Nowizard » Wed May 29, 2019 8:41 am

The large sporting goods stores target youth leagues in cities and develop data on sales. For example, baseball and football related equipment brings in more revenue than soccer. There are formal interactions between a particular store and a particular league in some instances. This price is well above what it was when our son played club soccer on a traveling team.

Tim

jb1
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:33 am
Location: NC

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by jb1 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:03 am

trustquestioner wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 8:18 am
Youth sports have gotten completely out of control. My kid is 8 and some of these other parents are already putting pressure on their kids, yelling at them, etc.

Absolutely bonkers, IMO. I suppose I’d consider it if my kid was really, really passionate and came to it on his own but that seems to be a huge minority. Even then I’d be very worried about cultural osmosis.

Very few youth sports prodigies are happy well adjusted adults. How could they be?
Let’s be honest, like anything, kids are born with it. As a former player, when I was younger many kids I played with it against, you could tell would go pro. Even at 11 years old they were that much better.

I’m a firm believer that kids learn on their own, and rely on natural ability.

Bezos didn’t get his smarts through school, Beatles didn’t get to where they were through classes or instructors, Brady didnt get to be the best QB through practice alone.

Bottom line is they had natural ability.

jb1
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:33 am
Location: NC

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by jb1 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:04 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 8:23 am
jb1 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 10:15 pm
Realistic chance to play in college?
You can pay for a lot of college saving $3K a year for it. I think this sort of thing is terrible as an investment. Now if you want to play comp sports, go for it, but don't pretend it's an investment. That "investment" has got to have a negative return on average.
But if there is a chance for a scholarship?

Presintense
Posts: 252
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:58 pm
Location: "Somewhere in the middle of America"

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by Presintense » Wed May 29, 2019 9:15 am

Welcome to the world of teen club sports. We wasted tons of money on club volleyball and went to every throw away tournament in the U.S. Everybody seemed to be doing it which was our reasoning. She was decent but never great. Then, our daughter discovered her own passion for high school track and field, went on to run in college, became a seven time all American and four time national champion. Guess what... it was free. After our experience I would advocate for kids trying lots of different school activities and avoiding the club sport trap. All the BS about having to play club sports is just that.
Performance = Potential - Distraction

Presintense
Posts: 252
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:58 pm
Location: "Somewhere in the middle of America"

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by Presintense » Wed May 29, 2019 9:21 am

jb1 wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:04 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 8:23 am
jb1 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 10:15 pm
Realistic chance to play in college?
You can pay for a lot of college saving $3K a year for it. I think this sort of thing is terrible as an investment. Now if you want to play comp sports, go for it, but don't pretend it's an investment. That "investment" has got to have a negative return on average.
But if there is a chance for a scholarship?
There is always a chance for a scholarship. It doesn't hinge on playing club sports but rather actual talent and desire.
Performance = Potential - Distraction

chevca
Posts: 3007
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by chevca » Wed May 29, 2019 9:23 am

I also advocate kids trying different sports.

The post above mentioned high school. That made me wonder if the OP's kid is still playing for the school team as well, or would it just be club? At 14, I'm guessing there is a school team available in middle or high school. I'm not a believer in giving up on the school teams just to play club all year long.

jb1
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:33 am
Location: NC

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by jb1 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:41 am

chevca wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:23 am
I also advocate kids trying different sports.

The post above mentioned high school. That made me wonder if the OP's kid is still playing for the school team as well, or would it just be club? At 14, I'm guessing there is a school team available in middle or high school. I'm not a believer in giving up on the school teams just to play club all year long.
It depends on the child’s goals.

HS soccer is no longer looked at as a high level unless it is a sport specific school (st Benedict’s in NJ).

If the child is indeed a high level player with a chance for a scholarship, then yes play the club team. If the kid is on the bottom tier of the team, then I’d play high school.

chevca
Posts: 3007
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by chevca » Wed May 29, 2019 9:49 am

True. But, I think playing with close friends on the school team is very important. Maybe the close friends also play on the club team though? Very situational, I suppose.

I imagine if a kid is good enough to get a scholarship, they're going to get noticed wherever they play really. I don't believe a really, really good player is going to go unnoticed because their parents can't afford club soccer and they only play high school sports.

bh7785
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:57 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by bh7785 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:52 am

trustquestioner wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 8:18 am
Youth sports have gotten completely out of control. My kid is 8 and some of these other parents are already putting pressure on their kids, yelling at them, etc.

Absolutely bonkers, IMO. I suppose I’d consider it if my kid was really, really passionate and came to it on his own but that seems to be a huge minority. Even then I’d be very worried about cultural osmosis.

Very few youth sports prodigies are happy well adjusted adults. How could they be?
My mom was always very vocal at my youth soccer games. She was easily heard when you weren't trying hard enough, even as young as 8-10. I'm 35 now, and I remember a few years ago she realized that maybe she was too aggressive for young kids and apologized. Honestly though, I loved having a mom who was so involved with the game and expected "hard work" from her kids. Wouldn't have had it any other way.

KBREAMK
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:25 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by KBREAMK » Wed May 29, 2019 10:02 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 8:29 pm
So our 14-yr old tried out for a local soccer club here in TX. I figured it would be ~$1k like it was in CA.

The paperwork after the tryout said he'll land in one of three tiers:
- $2.8k
- $2.2k
- $1.7k

Seems like a lot. Is this typical?
I live in North Texas and my daughter played select soccer for many years with different clubs (Liverpool, Solar, FC Dallas, etc.) and... sadly, yes, these "signing" prices are typical. Some of the bigger clubs will charge more to sign. BUT, it doesn't end there for most teams. Add in uniforms and depending on how the team structures things you could find yourself at tourneys requiring hotels and even airfare. In short, I'm afraid the signing fee is just the beginning!

nepats
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:56 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by nepats » Wed May 29, 2019 10:04 am

Fees sound about right. My eldest just got a spot on a U10 travel team, so this will be a first year of Travel soccer for us. She has been playing Rec soccer since she was 4 and loves it. During few times, I have observed the Travel teams practice and during tryouts, I noticed that the level of play was much higher. Most* of the girls were faster, had more technical skills even at the U9-10 level than girls from the REC team. So it's definitely going to be beneficial for our daughter to play Travel to improve her skills. We are not even thinking of scholarships etc at this age, but just wanted to provide her an opportunity to grow her skills at a game she loves!

quantAndHold
Posts: 3534
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by quantAndHold » Wed May 29, 2019 10:07 am

9 year old kids have travel teams?

financiallycurious
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:43 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by financiallycurious » Wed May 29, 2019 10:24 am

I'm new to youth sports, but it seems like the coaching and competition is significantly better at the club level than the rec level, which is the reason we do it and started young with the club's U7 team. I've never thought of club sports as something we do as a "financial investment" to get a college scholarship, as I'm pretty sure we'd be better off saving the equivalent amount of money in a 529 plan for that purpose (which we already do). The club teams provide deeper friendships as the kids are growing up together on the same team year after year. We're only on year 3 now, but the kids who started at age 6 together are more technically skilled than the kids who are moving up from the rec league, so our top team is mostly the same group of kids that started together when they were 6. The coaching is professional and mostly great, and they're out working hard together and learning life lessons. Because of the selection process, the other kids on our team are highly motivated, and I think it's a good culture and friend group to grow up with. But we're new to this and I may be eating my words in 10 years. :)

stoptothink
Posts: 6791
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by stoptothink » Wed May 29, 2019 10:25 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:07 am
9 year old kids have travel teams?
They start much younger than that.

clacy
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:50 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by clacy » Wed May 29, 2019 10:35 am

Not directly pertaining to the OP's question but allow me to rant on a subject that is a hot button....

Youth sports are out of control in the current day and age. The parents are to blame. I see way too much early specialization. And the proliferation of club/AAU teams for kids as young as 6-7 is crazy. Traveling and spending multiple $1,000's per year for an 8 year old is something I can't justify.

I am seeing kids play year round sports by the 2nd grade. Not that it's inherently bad. I know it can be managed, and I'm trying to manage youth sports with my sons as well as I can. I just worry that many will quit other sports, for the purpose of specialization, before they get a chance to figure out which sport they're best at, or will enjoy the most as teenagers.

I am friends with a MLB all-star who loved football growing up and that was always his true love, but realized in his early teens that he was better at baseball. It's a good thing for him ($50m+) that he didn't specialize in football in 3rd grade and quit baseball.

I played major college football and flirted with the NFL and didn't play organized sports including football, before 8th grade. I say that only to make the point that genetics play a huge role in moving to higher levels in sports, and you don't have to specialize for many sports as early as most parents are pushing these days.

I also worry that pushing so many of these kids into club teams and playing year round will affect many of them mentally as they get older and realize there is always someone better or more genetically gifted, although realistically the kids probably handle it better than the parents :)

A friend of a friend is a local HS baseball coach and says every year he fields 20 calls from parents of kids who didn't make their squad, with the parents leading with "You mean to tell me my kid who has played club baseball for the past 10 years isn't good enough to make your team?" and his response is "Unfortunately, that's exactly what I'm telling you."

At the end of the day, it seems many parents are pushing their kids into an Eastern European model of extreme specialization and year round training. That annoys me and makes me wonder if many of these kids are missing out on free play, and/or enjoying other sports or non-physical activities. And there are plenty of people who will take full financial advantage of a sports parents desire to see their child succeed.

/End of rant :)

clacy
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:50 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by clacy » Wed May 29, 2019 10:44 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 8:23 am
jb1 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 10:15 pm
Realistic chance to play in college?
You can pay for a lot of college saving $3K a year for it. I think this sort of thing is terrible as an investment. Now if you want to play comp sports, go for it, but don't pretend it's an investment. That "investment" has got to have a negative return on average.

Yep, if you're dropping $3-4k/yr, that can easily turn into a net loser even if they get a full ride (depending on the school tuition rate). Obviously there are some benefits such as physical fitness, and you learn a lot of life lessons in athletics. But to your point, there are cheaper ways to do it, and frankly I'm not convinced the amount of money you spend directly causes any better outcome.

I heard a stat that today, the average sports family spends between 4-10% of income *PER CHILD*. If you have 3-4 very sporty kids, that can totally change your financial life in retirement (and ultimately what the kids inherit, etc).

I have to say, although I'm ranting against much of this, I'm guilty of it too with my sons.

stoptothink
Posts: 6791
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by stoptothink » Wed May 29, 2019 10:50 am

clacy wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:35 am
Not directly pertaining to the OP's question but allow me to rant on a subject that is a hot button....

Youth sports are out of control in the current day and age. The parents are to blame. I see way too much early specialization. And the proliferation of club/AAU teams for kids as young as 6-7 is crazy. Traveling and spending multiple $1,000's per year for an 8 year old is something I can't justify.

I am seeing kids play year round sports by the 2nd grade. Not that it's inherently bad. I know it can be managed, and I'm trying to manage youth sports with my sons as well as I can. I just worry that many will quit other sports, for the purpose of specialization, before they get a chance to figure out which sport they're best at, or will enjoy the most as teenagers.

I am friends with a MLB all-star who loved football growing up and that was always his true love, but realized in his early teens that he was better at baseball. It's a good thing for him ($50m+) that he didn't specialize in football in 3rd grade and quit baseball.

I played major college football and flirted with the NFL and didn't play organized sports including football, before 8th grade. I say that only to make the point that genetics play a huge role in moving to higher levels in sports, and you don't have to specialize for many sports as early as most parents are pushing these days.

I also worry that pushing so many of these kids into club teams and playing year round will affect many of them mentally as they get older and realize there is always someone better or more genetically gifted, although realistically the kids probably handle it better than the parents :)

A friend of a friend is a local HS baseball coach and says every year he fields 20 calls from parents of kids who didn't make their squad, with the parents leading with "You mean to tell me my kid who has played club baseball for the past 10 years isn't good enough to make your team?" and his response is "Unfortunately, that's exactly what I'm telling you."

At the end of the day, it seems many parents are pushing their kids into an Eastern European model of extreme specialization and year round training. That annoys me and makes me wonder if many of these kids are missing out on free play, and/or enjoying other sports or non-physical activities. And there are plenty of people who will take full financial advantage of a sports parents desire to see their child succeed.

/End of rant :)
As another former D1 football player who spent a good part of their career training guys for the NFL and NBA combines :sharebeer .

clacy
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:50 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by clacy » Wed May 29, 2019 10:56 am

stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:50 am


As another former D1 football player who spent a good part of their career training guys for the NFL and NBA combines :sharebeer .

I'm jealous! I totally regret not getting into coaching of some sort. I mean, I coach a lot of youth rec sports, but for HS or above, I can't imagine not having a blast every day at work.

stoptothink
Posts: 6791
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by stoptothink » Wed May 29, 2019 11:00 am

clacy wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:56 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:50 am


As another former D1 football player who spent a good part of their career training guys for the NFL and NBA combines :sharebeer .

I'm jealous! I totally regret not getting into coaching of some sort. I mean, I coach a lot of youth rec sports, but for HS or above, I can't imagine not having a blast every day at work.
It was a blast, also not particularly lucrative. I worked for two different universities then at Athlete's Performance (now EXOS), I'm now a megacorp exercise scientist. Much happier (and financially stable) now.

jb1
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:33 am
Location: NC

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by jb1 » Wed May 29, 2019 11:01 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:07 am
9 year old kids have travel teams?
My 9 year old team I’m coaching travel at minimum 2 hours for an away game. It’s ridiculous!!!

chevca
Posts: 3007
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by chevca » Wed May 29, 2019 11:09 am

I do agree with the parent thing these days. Not that it hasn't been this way for longer than even 'these days'. But, parents easily lose sight of reality and think their kid is an all star because they play on a club team. They will get better with better coaching and playing against better competition. But, as mentioned, there's still a genetic limit there somewhere. Not everyone will be Michael Jordan just because they play on a club team. Wasn't he even cut from his youth teams, if I recall?

The kids I played sports with and against growing up that went on to college and pro sports were just natural athletes. They were good, no, great and any and every sport they tried. It wasn't because they specialized in a sport or parents paid for club teams. They were just good because they were born that way. Sure, there's the athlete that makes it to the top level because of hard work and they weren't all that talented. But, they're few and far between in reality. Most that make it to the top were just born that way and coaching and training only makes them that much better.

And, I never played sports beyond high school even though I always wanted to, and I'm a father of a couple rec league soccer kids. :happy

stan1
Posts: 7999
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by stan1 » Wed May 29, 2019 11:16 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:07 am
9 year old kids have travel teams?
Do you not have kids or do you live in a cave? :shock:

nepats
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:56 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by nepats » Wed May 29, 2019 12:08 pm

I don't get the negative sentiment for pursuing Travel soccer at a young age. :? If you can afford it and your kid loves it, then so be it. Kids need an outlet too, and organized sports provide much better platform for that. If tomorrow she decides that she wants to play softball or some other sport, we are fine with it too. My point is that at a young age, it's important to discover what you like to do and learn to work hard at it. I think Travel soccer will provide that for our daughter. YMMV. :wink:

SC Anteater
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:50 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by SC Anteater » Wed May 29, 2019 12:14 pm

clacy wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:35 am
Not directly pertaining to the OP's question but allow me to rant on a subject that is a hot button....

Youth sports are out of control in the current day and age. The parents are to blame. I see way too much early specialization. And the proliferation of club/AAU teams for kids as young as 6-7 is crazy. Traveling and spending multiple $1,000's per year for an 8 year old is something I can't justify.

I am seeing kids play year round sports by the 2nd grade. Not that it's inherently bad. I know it can be managed, and I'm trying to manage youth sports with my sons as well as I can. I just worry that many will quit other sports, for the purpose of specialization, before they get a chance to figure out which sport they're best at, or will enjoy the most as teenagers.

I am friends with a MLB all-star who loved football growing up and that was always his true love, but realized in his early teens that he was better at baseball. It's a good thing for him ($50m+) that he didn't specialize in football in 3rd grade and quit baseball.

I played major college football and flirted with the NFL and didn't play organized sports including football, before 8th grade. I say that only to make the point that genetics play a huge role in moving to higher levels in sports, and you don't have to specialize for many sports as early as most parents are pushing these days.

I also worry that pushing so many of these kids into club teams and playing year round will affect many of them mentally as they get older and realize there is always someone better or more genetically gifted, although realistically the kids probably handle it better than the parents :)

A friend of a friend is a local HS baseball coach and says every year he fields 20 calls from parents of kids who didn't make their squad, with the parents leading with "You mean to tell me my kid who has played club baseball for the past 10 years isn't good enough to make your team?" and his response is "Unfortunately, that's exactly what I'm telling you."

At the end of the day, it seems many parents are pushing their kids into an Eastern European model of extreme specialization and year round training. That annoys me and makes me wonder if many of these kids are missing out on free play, and/or enjoying other sports or non-physical activities. And there are plenty of people who will take full financial advantage of a sports parents desire to see their child succeed.

/End of rant :)
Not just mentally, but physically. too. Blown ACLs, multiple concussions, etc. (both of which happen in youth soccer players).

There was just an article in the Washington Post the other day about the rise in ACL tears caused by year round basketball.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2 ... a0d8d26919

quantAndHold
Posts: 3534
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by quantAndHold » Wed May 29, 2019 1:16 pm

stan1 wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 11:16 am
quantAndHold wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:07 am
9 year old kids have travel teams?
Do you not have kids or do you live in a cave? :shock:
We live in the cave. Actually, when the kids were growing up, it was a transitional neighborhood in the city (now it has gentrified). Within reason, we let them do whatever activities that they were interested in, but since few of their classmates could have afforded something like this, it just never came up. They played sports in the rec leagues in the park 2 blocks from our house.

I had coworkers who had kids in travel leagues, but I didn't really think about it other than to be grateful that my kids hadn't asked to do that.

SurfCityBill
Posts: 508
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 10:15 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by SurfCityBill » Wed May 29, 2019 1:26 pm

Those costs do seem high but then my kids played in CA. If those are just coaching fees then someone's making a killing. Factor in travel costs, hotel stays, meals, incidentals, etc, and it seems like those costs could double.

stan1
Posts: 7999
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by stan1 » Wed May 29, 2019 1:41 pm

Part of what's changed is that the coaches are now operating some of these clubs as small businesses with themselves and sometimes their spouse and kids as full time employees (no other employment income). As with any business they have to build a brand and a value proposition to consumers. I don't think most are getting rich off it and most have a passion for the sport, but its not just people taking off work an hour early once a week for a practice and two hours every weekend for a season like it was when I was growing up (admittedly 40 years ago now).

User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 14328
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed May 29, 2019 7:21 pm

jb1 wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:04 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 8:23 am
jb1 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 10:15 pm
Realistic chance to play in college?
You can pay for a lot of college saving $3K a year for it. I think this sort of thing is terrible as an investment. Now if you want to play comp sports, go for it, but don't pretend it's an investment. That "investment" has got to have a negative return on average.
But if there is a chance for a scholarship?
Can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not, but that's exactly what I was referring to. Want a college scholarship? Invest $3K a year from birth to age 18. At 8%, that's $112K. That's a pretty nice scholarship that would pay for both undergrad and grad school around here. Even if you don't start until age 8, it's still $43K. That's close to a full ride here in Utah.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

colonialrampage
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:38 am

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by colonialrampage » Wed May 29, 2019 7:39 pm

For the sports parents in this thread here's a review of a recent book that spends a good amount of time talking about whether early specialization is a good thing or not.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/28/book ... range.html

I haven't read it yet but I'm high in the library queue and should get it soon.

Dottie57
Posts: 7503
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by Dottie57 » Wed May 29, 2019 8:36 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 8:23 am
jb1 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 10:15 pm
Realistic chance to play in college?
You can pay for a lot of college saving $3K a year for it. I think this sort of thing is terrible as an investment. Now if you want to play comp sports, go for it, but don't pretend it's an investment. That "investment" has got to have a negative return on average.
It’s not just th e money, but the time spent.

IMO
Posts: 704
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by IMO » Wed May 29, 2019 9:09 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 8:29 pm
So our 14-yr old tried out for a local soccer club here in TX. I figured it would be ~$1k like it was in CA.

The paperwork after the tryout said he'll land in one of three tiers:
- $2.8k
- $2.2k
- $1.7k

Seems like a lot. Is this typical?
Unfortunately, I suspect these type of fees are getting to be pretty standard for any sports teams outside of high school sport teams.

We have a similar aged child in a specialized sport activity that now runs $3K-$4K per year. It could even get more expensive if we opted as there are summer camps to supplement the sport that are in the range of $2-3K per week, with some parents opting to send their kid(s) to often multiple 1-2 week long summer camp sessions. We don't opt for the summer camps because we don't feel it's worth the money and we feel that there should be a break to participate in other sports (for which our child does). The costs doesn't interfere with other important financial life goals (ie. affecting retirement or college fund). Seems that yearly cost is less than a typical 1 week vacation nowadays anyway (and provides more value to our family relatively speaking).

It should be emphasized in our child's activity, that none of the parents have any delusions that this money is going to get their kid a college scholarship because their are no college scholarships available in the sport (and I don't think it matters to most financially anyway). It seems the parents financially can afford it and simply feel participation is developing them lifelong skills in the sport, a positive sports experience and the ability to develop life long friendships. The structured time with like-minded drug free peers on weekends is a definitive bonus, and the activity in no way detracts from our normal weekend sports desired activity. Bottom line, the activity is a passion of our child and thus we have no problems with it. Sure I wish it were less money, but it's a reasonable compromise that will end once high school ends. I'm in the camp that one can choose to spend discretionary income on whatever they personally desire, be it cars, travel, etc and who am I to judge what is the best use of one's money.

I do think it is probably a bit wishful when parents think that spending all the money/time is worth it because it could win them the lottery of a college scholarship. I suppose it can/does for a small percentage of parents, but as others have pointed out, one would be better simply investing that amount of money early on.

What I would say to any prospective parents on paying the high coaching fees:
Do it if it provides enjoyment to yourself and your child so long as it isn't negatively affecting your ability to save for other important future financial goals/needs. Don't do it if your thinking it's going to pay for college. Having one's child participate in no way should mean they are expected to be the best in the sport which is okay. If the child doesn't it enjoy it, then stop. If you don't enjoy it, then that takes some soul searching on continuing.

What I've seen regarding the athlete's:
There are only a very small set of athlete's that have what it takes to be a true elite level athlete. No amount of time/money are going to magically make one get to that level, things like natural ability will always limit the true elite athlete. However, time/money/effort can make the right athlete extremely talented.

Problem with sports today:
Specialization is required at an early age to be competitive in today's athletic world. Problem is that comes with many problems such as overuse injuries, burnout, etc.
Last edited by IMO on Wed May 29, 2019 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

scorcher31
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:13 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by scorcher31 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:21 pm

Where I grew up there were no travel leagues. You played a rec league which was cheap until about middle school age when the you played on the school team and the recc leagues disappeared. You pretty much played basketball, track, football, golf or baseball/softball. Nobody played or even watched soccer in my area while growing up maybe it's more expensive for some reason but I can't imagine why.

Unless I thought my child was going pro in something athletic...never going to happen... I would just have them do the school league. Heck even if they were that good there is nothing like carrying your team to a championship. Now if they wanted to do something that wasn't available in a school league/rec league...horseback riding, martial arts, etc I might cave and spend whatever it costs. I just don't think I would want them to devote all this travel, time and stress to any one extra curricular activity.

scorcher31
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:13 pm

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Post by scorcher31 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:26 pm

Are there really travel teams for things like basketball and football? Most college players seem to be scouted from their high school still to my understanding

Post Reply