Club sports mean 12-month investment
With the increasing popularity of travel sports, seasons have lengthened to the point where players can have one activity almost year-round.
“It is an investment,” Marion parent Kris Burkholder said. “My girls love volleyball. They want to improve their skills so they can do better in high school.”
Effective budgeting is one of the most important steps, Burkholder said.
“It’s year-to-year, but sometimes that means we don’t take a trip over spring break,” she said. “Maybe it means that we have this in our budget, so we’re not going out to eat as often.”
To avoid the price-crunch during the season, it helps to set aside money every month, Burkholder said.
“When club season isn’t on, I try to put so much money a month into a fund,” she said. “It’s a matter of saving and planning, and we make that decision as a family.”
Competition-level can also change expenses, Peabody resident Janelle Stucky said.
“There are some people who can’t afford the higher-up teams,” she said.
According to Stucky, whose daughter plays in Wichita, it can be $500 to $600 just to join a team, and as much as $3,000 for teams that travel to other states.
“It depends on the level of your kid,” she said. “My daughter is good, but she chose the team she wanted to go with because of the girls on the team, and how the coach treated her.”
The amount of travel has a major impact on the price, too, Burkholder said. Her oldest daughter played on the gold-competitive team in Wichita this season, but they only participated in one tournament outside Kansas.
“That kept the cost down,” she said. “We had one tournament in Oklahoma City, but most of the other stuff has been around Wichita, Salina, and Pratt. They were drivable, one-day tournaments.”
Stucky said her daughter plays softball from March through October, but more than one travel sport isn’t a possibility.
“There’s no way,” she said. “Once you get to a certain age, you have to choose. She’ll play volleyball in high school, but when it comes to the travel stuff, it’s weekend tournaments all the time.”
Last modified April 4, 2019