Supporting Your Child’s Sports Talents Without Spending a Fortune

The cost for youth athletics varies significantly by sport, but the average spent is $693 per year, according to the Aspen Institute. If you’re raising a hockey player, you’ll pay a lot more, often an average of $2,583. The median household income for 2020 was $67,521, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But no matter where your household income falls, finding ways to support your child’s sports interests on a budget is worthwhile. To learn more, explore the tips outlined below.

Limit the Options

Kids have year-round sports options in many areas. If your child plays multiple sports, your costs increase—not only the cost to participate but also the shoes, uniforms, and gear you need for different sports. Limit your child to one sport at a time. If possible, try out new sports before investing in all the gear.

Save on Equipment

Check out secondhand sporting goods stores to save money on required gear, or ask other local parents if they have older gear you can borrow or purchase. Buying equipment during the off-season can also be cheaper. Watch for sales at sporting goods stores, and buy extras of things like shin guards if you find a good deal.

Find an Affordable Playing Option

Recreational youth sports programs are often the cheapest, especially when they’re operated by the city. The YMCA offers a variety of youth sports and other activities. If you’re interested in private coaching to improve your child’s skills, look for a high school or college student-athlete to save money.


Some sports teams let you volunteer as a coach or team parent. In exchange for your time, you might get a discount on participation fees. If you don’t see this option advertised, ask if it’s available. Coaching as a hobby is great for your mental health, not to mention the opportunity for exercise. Getting regular exercise is another important way to reduce stress and be healthier. Volunteering to coach a youth team is a perfect way to remain active by working with kids.


Driving to multiple practices and games per week increases your gas costs. Reach out to other team parents to set up carpooling arrangements for practices and games. Choosing a team close to home also saves gas money.

Create a Home Practice Area

Having a safe area at home for practicing helps your child improve without expensive trips to practice facilities. Keeping your lawn in good shape is easier when you hire a professional. The cost of lawn care services can vary based on the yard size. Make sure any contractor you use has the experience and is fully insured.

Skip the Extras

Youth sports come with additional opportunities that cost extra. Travel teams might have optional tournaments, or there might be camps for an extra fee. When buying uniforms, the team might offer optional accessories. Skipping those extras saves you money. Also, find out what’s included with the fees. The club might offer free uniforms or gear, so buying those items yourself wastes money.

Support Your Child’s Sports Interests

It’s possible to find affordable sports opportunities for your child. Participating in sports can help your child’s mental health, as well as their physical wellbeing.

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