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Apr, 2023

How to Support Your Child's Sports Interests Without Breaking Your Budget

How to Support Your Child's Sports Interests Without Breaking Your Budget

One of the difficulties of parenting involves balancing the support of your child's endeavors and the costs associated with that. Parents don't always want to blow money on something that their child may give up quickly, nor do they want to block their child from an amazing opportunity. Here are six considerations to make when getting your child into sports.

Choosing the Right Sport

The first step is choosing the right sport. Studies show that the cost of different sports can change drastically between the necessary equipment, lessons required, travel expenses, and more. In general, sports like track and field, basketball, and soccer are on the cheaper side of the spectrum, whereas gymnastics, field hockey, and winter sports are far more expensive. If your child is just starting out, consider starting with a less expensive sport. This is also a good opportunity to make sure your child understands healthy competition. They should know to strive for greatness but that winning isn't the most important part of playing sports. Teamwork and learning from failure are valuable lessons. Offer a few of your own real-life examples so your child feels invested.


Finding Affordable Equipment

Once you and your child choose a sport, it's time to secure the necessary equipment. To save money, try shopping for used equipment. You can scope out thrift stores, fundraisers, or chains that specialize in reselling used equipment. Shopping off-season can save money, too. For example, winter sports equipment is far cheaper in the summer months.


Joining Public Teams

Private leagues have their own registration fees. Even public schools are charging pay-to-play fees, which can sometimes be outside of mid- to low-income families' budgets. However, if your child is just starting out, sticking with their school's extracurricular programs or even joining community teams can save a lot of money. 


Finding Private Coaches

Certain sports may require additional lessons for your child to learn the basics. Professional coaching can be incredibly expensive, but you can hire college athletes or search online networks for reasonably priced coaches. You can also coach your child yourself, so long as you understand the responsibility.


Networking With Other Parents

Other parents can be valuable resources, from carpooling to practices and games to getting deals on lessons or equipment. How you connect with those parents is up to you, but make the effort to befriend other parents and create a more communal space.



Volunteering as an assistant coach or manager could help save costs and keep you even more invested in your child's sports. Many sports programs will provide training for free since they need extra help to manage the children, referee, coordinate games, and more.


Creating a Practice Space at Home

One of the best things you can do for your child is to create a safe space for them to practice at home. Most youth sports are field sports. If your child participates in soccer, field hockey, or another field sport, try having a professional lawn aeration service treat your yard. Lawn aeration helps keep your lawn healthy by helping nutrients circulate through the soil. The right company might offer additional services such as fertilization, weed removal, and dethatching, so make sure you check out the services, referrals, and reviews of different licensed companies in your area. 

You can still help your child follow their athletic interests without spending too much money. All it takes is a bit of research and some savvy spending to make sure you're not breaking your budget.

Written by Colleen Stewart of Playdate Fitness

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