Author Topic: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?  (Read 6431 times)

hunniebun

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I have a soon to be 8 year old son who is obsessed with hockey and wants nothing more in life than to be a goalie. He has played 3 years but this is the first year that they have refs and goalies and real rules.  He LOVES being a goalie and his entire christmas list is goalie equipment.  We build a rink in our yard each year for skating and hockey and it is a whole lot of family fun. However, next year when he turns 8 - competitive hockey begins with tryouts and the like.  He talks non-stop about wanting be an A1 goalie and he practices at home, studies youtube videos, does workouts and does yoga videos to increase his flexibility all on his own.   So far his coaches say he is very talented and shows promise, but at this age, the team rotates goalies and he only gets to play in net every 3 or 4th game.  He has asked to attend a goalie camp over christmas (400$) because the tryouts next year are very competitive and he wants the advantage.    I am under no delusions that he is going pro or anything, but he is single minded and so passionate about it. I feel like I need to spend the money because if he doesn't make the competitive team and is in the house league...he will continue to have to share the role rather than it being his position full time.  Do you think that spending money (even larger sums) to fuel a kids passion is a waste or a worth while investment? 

Lagom

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2016, 03:00:59 PM »
Do it. This is very different than buying him the latest hot toy or throwing tons of money at a hobby he's only just begun. This is an investment in your child's happiness, and it's encouraging/rewarding hard work and dedication, qualities that will pay dividends for his entire life regardless of how long he sticks with hockey. I would totally spend this money and I am a super grinchy parent that agonizes over every single Christmas gift. :)

Orvell

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 03:03:52 PM »
I think this is going to be the sort of thing where you get very different reactions from different people. I'm not a parent, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

My parents were extremely supportive of me: they let me hang a tight rope up in the backyard, and bought me a unicycle; they sent me to summer art classes as a kid, and made sure I was always kept in art supplies; they paid for private violin lessons and an expensive instrument; they bought me a telescope when I started obsessing over the universe.
They were extremely supportive, both financially and emotionally. I feel VERY LUCY. :) They also were very financially solvent, and it wasn't an imposition on them.

I think it's possible to be supportive emotionally and not financially, but if you're not going to bankroll certain activities, it takes more effort to make sure your kiddo knows you support/encourage/approve of his passion. :)
Can you involve your kiddo in fund raising?
Also, not being a goalie 100% of the time might be good for a better understanding of the game as a whole? He's only 8, after all. :)

A final note: I don't think this is a case where "investment" is the right mindset.
This is your kid. :) You're spending money to give them access to things because you believe it is/will be/could be beneficial to them (in whatever form "beneficial" takes). Not because you expect it to pan out into something.
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Bicycle_B

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 03:06:32 PM »
8 years old?  If you can afford it, do it.

"Afford it" = "less than a tenth of savings rate".  My opinion on this is worth what you paid for it, of course.

tonysemail

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2016, 03:22:28 PM »
with summer camps, I'm pretty happy to pay in the range of $250-$300/week.
So on one hand, $400 for hockey camp doesn't sound bad.
it's a lot less than I pay for year round classes like piano or art.

But I'd personally hate to join a comp team if it involved extensive travel.
I don't want to spend my weekends driving 2+ hours to face other comp teams.
That seems to be pretty typical from what I've heard of soccer and volleyball.
The expenses can also add up if hotels and coaches are involved.
It's quite a bit to dedicate to one sport and I'm more inclined to spread my time amongst several activities/classes.

I think it's difficult to envision sports as an investment if you aren't harboring scholarship dreams.
My wife's coworkers discussed this topic and concluded that you'd do best to bet your money on archery or fencing ;P

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2016, 04:05:17 PM »
My rule of thumb is that I make sure that the equipment and (lack of) training is not limiting my kids' progress / skill cap in their chosen endeavors.

My daughter plays viola.  I rented one until it looked like she would stick with it.  I then upgraded to a modest one.  Eventually her teacher said she needed a better viola and better strings and a better bow.  So I upgraded again.  The way she's going, she'll probably need an upgrade again in a year or two (partly due to size; she is a growing teenager).

She also plays tennis.  She played with my racquet for a while, then her Mom bought her a nicer one.  Her coach said she needed a better racquet, so I upgraded her to an even nicer one.  She has goals of making the high school varsity team, so I've offered to arrange lessons at the local swim and racquet club over the winter to help her towards that.

Her brother is a semi-pro video game player (no really, he is!) as well as a video editor and YouTuber (see sig).  The variable ping and low download speeds meant upgrading to the faster Internet and a hardwired connection to the router.  I also helped him get his first gaming rig set up and then pieces/parts upgraded several times (video card, power supply, monitor, keyboard, mouse, mousepad, gaming chair).

So to apply this to the OP, I would talk to his current hockey coach and say something like, "Hey, I know my son wants to do the competitive tryouts next spring.  Given his current skill level, do you think sending him to $400 camp would materially affect his chances of getting in?"  If so, and you could afford it, I would go for it.  If he's already a shoo-in, or if he has no real chance of making it with the camp or without, or if you can't afford it, I would say it then becomes a situation where he can either not go or earn his own money and pay to go himself.  Since he's young, and if you feel ambiguous about it, you could always match $1-for-$1, or $2-for-$1, or whatever ratio makes sense to you.
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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2016, 04:11:59 PM »
You had me at "7 year old son self-started at yoga" because of his passion for being a goalie.  That's a pretty exceptional drive and insight for 7.  I would fund the camp, as a Christmas present.

I like Orvell's point that if he plays in positions other than goalie he will get a better understanding of the game.  If he doesn't make it in the tryouts it will be a good approach for dealing with his disappointment.

Hockey might be a passing fad, a lifelong hobby or a way into a career either as a player or as coaching/support staff/management.  I hope as a family you can take pleasure in his interest and facilitate it as suits all of you, leaving room for family life and hopefully making any other children you have feel equally valued and attended to.

 
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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2016, 04:13:00 PM »
That $400 dollar camp sounds like a birthday present, to me.  Maybe Grandma and Grandpa can chip, in, too, and he gets it from the whole family.

I'm all about being supportive, but his dreams can involve some sacrifice on his part. 

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2016, 04:24:26 PM »
Sounds like a great Christmas gift idea, and the idea of a few relatives pitching in to support him this way is a great one. $400 to support a kid's passion, worth it!

secondcor521

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2016, 04:35:25 PM »
Hockey might be a passing fad, a lifelong hobby or a way into a career either as a player or as coaching/support staff/management.  I hope as a family you can take pleasure in his interest and facilitate it as suits all of you, leaving room for family life and hopefully making any other children you have feel equally valued and attended to.

I think this is an important point, and well said.  I think it is a danger to get into a transactional mindset - and I'm not saying the OP or anyone on this thread is doing this, but - "OK, we'll put in $400, and then we'll get him on this special team, and then (in return later) he will become pro / support us in our dotage / make us proud."

In terms of what I listed for my kids, one of those interests might turn into a career, one might turn into college scholarships, and one looks like it will just be a great life hobby.  I could be wrong, though, and things could turn out differently.  But each of those outcomes is totally fine with me; I'm just enjoying supporting my kids and seeing them grow and develop interests and coaching them through the life lessons that those interests provide.
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marty998

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2016, 04:54:53 PM »
Totally go for it. It's not just about the Hockey, gets him out of the house, making friends, being active.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2016, 05:23:23 PM »
Full time goalies in competitive teams at 8-9 seems pretty standard. As long as the kid actually knows how to skate and I assume he does because of the backyard rink I'm not sure different positions is really necessary.

I never learned how to skate, my dad just didn't have the dough or time. I'm sure he could have found free programs and skates but he didn't really put in the effort. 400 bucks sounds pretty cheap to me. However, if you are going to commit - your kid is going to grow every year so bigger equipment may be needed almost every other season and the costs are just going to keep getting more expensive, they could get to thousands per year. Even then I would say go for it, if it's his passion why not give him the chance?

Try to get him to compromise on fancy expensive equipment, make him understand that a 400 dollar trapper/blocker set or custom painted and molded mask at 9, 10 or 11 isn't going to male him a better goalie.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2016, 05:27:05 PM »
Do it.

I have played and coached ice hockey for years. Year round, goalies get the short end of the stick with coaching. Drills in "regular" hockey practice revolve around helping the other players, who cares about the goalie. They get good conditioning and some good coaches will figure out how to involve the goalies in a fair and responsible way. But most youth coaches are terrible at coaching goaltending too. Some are outright harmful - either because they don't know what they're talking about or because they indirectly teach the goalie to rely on poor fundamentals to compensate.

The reason the goalie camp has the possibility to be helpful is that you have actual experts watching him to give specific advice, and they are able to see him during drills and scrimmage exercises constructed for the purposes of helping a goalie. Teaching trick to push off the posts or how to keep a stick down or read a shooter/play - you can watch youtube or read about, but it doesn't compare to a coach actually seeing you in person and applying it to you and your peers. I have gotten a chance to see goalie camps and see goalies I know go through them, and a good one really is worth the pricetag.

That said, I would ask your son the following question: How would you feel if you go to the camp and don't make the team this next year?

I suspect the answer is that he would STILL love going to the camp, even if it's not just about getting to the next level immediately. Just being around "his people" for goalies - coaches and the other players - is SOOO important. Being a goalie is a unique calling. Most hockey players don't have it. Your son will absolutely love goalie camp if he does, and he will learn so much. (And if he doesn't love it, you will get a data point that maybe he *doesn't* want to keep going at the competitive youth levels). I would ask the question to make sure he is prepared for growth and learning (and fun!) along with the potential that he's not "buying" a successful tryout.


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steviesterno

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2016, 05:14:04 AM »
disclaimer, my son is 10 month old and if he's playing hockey it will only be goalie, no football ever:

it sounds like he's really dedicated to it and wants to do well. can you do a work/study program where you pay him for extra chores? May show the concept of working for what you want. Maybe above and beyond the usual, like if he washes all the dishes or you'll pay for it as long as he keeps bringing home a B+ average?

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2016, 05:49:37 AM »
In this case yes I think the money spent is good for your son.

My younger brother was in hockey when he was younger, so I remember how expensive it was.  They lived in a big hockey community where there was a gear swap every year.   Skates, pads, etc.  It helped to keep costs down.  Obviously there are certain things you will always want to buy new, but every little bit helps. 

My brother is now almost 30 and has played hockey for 25 years.  He has coached kids and still plays on a recreational team.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2016, 06:14:49 AM »
You had me at "7 year old son self-started at yoga" because of his passion for being a goalie.  That's a pretty exceptional drive and insight for 7.  I would fund the camp, as a Christmas present.

I like Orvell's point that if he plays in positions other than goalie he will get a better understanding of the game.  If he doesn't make it in the tryouts it will be a good approach for dealing with his disappointment.

Hockey might be a passing fad, a lifelong hobby or a way into a career either as a player or as coaching/support staff/management.  I hope as a family you can take pleasure in his interest and facilitate it as suits all of you, leaving room for family life and hopefully making any other children you have feel equally valued and attended to.

I agree. I can't see how this experience would not be worth $400. I'd send my child in a heartbeat.
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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2016, 06:57:30 AM »
My 19-y-o son is a passionate soccer goalie who plays on his college team. We spent a fair amount of money and a lot of time driving around to soccer camps, goalie trainings, tryouts, far-flung games for travel teams, etc. When he was little his soccer coach wanted him to have specialized goalie training, which we did pay for. Now, his team and coach are a cornerstone of his collegiate life, inspiring him to work hard both at athletics and academics. Soccer's kept him too busy/tired/engaged for serious drug experimentation. The driving was a mixed bag. I disliked it for environmental/frugality reasons but it was also nice to have car time together when he was in high school. Sounds like your kid is deeply drawn to goaltending and would benefit from having that cultivated if at all possible.

Daleth

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2016, 07:51:37 AM »
Do it. This is very different than buying him the latest hot toy or throwing tons of money at a hobby he's only just begun. This is an investment in your child's happiness, and it's encouraging/rewarding hard work and dedication, qualities that will pay dividends for his entire life regardless of how long he sticks with hockey. I would totally spend this money and I am a super grinchy parent that agonizes over every single Christmas gift. :)

I completely agree. Funding a child's passion for an activity that they're good at could literally set them up for life. I know someone who went to college on a hockey scholarship and many others who went on other athletic scholarships (football, baseball, gymnastics...). And of course, professional athletes have to come from somewhere and they pretty much always come from families where the kid was hugely passionate about whatever sport and the parents gave them the means to pursue it. And apart from any financial potential, my grandma was a track and field star in her teens and that activity gave her a really solid circle of friends. They were still friends 60 years later.

It's rare for people to become professional athletes or coaches, but some people do it and this kid fits the profile of at least having a chance. And if that doesn't happen, literally the worst case scenario is that he'll have an activity that "keeps him off the streets" as a teenager, gives him a gang of friends, keeps him in great physical condition, and sets him up with a lifetime habit of being active and staying in shape. The second-worst scenario is that in addition to all that, this passion of his, if supported by the parents, will fund his college education.

Notice how these worst-case scenarios are actually both awesome??? That's why I would absolutely support this as a parent, even though personally I truly have absolutely zero interest in sports. And hell, I've got twins--what if they both get passionate about some expensive sport at the same time? I'd still do it. Part of parenting is being a launching pad for your kids to have good lives.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2016, 07:56:28 AM by Daleth »

Milizard

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2016, 09:02:13 AM »
For a kid that obsessed with something good for him, I'd do it if I could reasonably afford it.  I'd also get used equipment as much as possible.  Still, only playing goalie position at 8 doesn't seem like the best idea, but then again, goalie is my least favorite position.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2016, 09:11:43 AM »
My daughter is 14yrs old and is a soccer goalie. She started playing soccer at age 7 and started playing goalie at age 8. She is now a goalie for one of the most competitve soccer academies in our state.

This has been entirely because of her passion for the sport. She had the opportunity to be on less competitive  (i.e. cheaper) teams with her friends but she is an alpha girl. She practices nonstop and wanted to be on the best team she can.

Is it expensive? Yeah, it probably costs me around 3k annually with all the crap that is involved. Is there a lot of driving? Yeah, i drive several hours a week for practices and then you add tournaments on top of that. Do I have regrets?

F*ck no!

I love watching her do something she is passionate about. That hour in the car driving is not "wasted" like a lot of the critics will tell you. That is spent with me talking to my daughter about what happened in the game, practice, whatever. Do you know how many teenagers daughters hardly talk to their fathers at all? Not mine - we talk all things soccer which naturally leads to other things that are going on in her life. I love taking her to practice, and watching her in games is awesome.

Her brother is 16 and is still struggling to find his passion. It pains me everyday.

So I say indulge your son if he is passionate. A decision like this is about more than numbers on a spreadsheet.

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hunniebun

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2016, 10:21:17 PM »
Thanks for the replies!  We are going to do the Christmas break camp and it works out well because I his birthday is early in the new year too, so it will be part of that, and he is getting some the equipment from Santa. I just have a feeling that this is just going to be the tip of proverbial ice berg.  I think it is a great point to just support it and go with it for as long as it lasts. He is pretty special kid...like he taught himself to solve the rubix cube in less than 1 minute by watching youtube videos. When he wants something, he works his tail off to get it/figure it out.  He played out today and scored a "epic" goal and even the lure of the glory of goal scoring can't sway him...he is counting down until his next turn in net.  We are hockey/soccer/baseball parents through and through. We all go as a family (grandparents and cousins sometimes too) and it is so fun to watch.   I sincerely hope that we are showing him that he is unconditionally supported...well maybe not financially...I know a hockey mom who has her son in a private hockey school and they spend close to 40 K per year on school, camps, travel, team uniforms etc. that will never happen for my son, but with in reason!! 

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2016, 04:30:56 AM »
I'm sure your son knows he is unconditionally supported. He sounds like a pretty special person, and with a family that cares for him and his own internal drive he will no doubt succeed in whatever he chooses to pursue.
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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2016, 06:26:03 AM »
The cost wouldn't sway me.

I am not willing to do a ton of crazy driving though. In order to maintain activities like competitive hockey, I'd have to find other families to spread out the burden of driving and travel.

I not hyper competitive and neither are my kids, so I'm swayed by that. The minute my kid had a concussion or other injuries, we'd be stepping back to rec levels. I don't care how passionate they are, it's not worth destroying your body as a kid/teenager.
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arebelspy

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2016, 07:10:58 AM »
Hell yeah, go for it!

Also I LOVE how almost everyone said this.

Really shows how Mustachians aren't just about the bottom line dollar, but about happiness.  People who say we all deprive ourselves (or our kids, or whatever) just don't get it. 

Cut back on the things that don't matter so you can spend on the things that do.  This seems like a good one to spend that surplus on.  :)
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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2016, 07:30:50 AM »
I am the biggest grinch and I think kids get way too much stuff. And I say hell yea. It sounds like your son is really committed, a hard worker, and knows what he wants. He'll love it and he'll love you for it too. Merry Xmas! 
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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2016, 10:42:08 AM »
I love this on so many levels. I love how your son doesn't want all of the usual crap from a dozen different categories. I love how he doesn't want to engage in a dozen different activities (or have a parent signing him up for such.) There's something to be said for being well-rounded or a Renaissance man but the world tends to reward those who are savagely good at one thing. Even if hockey peters out at a certain point, that intense focus will be invaluable.

I have a 14-year-old son who is a year-round competitive swimmer and an 11-year-old who wants to make Eagle Scout at 14. But they still want to play video games or get on the phone whenever possible.

My wife and I have offered to take 14-year-old to our yoga class. I have a fitness background and have offered to supplement his dryland training. He's resisted, so we don't push. A kid today can study everything online, including how the greats trained when they were 8 or 10 or 12. Sounds like your kid had discovered his passion, something many don't find ever.
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Poundwise

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2016, 02:08:10 PM »
Another vote for yes!  Your son has shown unusual passion, focus, and problem solving skills... treasure it.

TrMama

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2016, 04:01:29 PM »
Do it. I have an 8yo and a 10yo. I'd be thrilled if they had that much passion for something. We've tried a gazillion different activities and nothing seems to really stick. It's so much harder to parent a kid when they don't have that drive. At least you'll always know where your kid is and what he's doing.

I also agree that he should have some "jobs" around the house to help pay for his hobby. Let him know that you and DH work hard so he can do hockey. In exchange, he needs to pull his weight at home so you'll have the time and energy to run him around and foot the bills. My parents did this with me and my expensive sport and it taught me a lot of good lessons and prevented my parents from dying of overwork ;-)

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2016, 04:42:17 PM »

I also agree that he should have some "jobs" around the house to help pay for his hobby. Let him know that you and DH work hard so he can do hockey. In exchange, he needs to pull his weight at home so you'll have the time and energy to run him around and foot the bills. My parents did this with me and my expensive sport and it taught me a lot of good lessons and prevented my parents from dying of overwork ;-)

+1.  From what you've described, if my kid was that passionate about something (especially at age 7 or 8), YES, I would pay the $400 and support him.  For a kid of that age to show that level of commitment is rare and I think it's worth fostering--even if he doesn't become a pro hockey player, that kind of determination/focus is going to serve him well in life, so it should be encouraged.  But I would make sure he "earned" part of it with chores or possibly maintaining level of performance at school, just so he knows that life is not 100% about hockey.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2016, 05:15:59 PM »
I love the passion too.  I posted something similar in enough thread about the increasing time/cost for my daughter's ballet classes (2 per week).  I interestingly got more negative responses for something that is similarly expensive (probably less) and MUCH less time commitment for her and me (no traveling).  She loves it and is passionate about dance, but not as all consumed as your son seems to be.  I totally get the internal debate.  But it is somewhat rare for a child to have a steadfast interest/passion in something.  I would support it, consistently be aware of/question whether he is continuing to enjoy it, and be open to changing course even after you have "invested" quite a bit.  There is much more to be gained from team competitive sports than possible scholarships.   

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2016, 08:31:33 PM »
I love the passion too.  I posted something similar in enough thread about the increasing time/cost for my daughter's ballet classes (2 per week).  I interestingly got more negative responses for something that is similarly expensive (probably less) and MUCH less time commitment for her and me (no traveling).  She loves it and is passionate about dance, but not as all consumed as your son seems to be.  I totally get the internal debate.  But it is somewhat rare for a child to have a steadfast interest/passion in something.  I would support it, consistently be aware of/question whether he is continuing to enjoy it, and be open to changing course even after you have "invested" quite a bit.  There is much more to be gained from team competitive sports than possible scholarships.

My passions change often. I always support them, and have rarely regretted it.
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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2016, 04:45:03 AM »
I love the passion too.  I posted something similar in enough thread about the increasing time/cost for my daughter's ballet classes (2 per week).  I interestingly got more negative responses for something that is similarly expensive (probably less) and MUCH less time commitment for her and me (no traveling).  She loves it and is passionate about dance, but not as all consumed as your son seems to be.  I totally get the internal debate.  But it is somewhat rare for a child to have a steadfast interest/passion in something.  I would support it, consistently be aware of/question whether he is continuing to enjoy it, and be open to changing course even after you have "invested" quite a bit.  There is much more to be gained from team competitive sports than possible scholarships.

My passions change often. I always support them, and have rarely regretted it.

I'm not sure why you quoted me or what your personal (adult?) passions have to do with this particular issue, but good for you.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2016, 08:04:24 AM »
I love the passion too.  I posted something similar in enough thread about the increasing time/cost for my daughter's ballet classes (2 per week).  I interestingly got more negative responses for something that is similarly expensive (probably less) and MUCH less time commitment for her and me (no traveling).  She loves it and is passionate about dance, but not as all consumed as your son seems to be.  I totally get the internal debate.  But it is somewhat rare for a child to have a steadfast interest/passion in something.  I would support it, consistently be aware of/question whether he is continuing to enjoy it, and be open to changing course even after you have "invested" quite a bit.  There is much more to be gained from team competitive sports than possible scholarships.

For the record, I would have supported investing in your daughter's ballet just as much, and for the same reasons. Even just looking at the financial side, plenty of people get dance scholarships and there are probably far, FAR more professional dancers than professional athletes, so there is more of a shot at a career.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2016, 08:58:39 AM »
I love the passion too.  I posted something similar in enough thread about the increasing time/cost for my daughter's ballet classes (2 per week).  I interestingly got more negative responses for something that is similarly expensive (probably less) and MUCH less time commitment for her and me (no traveling).  She loves it and is passionate about dance, but not as all consumed as your son seems to be.  I totally get the internal debate.  But it is somewhat rare for a child to have a steadfast interest/passion in something.  I would support it, consistently be aware of/question whether he is continuing to enjoy it, and be open to changing course even after you have "invested" quite a bit.  There is much more to be gained from team competitive sports than possible scholarships.

As I recall, your daughter was a little younger, and the question was to add classes now or wait a year or 2.  Ballet is also very structured. much more so than most sports.  May seem like nitpicking here, but it makes a difference with the younger ages.  Unstructured play is what the experts are stressing these days.  Practicing hockey on a backyard rink?  Pretty unstructured.  Doing ballet barre exercises?  I don't think it gets more structured than that.  Dancing on her own around the house?  Very unstructured.  I know the younger ballet classes are a bit less formal, but if they're pushing for more classes to make more progress, they're going to be stressing more structure there.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2016, 10:16:40 AM »
I love the passion too.  I posted something similar in enough thread about the increasing time/cost for my daughter's ballet classes (2 per week).  I interestingly got more negative responses for something that is similarly expensive (probably less) and MUCH less time commitment for her and me (no traveling).  She loves it and is passionate about dance, but not as all consumed as your son seems to be.  I totally get the internal debate.  But it is somewhat rare for a child to have a steadfast interest/passion in something.  I would support it, consistently be aware of/question whether he is continuing to enjoy it, and be open to changing course even after you have "invested" quite a bit.  There is much more to be gained from team competitive sports than possible scholarships.

As I recall, your daughter was a little younger, and the question was to add classes now or wait a year or 2.  Ballet is also very structured. much more so than most sports.  May seem like nitpicking here, but it makes a difference with the younger ages.  Unstructured play is what the experts are stressing these days.  Practicing hockey on a backyard rink?  Pretty unstructured.  Doing ballet barre exercises?  I don't think it gets more structured than that.  Dancing on her own around the house?  Very unstructured.  I know the younger ballet classes are a bit less formal, but if they're pushing for more classes to make more progress, they're going to be stressing more structure there.

I agree that she was younger (6.5 as opposed to almost 8) and ballet is certainly structured, so I agree with your point there.  But the issue was whether to add one additional 1-hr class, for a total of 2, less than a year earlier than anticipated.  And that's me being nitpicky, but I also don't think comparing it to playing hockey in the backyard is an accurate characterization of the OP.   Having observed my friend go through this with her 7 year old, competitive hockey teams are a very time consuming, expensive, mostly structured undertaking.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 10:19:03 AM by jezebel »

hunniebun

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2016, 02:18:58 PM »
Jezebel - I have a daughter who is 4 who is also in dance. She also LOVES it and is a complete star.  Next the question will become, if I am bank rolling one kid's passion....can we afford to bankroll two? And if not, who wins? Or does nobody get because they can't both have equal opportunity. Thankfully I can save that questions for another day, because she is so little an one- 1 hour class per week is plenty...likely until that 6-7 mark.  But I see that both my kids are VERY driven when they want something...and that is apparent even at early ages.  Like when you have a 3 year old who looks at a 50 piece puzzle tries it for 2 seconds and moves on to something else vs another 3 year old who will sit there working on that puzzle for 25 minutes until they finally figure it out. Or my daughter who practices drawing hearts...like 100 per day because she wants to be able to make one 'perfectly'. I just don't see that kind of quest for excellence in other kids of the same age in their peer group.

The good news is, that if and when it does happen that both kids are passionate and committed to something, I am passionate and committed to them and will make it work financially.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2017, 04:32:34 PM »
I think this is going to be the sort of thing where you get very different reactions from different people. I'm not a parent, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

My parents were extremely supportive of me: they let me hang a tight rope up in the backyard, and bought me a unicycle; they sent me to summer art classes as a kid, and made sure I was always kept in art supplies; they paid for private violin lessons and an expensive instrument; they bought me a telescope when I started obsessing over the universe.
They were extremely supportive, both financially and emotionally. I feel VERY LUCY. :) They also were very financially solvent, and it wasn't an imposition on them.

I think it's possible to be supportive emotionally and not financially, but if you're not going to bankroll certain activities, it takes more effort to make sure your kiddo knows you support/encourage/approve of his passion. :)
Can you involve your kiddo in fund raising?
Also, not being a goalie 100% of the time might be good for a better understanding of the game as a whole? He's only 8, after all. :)

A final note: I don't think this is a case where "investment" is the right mindset.
This is your kid. :) You're spending money to give them access to things because you believe it is/will be/could be beneficial to them (in whatever form "beneficial" takes). Not because you expect it to pan out into something.

Please post a picture of you riding your unicycle on a tightrope while playing the violin! :)

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2017, 05:01:44 PM »
I have a soon to be 8 year old son who is obsessed with hockey and wants nothing more in life than to be a goalie. He has played 3 years but this is the first year that they have refs and goalies and real rules.  He LOVES being a goalie and his entire christmas list is goalie equipment.  We build a rink in our yard each year for skating and hockey and it is a whole lot of family fun. However, next year when he turns 8 - competitive hockey begins with tryouts and the like.  He talks non-stop about wanting be an A1 goalie and he practices at home, studies youtube videos, does workouts and does yoga videos to increase his flexibility all on his own.   So far his coaches say he is very talented and shows promise, but at this age, the team rotates goalies and he only gets to play in net every 3 or 4th game.  He has asked to attend a goalie camp over christmas (400$) because the tryouts next year are very competitive and he wants the advantage.    I am under no delusions that he is going pro or anything, but he is single minded and so passionate about it. I feel like I need to spend the money because if he doesn't make the competitive team and is in the house league...he will continue to have to share the role rather than it being his position full time.  Do you think that spending money (even larger sums) to fuel a kids passion is a waste or a worth while investment?

I applaude your son. I couldn't imagine being that focused on anything at that age. As for spending the money, what is the opportunity cost? Can you afford it? Will it take away from retirement goals? Paying off credit or similar? If so I would suggest no to the camp until those items are firmly under control. Also, it may not be your bill to afford. There are lots of ways a kid can raise money for a camp such as odd jobs, etc. that don't have to negatively impact the budget.

We have the same sort of issue in our house. My son is a very accomplished swimmer. We had to make a decision about hiring a private swim coach this summer - stunningly expensive!  We have been FIRE'd for many years and have quite a bit of disposable income so it wasn't really an impact on the budget, but it was a significant spend. The results were remarkable and I guess we got what we paid for so there's that. He really is motivated so we will see where it takes him.

My daughter is the same way with drama - hugely motivated and very talented. We ran into the same issues with "drama camps" - hundreds per week long camp session. Maybe I can get her work doing commercials to pay for it LOL!

I don't look at either of these as "investments" per se, unless you count the self-confidence they get from being the best at something at least once in their life, and having to work hard to achieve a goal.

libertarian4321

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2017, 04:04:44 PM »
Do it. This is very different than buying him the latest hot toy or throwing tons of money at a hobby he's only just begun. This is an investment in your child's happiness, and it's encouraging/rewarding hard work and dedication, qualities that will pay dividends for his entire life regardless of how long he sticks with hockey. I would totally spend this money and I am a super grinchy parent that agonizes over every single Christmas gift. :)

I completely agree. Funding a child's passion for an activity that they're good at could literally set them up for life. I know someone who went to college on a hockey scholarship and many others who went on other athletic scholarships (football, baseball, gymnastics...). And of course, professional athletes have to come from somewhere and they pretty much always come from families where the kid was hugely passionate about whatever sport and the parents gave them the means to pursue it.

Hate to rain on the parade, but really?

That may be true of minor (and expensive) sports like tennis, lacrosse, and golf.  Maybe hockey, too- I don't know since Americans make up a small percentage of players in the NHL.  The rosters may be full of highly coached upper middle class Canadians and Europeans?

But when I look around at the top paid athletes in the world, the NBA, NFL, boxing, professional soccer, MLB, and I find that a tiny percentage of those athletes come from families "that gave them the means to pursue it."  Most come from poor families who don't have the means to procure expensive coaching and camps and were not wealthy kids being driven all over the country by upper middle class parents.

When it comes to hitting the big time sports, I'd bet on the desperate kid from the streets over the pampered, "passionate" overly coached rich/middle class kid just about every time.

I would also point out that the odds of becoming an elite level professional athlete are VERY SLIM.  So unless you are super athletic yourself, odds are you're kid ain't going to make it as a high level athlete.  If you are 6'9" and can still dunk a basketball, your kid might have a shot.  If you are 5'10" and were not at least a Division 1 All American in college, it probably isn't going to happen.

I would also note that if your kid is at least moderately intelligent, he has a high chance of becoming a well paid professional if he focuses on academics- his chances of becoming an engineer are about 6,000 times greater than his chances of even having a cup of coffee in the NBA.  And every hour spent chasing an unrealistic dream of "professional sports" is another hour that more realistic kid down the street is studying and getting ahead of your kid academically...

jezebel

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2017, 05:40:11 PM »
You seem to be focusing on one poster who mentioned professional sports.  The majority of posters discussed supporting the drive and passion of a child, which is a very different matter.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2017, 05:41:08 PM »
Even just playing through college can provide scholarships and other benefits, as Daleth mentioned.

"Professional sports" isn't necessarily the end goal here. What seven year old is studying to be an engineer? Very few. Even if the kid doesn't grow up to be a professional hockey player, it's still an active, social hobby that's worth investing in for the child's own enjoyment. Life isn't just about getting ahead of the other guy.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2017, 08:16:59 PM »
yes go for it while you can.
kids change over the years. so do their passions, and abilities, and abilities of others. Let him have something now that he likes, and enjoy watching him grow.

as a parent, some of our most favorite times are watching our kids perform/play.  We love and receive so much enjoyment out of watching our 4 kids build and grow in their talents and passions. To us, supporting our children is so worth it.

but be forwarned - it can become very expensive!!! we know a family who does hockey (he's an 8th grader) and its very very very pricey.  In fact, so many select sports become pricey. Another family we know had a daughter who did competitive dance. The mom once told me how from the very beginning of dance through 8th grade she could count $62,000 she had spent on it all! that included privates, travel, nationals, costumes, choreography and everything else.

enjoy it now, keep a watchful eye on the older kids and teams and what's going on. good luck! 

 

not young, but newbie here!

arebelspy

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2017, 09:48:44 PM »
Do it. This is very different than buying him the latest hot toy or throwing tons of money at a hobby he's only just begun. This is an investment in your child's happiness, and it's encouraging/rewarding hard work and dedication, qualities that will pay dividends for his entire life regardless of how long he sticks with hockey. I would totally spend this money and I am a super grinchy parent that agonizes over every single Christmas gift. :)

I completely agree. Funding a child's passion for an activity that they're good at could literally set them up for life. I know someone who went to college on a hockey scholarship and many others who went on other athletic scholarships (football, baseball, gymnastics...). And of course, professional athletes have to come from somewhere and they pretty much always come from families where the kid was hugely passionate about whatever sport and the parents gave them the means to pursue it.

Hate to rain on the parade, but really?

That may be true of minor (and expensive) sports like tennis, lacrosse, and golf.  Maybe hockey, too- I don't know since Americans make up a small percentage of players in the NHL.  The rosters may be full of highly coached upper middle class Canadians and Europeans?

But when I look around at the top paid athletes in the world, the NBA, NFL, boxing, professional soccer, MLB, and I find that a tiny percentage of those athletes come from families "that gave them the means to pursue it."  Most come from poor families who don't have the means to procure expensive coaching and camps and were not wealthy kids being driven all over the country by upper middle class parents.

When it comes to hitting the big time sports, I'd bet on the desperate kid from the streets over the pampered, "passionate" overly coached rich/middle class kid just about every time.

I would also point out that the odds of becoming an elite level professional athlete are VERY SLIM.  So unless you are super athletic yourself, odds are you're kid ain't going to make it as a high level athlete.  If you are 6'9" and can still dunk a basketball, your kid might have a shot.  If you are 5'10" and were not at least a Division 1 All American in college, it probably isn't going to happen.

I would also note that if your kid is at least moderately intelligent, he has a high chance of becoming a well paid professional if he focuses on academics- his chances of becoming an engineer are about 6,000 times greater than his chances of even having a cup of coffee in the NBA.  And every hour spent chasing an unrealistic dream of "professional sports" is another hour that more realistic kid down the street is studying and getting ahead of your kid academically...

I agree with all of that.

I would put my child's chance at making money at their passion, if it were a sport, at 0.001% or less.

I would still support them.  The point of it isn't to hope that they become a professional, it's to hope they have a good life.

:)
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tooqk4u22

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2017, 09:11:44 AM »
Do it. This is very different than buying him the latest hot toy or throwing tons of money at a hobby he's only just begun. This is an investment in your child's happiness, and it's encouraging/rewarding hard work and dedication, qualities that will pay dividends for his entire life regardless of how long he sticks with hockey. I would totally spend this money and I am a super grinchy parent that agonizes over every single Christmas gift. :)

I completely agree. Funding a child's passion for an activity that they're good at could literally set them up for life. I know someone who went to college on a hockey scholarship and many others who went on other athletic scholarships (football, baseball, gymnastics...). And of course, professional athletes have to come from somewhere and they pretty much always come from families where the kid was hugely passionate about whatever sport and the parents gave them the means to pursue it.

Hate to rain on the parade, but really?

That may be true of minor (and expensive) sports like tennis, lacrosse, and golf.  Maybe hockey, too- I don't know since Americans make up a small percentage of players in the NHL.  The rosters may be full of highly coached upper middle class Canadians and Europeans?

But when I look around at the top paid athletes in the world, the NBA, NFL, boxing, professional soccer, MLB, and I find that a tiny percentage of those athletes come from families "that gave them the means to pursue it."  Most come from poor families who don't have the means to procure expensive coaching and camps and were not wealthy kids being driven all over the country by upper middle class parents.

When it comes to hitting the big time sports, I'd bet on the desperate kid from the streets over the pampered, "passionate" overly coached rich/middle class kid just about every time.

I would also point out that the odds of becoming an elite level professional athlete are VERY SLIM.  So unless you are super athletic yourself, odds are you're kid ain't going to make it as a high level athlete.  If you are 6'9" and can still dunk a basketball, your kid might have a shot.  If you are 5'10" and were not at least a Division 1 All American in college, it probably isn't going to happen.

I would also note that if your kid is at least moderately intelligent, he has a high chance of becoming a well paid professional if he focuses on academics- his chances of becoming an engineer are about 6,000 times greater than his chances of even having a cup of coffee in the NBA.  And every hour spent chasing an unrealistic dream of "professional sports" is another hour that more realistic kid down the street is studying and getting ahead of your kid academically...

Nobody should put their kids in something with the expectation of going pro or making millions - agree with that.   While its not an "investment" per se with a monetary future, it is an investment in them.

But everything else,  there is no reason why they can't focus on academics while also focusing on athletics...its not an either or proposition - well I guess it is in my house as my kids are expected to study, get good grades and be good students or they won't get to do their activities.

Youth sports (as well as other no athletic activities) provide a foundation that typically results in better performance in the future as it relates to academics and careers because these kids have more confidence, learn teamwork/commitment/sportsmanship, had to balance between demanding practice and school schedules, be focused, etc. These are all life experiences/skills that will help your little one turn into respectable productive members of society.

Hockey is one of the more expensive sports - we are probably in the $5-7k range per year including travel costs.  A serious Tier I club can cost $15-20k.

Its been a great experience, we (kid and parents) have made a ton of friends where there is a strong bond that has carried through the years even if they haven't been on the same teams all the time (probably the result of spending a lot of time together - 4 days at a rink and hotel in bumblefuck, USA will do that).

I have a soon to be 8 year old son who is obsessed with hockey and wants nothing more in life than to be a goalie.

All I have to say is that goalies are BORN not MADE.....they are a unique goofy breed, who else would want to stand in front of net and get hit with a 6oz piece of rubber travelling and high speeds. For the sake of him and hockey let him do it.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2017, 11:46:41 PM »
I would also point out that the odds of becoming an elite level professional athlete are VERY SLIM.  So unless you are super athletic yourself, odds are you're kid ain't going to make it as a high level athlete.  If you are 6'9" and can still dunk a basketball, your kid might have a shot.  If you are 5'10" and were not at least a Division 1 All American in college, it probably isn't going to happen.

Oh.... :( Guess my kid will be looking at academic scholarships then...
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sovereign

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2017, 04:48:04 PM »
Do it. I have an 8yo and a 10yo. I'd be thrilled if they had that much passion for something. We've tried a gazillion different activities and nothing seems to really stick. It's so much harder to parent a kid when they don't have that drive. At least you'll always know where your kid is and what he's doing.

I also agree that he should have some "jobs" around the house to help pay for his hobby. Let him know that you and DH work hard so he can do hockey. In exchange, he needs to pull his weight at home so you'll have the time and energy to run him around and foot the bills. My parents did this with me and my expensive sport and it taught me a lot of good lessons and prevented my parents from dying of overwork ;-)
My 8yo son is getting into Taekwondo.  It's a 6 month commitment and I told him he would have pay 20% of the cost which comes down to almost $1 per day.  He now has to do a chore of our choosing each day to earn his $1 (dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc.).  Going well so far.

We're trying to teach him how much work goes into earning money and to use it wisely.

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #46 on: March 30, 2017, 09:18:31 PM »


I want to say do it too.  I also want to say, if and when he is still like that at 10, 12 and 14, home school him and let him focus on the training.  Nowadays a lot of young athletes do online school so they can compete at the level they need to.  If you let him go to school till 2:30, of course he won't, can't turn pro.  If you go home school, he will be light years ahead of his classmates and might even score a sports scholarship to college.  If he is pro by 18, then he can continue with online college.

(Disclosure.  Don't know anything about hockey, do they get paid a reasonable amount?)

Dave1442397

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2017, 10:53:42 AM »
I personally know of three kids who played hockey, lacrosse and baseball at a high level through high school, and all three got full-ride scholarships to good colleges.

The baseball guy's college stats can be seen here - http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?P=kevin-boswick

As an immigrant who knows nothing about baseball, hockey, or basketball, the stats mean nothing to me :)

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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2017, 11:26:34 AM »


I want to say do it too.  I also want to say, if and when he is still like that at 10, 12 and 14, home school him and let him focus on the training.  Nowadays a lot of young athletes do online school so they can compete at the level they need to.  If you let him go to school till 2:30, of course he won't, can't turn pro.  If you go home school, he will be light years ahead of his classmates and might even score a sports scholarship to college.  If he is pro by 18, then he can continue with online college.

(Disclosure.  Don't know anything about hockey, do they get paid a reasonable amount?)

The minimum salary in the NHL right now is $525,000; under the most recent collective bargaining agreement it will keep rising, hitting $750K in the 2021-2022 season.  The highest salaried player, Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, will get $13.8 million and an additional $2.2 million in endorsements this year; his teammate Patrick Kane gets the same salary but makes less in endorsements.  Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins makes the most off endorsements, about $4.5 million a year with a $12 million salary.  The average NHL player makes a low seven-figure salary and with the CBA any long term deal is front-weighted, meaning that as the contract goes on the player's salary goes down. 
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Re: Bank rolling your child's passion - foolish or a worthwhile investment?
« Reply #49 on: March 31, 2017, 07:38:33 PM »
MandalayVA thanks for that.  Sounds like having a kid eager to turn hockey pro can't be the worst problem a parent could have.  If athletes home school they can get a better shot at getting better, at the same time it is easier academically to keep up with the regular schooling lot, and if the kid realizes he is not pro or varsity material, then he might still end up finishing high school earlier.





I want to say do it too.  I also want to say, if and when he is still like that at 10, 12 and 14, home school him and let him focus on the training.  Nowadays a lot of young athletes do online school so they can compete at the level they need to.  If you let him go to school till 2:30, of course he won't, can't turn pro.  If you go home school, he will be light years ahead of his classmates and might even score a sports scholarship to college.  If he is pro by 18, then he can continue with online college.

(Disclosure.  Don't know anything about hockey, do they get paid a reasonable amount?)

The minimum salary in the NHL right now is $525,000; under the most recent collective bargaining agreement it will keep rising, hitting $750K in the 2021-2022 season.  The highest salaried player, Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, will get $13.8 million and an additional $2.2 million in endorsements this year; his teammate Patrick Kane gets the same salary but makes less in endorsements.  Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins makes the most off endorsements, about $4.5 million a year with a $12 million salary.  The average NHL player makes a low seven-figure salary and with the CBA any long term deal is front-weighted, meaning that as the contract goes on the player's salary goes down.