Author Topic: Soccer Saturday  (Read 4931 times)

StetsTerhune

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Soccer Saturday
« on: October 21, 2012, 10:15:48 AM »
My saturday was spent helping my sister out by driving 2 of my nephews to their soccer games. It was fun to hang out with my nephews and was a great way to spend a beautiful fall day, but the fact that this happens ever saturday is kind of unbelievable to me.

Here was my day:
Drive 40 minutes to my sister's house in the suburbs, have breakfast with them
Drive my 2 nephews to the first game, 40 minutes away.
While the older one who was playing warmed up with the team for an hour, the younger one and I went for a 30 minute walk, played at a playground for 15 minutes and kicked a soccer ball around for a bit till the games started. Every other parent spent this hour sitting in their car, most of them WITH THEIR CARS RUNNING! Keep in mind this was a clear 55 degree day, and every single person there had come dressed to sit outside for a 1.5 hour soccer game.
Watched that game, then drove 45 minutes to the next game, same routine, waited an hour,  watched the game, drove 35 minutes back to my sister's house, drove 40 minutes home.

So all told I drove nearly 3.5 hours in the day, this is apparently the world of "club" soccer in this country. I don't have kids, so I hate to sit here and judge how anyone raises their children, but this seems pretty crazy.

Jamesqf

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Re: Soccer Saturday
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 11:11:07 AM »
Makes you wonder, doesn't it?  About a lot of things, like how many of those sit-in-the-running-car parents will turn around and whine about the price of gas?  Or why kids can't seem to have fun playing without organized leagues?  Is it the kids, or the parents?

I hate to sound like one of those "the old days were better" guys, but when we wanted to play something like soccer when I was a kid, we just got together, chased the cows out of a corner of a pasture, and had at it. 

kkbmustang

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Re: Soccer Saturday
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 09:18:16 PM »
Both of our kids were in club soccer until last fall (a year ago). We quit. We were all miserable. They were both playing on a club team and on a rec team with their school friends, plus at one point my son was also playing baseball. Check it: Practice of some kind 6 days per week and five total games on the weekend. We were going insane. We had no life outside of work and sports for our kids.

We reassessed, reprioritized and called it in. Plus, club soccer is outrageously expensive. $270 in quarterly dues per kid, plus uniforms and occasionally indoor practice fees if it's too wet/rainy/cold/hot to practice outside. When they hit age 11 or so, the dues jack up to about $3,000 per year per kid plus $600 for the uniform PLUS they have to sign a contract that the kid won't play for another team for that year. Not even for a YMCA rec team.

Life is much better now. They are both playing rec soccer (8 week season) and our son plays 7 weeks of baseball. All games are on Saturdays, soccer practice is Friday right after school and (optional) baseball practice is Sunday afternoon. We have two more games and then we're done until February/March. It's beautiful.

Jamesqf

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Re: Soccer Saturday
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 10:45:14 PM »
$3K/year in fees?  So at 11 players per team (probably more with substitutes) that's $33K.  Run a couple of teams after work, and that's a pretty decent income.  Do I smell a racket?

strider3700

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Re: Soccer Saturday
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 12:33:49 AM »
hmm I played soccer until I was 18.  I wasn't half bad playing provincially near the end.    There was no contracts,  it cost about $50/year for the registration.  I'm sure there was an additional fee to help pay for the practice field rentals.  Less then $50.  My new pair of cleats each September was the most expensive part of playing  which is why I played soccer.  My family could never afford Hockey...    Where are you that it's 3k a year and they have contracts?

Sparky

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Re: Soccer Saturday
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2012, 01:18:27 AM »
3k a year to play soccer for fun? Pretty sure that's a ripoff.....

Irishmam

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Re: Soccer Saturday
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2012, 08:22:56 AM »
I just finished reading :The Most Expensive Game in Town: The Rising Cost of Youth Sports and the Toll on Today's Families by
Mark Hyman.
This is a revealing read and underlines the true costs of kid's sports. Incidentally, my DD was in Irish Dancing....another rip-off. When we did it as kids, the costume was white blouse and navy skirt. Now the costumes, wigs, make up and fake tan are insane!! Someone told me it is considered an 'elite' sport, at which point I cracked myself up laughing. How many of these children will become elite athletes? How do you think they feel, knowing that their parents are investing so much time, money and hope in their performance? It's no wonder so many kids are screwed up. The example above, of playing a few games for the local rec department is perfect. Get to know the kids in the area, arrange a few informal kick-arounds and call it a day.

JR

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Re: Soccer Saturday
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2012, 10:14:36 AM »
I never understood how people spend so much money on children's sports but maybe I live in a bubble.  Around here all school districts have pretty much every sport and the only cost to the child/parents in maybe a pair of cleats.  I only played football in school and everything including the cleats were provided to us at no cost.  The only thing my parents had to buy every year was a new mouth guard.

bo_knows

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Re: Soccer Saturday
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2012, 11:01:41 AM »
I know that I'm going to really struggle with this as my wee ones grow up.  I'm only 31, but kid sports sure have changed.  We have a relative whos kid is in a travel baseball league. He is traveling 2+ hours one way EVERY weekend. He was 10hrs away the other weekend for a tournament.

Back in the day you only got on such a team if you were pro-level talent.  I was on a "travel" soccer team because I was one of the better Goalie's in my county. We only ever drove to the next county, at maximum, for our games. All we paid was a small registration fee at the beginning of the year, and paid for our cleats. 

It seems like there is a HUGE emphasis on travel leagues these days.  I'll have my kids stick with the local rec leagues.

igthebold

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Re: Soccer Saturday
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2012, 11:40:38 AM »
I think part of the travel league problem is that recreational leagues have become so popular. Our town is small (10K -ish) but there are over 1000 children in our rec program! Problem is, the parents and sometimes the coaches don't want the kids to learn to play the sport.. just to learn self-esteem, etc. It's just another activity. So the parents who want their kids to learn to work hard, do what their coach says, and be rewarded for it have to go up a level.

It's "college is the new high school" all over again. I participate in the rec league, but we walk/bike to the place and buy our cleats used. $30/kid/season, so $120 for the year. I'm not completely sold on it, but we do it anyway.

kkbmustang

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Re: Soccer Saturday
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2012, 09:26:23 PM »
It's crazy and the parents are downright psychotic. (No offense to anyone out there.) Yelling at 6 year old girls about not being tough enough or getting after the ball fast enough.  Come on. At this point, it's a GAME. For FUN. Geesh.

But, yes, we figured it out. We low-end estimated soccer/equipment/fees at $500 per kid per quarter (club and rec soccer fees, uniforms, etc.) plus baseball fees/dues/equipment $250 twice per year, for a total amount of $2,500 just for soccer and baseball. Not including scouts/brownies or play dates or music lessons or karate or anything else. Throw in karate ($120/mo for the family), that another $1,340 assuming you take one month off during the year. If you add music lessons, that's $200 per month for one lesson per week for one kid, that's $2,400 per year for music lessons. This is on top the $35k getting thrown at private school. So, they each get to pick one activity fall/spring and one activity spring/summer in addition to karate. Everything else is not up for discussion unless one sport gets dropped. You could spend $50k on the kids in a heartbeat. Just start thinking about summer camp and you aren't too far off.

RIDICULOUS.

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Soccer Saturday
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2012, 05:33:04 AM »
In our community there are plenty of relatively inexpensive recreational sporting choices for the under 10 or 12 crowd.  I must say though that my son needed vigorous activity during adolescence when it is almost assumed that kids are supposed to specialize in a sport. 

We spent a lot for a few years on recreational hockey.  Parents were always encouraging us to have my son participate on a travel team.  He knew he was not a good hockey player--he just loved playing the game.  What boy doesn't want to skate fast and whack things with sticks?  But fortunately he never expressed an interest in the excessively expensive version of the sport.  He was quite happy with an old wooden stick, not graphite.  I made sure he had good pads for safety.  It was still a lot of money though.

I was surprised the other day to hear a woman complaining that she did not have enough money for essentials but one line item in the budget that she would not eliminate was her ten year old son's private pitching lessons.  It astounds me how many parents see professional sport in the future of their eight or ten year old kid!  Or a free college education!  Of the small proportion of high school athletes who go on to play college sports, how many are playing Division II or III without any scholarship assistance?

The deception is amazing.

Investing in bicycles, tennis rackets, rollerblades or skates for the family seems much wiser in the long run.