Are Travel Sports Really Important?

The money parents are paying for the kids are paying off in the end.

Shreeya Chalasani, Staff Writer

Parents spend a lot of money on their children to play a sport or to have some sort of outdoor activity. The equipment, fees, and travel costs can be very pricey when it comes to sports. Travel sports tend to be more expensive since there are many expenses that need to be paid for such as flights, hotels, food, etc. But, there are also many benefits that come with the cost of money that parents are paying for these sports.

 Molly Schiff, a journalist for CNBC writes that “59% of families experience financial strain from their children’s sports, according to a recent survey from financial services company LendingTree.” They pay an excessive amount of money for their children to be able to play the sport they love but sometimes the prices can get too high,  making it unaffordable. Many families are forced to make sacrifices in order for their child to be on a travel sport or team. 

Although parents are not required to do this for their kids,  children having a sport is beneficial for their mental and physical health. “Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have proven to reduce anxiety and depression,” says the National Library of Medicine. Even though these exercises are very minimal and don’t cost a lot of money, children usually don’t like to do these menial activities, so if they enjoy doing different kinds of sports, they should. It can help their brain work better in school and can keep their body fit which is good for everyone.

Travel sports cost additional money than normal sports because of the cost that is added on when you need to leave the state or city where you live. Most of the time these fees are not covered by the team or club that the child plays for so it can be extremely pricey when adding up all the costs. Schiff says, “As far as costs go, 50% of parents plan to spend anywhere from $100 to $499 on fall sports expenses, including equipment, travel, and attire. Nearly 20% of parents expect to spend over $1,000”.  These teams are usually the best teams in their county or maybe even state so usually the sport they play could become something they do in college and make a career out of so the cost that parents pay initially will all be worth something in the long run. 

Not most kids continue their sports in college, but if they are really good at what they play, then they may even get sports colleges in some of the best colleges in the country. Recruited into the college or not, having a travel sport on your resume usually catches the attention of many colleges since it shows that you are dedicated to what you do, so doing these sports can always be a bonus. “ Athletic males are four times as likely to be admitted to an Ivy League school than non-athletic males. Female athletes have an even higher acceptance rate. The time and effort you put into your sport can help you through college”, according to Empowerly. This can give the kids an opportunity to be recruited into the college of their dreams while doing the sport they love. They could even get scholarships meaning they won’t have to pay for college. 

Children can also experience many relationships song the way with travel sports because usually these sports are played with a team and that team usually stays consistent with its player. They can create friendships that could last a lifetime. “Over my years of participating in sports either as player, coach, or parent, the people that I consider some of my closest friends I’ve met through my involvement in sports. To this day, my tightest circle of friends includes mostly those soccer teammates from my high school and college years” says Bird Brown, a journalist for The Baltimore Sun. Many memories are created which can cause forever-lasting friendships to form. These are the people that are with you forever and will help you whenever you need them. This is why sports can also be worth the cost because you will form bonds with people that will be by your side.

The cost of travel sports may be pricey, but in the end, it is worth it for the number of benefits that a kid can get from it. Sacrifices may need to be made but soon parents will realize that it was worth it and that the time, effort, and money they put into their child’s sport helped them out in the future.