the money

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by drink your milk, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. drink your milk

    Jul 4, 2006
    every few days I wonder if I am walking into a sucker trap with this whole sport. I won't lie, this is not something we can just drop money on with no worry. Everything we invest in soccer, is being taken away from something else. And I don't mean a movie here or there. I mean a serious shift in household budgets.
    My daughter is young, U10. Most of the families within the club are well to do. I'm worried that we are being used for her playing ability.

    How often are the "have's" being given the better opportunities? At the end of it all, does it come down to who's paying the most money?
  2. loghyr

    loghyr ex-CFB

    Jul 11, 2006
    If it is a burden, talk to the club about it. There can be parts of the fee which get waived - if the club is willing to do so.
  3. BigGuy

    BigGuy Red Card

    Apr 12, 2007
    If you can not afford to pay whatthe club is asking for your daughter to play. Then you cannot do it. Finda cheaper club for her to play on or go rec. She will still be happy.

    Can't put yourself in a financial hole over this that would not be smart.
  4. the Next Level

    Mar 18, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Or do what I did. Earn more money.
  5. BigGuy

    BigGuy Red Card

    Apr 12, 2007
    That is a stupid answer you have no idea what their family expenses are none. Does your answer help them?

    I love this game to me it is art. To a 10 year old it is just a game. Family has to having living expenses you can't use housing and food money on a sport especially if he has more then one child.

    Certain things have to come first.

    If they lived in NYC in places like Brooklyn. They would be able to afford club ball with most clubs here.

    I think charging a parent a number over 400 to 2000 per season to play our game is nuts especially for a 10 yr old.

    Everybody has to get paid? Where is the love of the game.

    There are a lot of ways to keep the cost of playing down. Some clubs don't bother to do it. They get income from sponsers and fund raisers and other things do they pass that money on to their players families to keep the families cost down not many.

    Get explayers to coach ones who love the game and want to teach and pass on what they know to others. Who already have jobs and don't need the money.

    Play league games and the same number of friendly games and a local tournament or two and get volunteers from the parents to help out. It does not have to be an expensive sport.

    Don't let the players buy the uniforms. The club buys and owns the uniforms. You give them out at games and collect them after games. All ages on the club have the same club uniform you can get 3 yrs not seasons from uniforms if they did that.
  6. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

    Sep 29, 2002
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you're daughter is really good, you can quietly go to the club director and mention that the costs are too high. You will either get "assistance" or not. If not, then you will know your daughter is not being "used" for her talent, and you can change to a less expensive club with a clear conscience in January.
  7. the Next Level

    Mar 18, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Sorry there tough guy.

    It IS an option. Now if you choose not to take it that's fine. Just giving another option that could help, considering everybody else is only talking about how to try to scrape by with only what you have.

    Getting MORE is always an option.

    Personally, when confronted with the same situation I DID NOT want to get into asking for favors from my kids' club. So I took a different route and started another business, which has worked out well for my family in more circumstances than just soccer expenses.

    Why is that bad advice again?
  8. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Sep 23, 1999
    Denver, Co
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Most well-established clubs will have a scholarship policy.

    Some are based solely on income, the better ones are based on income AND monthly expenses. You may make a decent wage, but if you have a bunch of dependents, you may still be eligible for a scholarship.
  9. garnetgold67

    garnetgold67 Member

    Jun 18, 2007

    Just yesterday I was discussing this very issue with my wife. The kid is only playing GU9 "travel" and we have already spent over $500 dollars and the season hasn't even started. At this point, we can continue to rationalize the expense as it would cost us $450.00 during a calendar year to have her in two seasons of rec soccer and one season of "insert any other sport here."

    But what is the benefit? To what end? It's definetely not for a full ride! The best you could hope for is a partial scholarship, and you have to be one hell of a player to get 1/2. Think about it... If you spend $2,500 per year (not out of the realm of reality including fees, costs, travel expenses, hotels, etc.) for 8-10 years through U18, you will have spent $20,000 to $25,000. Put that same money into an interest bearing account and you have paid for college!

    Obviously its not for the riches of professional sport, as that does not exist for soccer in this country (and if it did the professional teams would bear the costs of your childs training and education!) And the chances of making a national team squad of less than 18 players 1,000,000 to 1.

    So if it is not for the reasons above, then why? Perhaps the benefit is "cultural capital", similar to private school, we are buying a circle of friends...Be honest people, travel soccer is on par with other economically exclusive sports such as tennis, golf, etc.

    But, I digress... Back to your question. You ask the question, are "we being used for her playing ability?" I would be more worried if I were being used for my PAYING ability! That the only reason my daughter is on the team is due to our willingness to pay.

    Finally, I would be disingenuous if I didn't admit that there is sense of fatherly pride in seeing my 6 year old child kick a** everyday out on that pitch against 7/8/9 year old elite players. Maybe that's why I pay...maybe?:)
  10. ranova

    ranova Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    If you didn't understand the first time, repeating the explanation won't help.
  11. Pinto

    Pinto New Member

    Aug 14, 2004

    Why do you pay? Because maybe it's good for your daughter?

    As you said, chances of pro or nat'l are pretty small, scholarship maybe bigger, but in the end, it probably costs more to develop a scholarship player than you end up saving, so it's a wash.

    So it must be for another purpose ... Why does anyone play sports?
  12. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Sep 23, 1999
    Denver, Co
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There are a bunch of better ways to invest your money. Soccer fees in hopes of a future college scholarship or future professional career shouldn't be one.

    Personally, I pay to have my son involved in soccer because he says it is fun, it makes him happy, he loves to compete, and it is a challenging environment for him. I suppose we could find these things with another less expensive alternative, but I know my son is being challenged by his team and his coach, and I want him to be the best he can be.

    If we reach a point where soccer isn't fun for him any longer and it becomes a chore, we'll stop and move on to something else.
  13. vabil

    vabil Member

    Sep 5, 2002
    If your child is being used for his/her ability you would know it. There are more kids paying less to be on certain teams that you may be aware of. If they're good players and are with the right club or team they may not pay any fees. I know someone whose child was asked to join a (U12)team on a full ride because they liked the kids ability. On the other hand if your child rides the bench on a big club team you are being used for your money.
  14. drink your milk

    Jul 4, 2006
    Here's the club's guidelines for scholarships:

    • Attempts made by team to fund the player.
    • Additional fundraising efforts on the player’s behalf.
    • Level of involvement of applicant in youth soccer, as a player, referee or coach.
    • Level of involvement of applicant's family (parents, siblings) in youth soccer.
    • Level of involvement in extra curricular activities (school, community).

    I think the first criteria, the attempts the team has made to fund the player makes things very difficult, and ultimately places the team roster and direction in the control of the parents. I thought the point was to avoid all this to begin with.
    I've asked for a parent meeting regarding fundraising, and it has been cancelled on me twice now. I'm frustrated and depressed about it.
    I hate the idea of having to walk out after the fall and find someplace else. She loves her friends and coaches. It's hard to deal with all around. I think I'm most upset that I was conned into this by a coach I really held in high esteem. It feels like the "upper tier" parents pressed him into producing results so he convinced us to play with them.

    As for the money... I have a second job. (Not a serious thing, but it brings in some extra money.) We pay the "big bucks" for the quality of coaching with the whole club, the DOC's, philosophies, etc. The coaching is excellent. We aren't there for the scholarships & other ilk. I want her to be trained properly so she will continue to love the game and eventually want to continue it as an extension of her adult life. To keep fit and be part of a community of sorts. And maybe a fall back career as a coach herself
    ;) (Of course it wouldn't be for the money haha)

  15. BigGuy

    BigGuy Red Card

    Apr 12, 2007
    I have a few questions if you don't mind me asking.

    How much is it to play per season and is the season fall spring long?

    Does the money include out of state tournaments if it does and how much for that part?

    Can you spread your payments over the whole year or not?

    My old club was not run by a DOC so that expense was never there. It was run by all the coaches and the founders of the club started this club in 1949.

    It was not run by the parents of the players. I would never coach in that situation ever.

    I had two of my own youth clubs and an adult club. I paid the club expenses with a partner. I did charge a nominal fee to play Less then 70 dollars a year which was a fall spring season and a few tournaments included.

    A lot of the youth players families did not have a lot of money. If they did not pay by the registation date I would say pay me 10 dollars a month and never mention it again. Then I just never followed up on it and forgot about it.

    I certainly was not in it for the money. Neither were the two clubs I coached at.
  16. Bird1812

    Bird1812 New Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    DYM, how old is your daughter? Is she able to contribute financially herself? My kids got their reffing certification and did a couple games on the weekend. It's a pretty good way to make some money if the coaches and adults on the sidelines can behave themselves.
  17. BigGuy

    BigGuy Red Card

    Apr 12, 2007
    In the posters original post

    "My daughter is young, U10."
  18. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Things aren't nearly that tight for us, but there's no doubt that the money we pay for travel soccer and uniforms and tournaments could be used for something else we no longer can afford, or at least justify.

    No offense, but isn't that what you want? I'd like to think that my son's team is "using" him for his playing ability, as well. :)

    Don't all of the families in your club pay the same?

    I'm afraid there's no doubt that having disposable household income determines a child's opportunities to play travel soccer. That's just the way it is.
  19. matador11

    matador11 Member

    Jun 21, 2000
    South Florida
    I remember years ago, when I was 13, I joined my first travel soccer club. Until then my family had lived in South Florida's urban centers. So, naturally, I played football, basketball, baseball, but not soccer. I only started playing once we moved to the suburbs - at 13.

    After the first couple of games, one of the parents approached my father and suggested I was good enough to one day get a college scholarship. My father, being a newly arrived immigrant, had no idea they offered such a thing for soccer. But he loved the idea.

    Little did he know that over the next 5 years, he would spend the equivalent of a 4 year college tuition on my club-related expenses. This, to say nothing of the inordinate amount of time spent taking me to practices, games, clinics and tournaments. Eventually, I was one of the lucky few who did get a full ride for college to play the sport I loved. This despite not always playing on the "best" club teams or for the "best" club coaches.

    Despite all the money and time spent, my father insists he would not change a thing - even if it meant no college scholarship. I agree with him. Soccer gave me a sense of self-worth, friends for life, and lessons for life that are, frankly, priceless. I owe so much to the sport and the relationships that I built through the years that I simply would not know where I'd be today without it.

    So, my advice, for what it's worth. There is no need for your kid to be with the "best" or most "expensive" clubs unless she absolutely loves it there. More than ever, college and professional scouts in the US are realizing that these "elite", suburban travel clubs are not the end all, be all they proclaim. If you're kid is good enough, they will find her.

    But above all, if she truly enjoys the sport, then keep her in it. Even if it means taking a loss. The benefits she will gain will far outweigh the money you ultimately lose. [disclaimer: of course if you simply cannot afford it, then there are cheaper alternatives]
  20. BigGuy

    BigGuy Red Card

    Apr 12, 2007
    Your father was an immigrant and he took you to games?

    The sons of immigrants I get are hardly ever at games. They are too busy working I think that is great. You had a good daddio.
  21. i dunno BigGuy, the dads that worked were good dads. matador and his dad were just lucky.;)

    Ours is a town club. U9 team. fees are minimal compared to others. 3 tournaments this fall. at this moment, i could just write the checks and be done. to me, working with the team to earn money...enforces the team/teamwork attitude. mine is an only child (for the moment) and it gives her more of a disposable income. one girl on her team has two older sisters that also play. what they do for one, they have to do for all.

    we fund raise. magazines, entertainment books, when they are a bit older they will bag groceries for tips (500-1000 for 3-5 hours on a sat or sun morning depending on how many show up). some of our parents want nothing to do with fundraising and just want to write the check. others cannot afford that so they do the fundraisers.

    for group sales, we schedule times, earn the money and divide it by how many girls show up. the rest write a check for that amount.

    we do goal money. nice way to put money in at small amounts.

    canning is great and easy. i can't tell you how much i have given to our town/school teams one dollar at a time between canning and bagging. it's my kids turn.

    it all comes down to priorities and realistic expectations. in my horse world, i know people that are so financed (horses, trucks, trailers, tack, property) they can't buy their kid a winter coat.:confused:

    everyone puts their money into something:D

    i also agree, if you are looking for that free ride for college, they are few and far between. invest that money.
  22. matador11

    matador11 Member

    Jun 21, 2000
    South Florida
    My old man would take time off work to come watch me play. Of course at the time I took that for granted. But now that I have a son and a full time job, I realize what a sacrifice that truly was.
  23. BallOfFire

    BallOfFire New Member

    Sep 15, 2006

    I understand your questions and they are very valid! It is something if you continue down the competitive soccer road, that you will ask yourself and weigh frequently - NO MATTER how good your child is At THIS sport and no matter how much money you have.

    There are benefits to your child, no doubt, but don't sacrifice a Family for this one sport. The benefits include having your child succeed at a high level, learn about team success (which translates to life team success and relationships - be it personal or business), incredible amount of confidence - nice!! Having a blast while doing that, but learning that there is ALWAYS the chance of being replaced by someone better (there's always that someone out there).... Is that too much pressure for your child or is he/she well enough grounded to understand that principle?

    If you see your child with a ball at their feet almost every day in the house or outside on their own, encourage it .... do whatever you have to do (financially or otherwise) to keep the PASSION. It's the child who is what I call a FREAK, who you should support no matter the cost.

    If you see your child, not wanting to go to practice (even if he/she is good or great at it).. Cut your loss now or find a rec team or another team (save the $$$) that may or may not bring back the love of the game, but in the mean time see if he/she has other interests. This child is really young and should absolutely be allowed to find their own interests and what makes them happy!

    Follow your childs lead. Listen to them, ask them simple questions at this age, like do you want to commit to a solid year of... and give them every reason to say no,,,, and when they don't (if they don't).... BRING IT ON - WHATEVER THE COST - MAKE IT HAPPEN!

    Good luck - this parenting/money thing is certainly not easy - trust your kids and your own instinct. Good luck
  24. Norsk Troll

    Norsk Troll Member+

    Sep 7, 2000
    Central NJ
    Just out of curiosity, since I saw someone reference numbers like $450/year for Rec, what sorts of fees do your clubs charge for Rec/Travel? My club charges $65/season (Fall and Spring) per Rec player, and I believe that's also what they charge Travel players. Travel players have to pay for their uniforms, but I think our club just negotiated a deal with adidas where they get the whole kit for under $100. I imagine tournaments, travel expenses, etc., are extra, but our costs seem fairly low in comparison to what you guys are talking about. We're in central New Jersey, by the way.
  25. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's about the same to be on the travel team for our son, although the other main league in our county charges quite a bit more (paid coaches, a trainer, they own a lighted field turf field, etc.). And my son's team was able to get some pretty sharp-looking uniforms for under 100 bucks. Three sets--black, white, and blue. No more t-shirts.

    But the tournament fees add up. And the motels, etc.

    Still, I think we do it a lot more modestly than some others do--our league is all volunteer, so there are no paid coaches or trainers to support as in the rival league here in our county. I guess I'm saying it depends.

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