The cost of youth sports is out of control



ORIGINAL POST
Posted by Ed 33 days ago
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Raynelle Dorsey, a single mother from Newark, is dedicated to making sure her teenage son, Marquet, has every opportunity to excel in sports.
 

She just never imagined it might bankrupt her.

The payments just for her son to play football pile up each month, with each check forcing her to wonder which will be the one that drains her bank account.

 

There’s $40 for an hour-long training session with a defensive specialist three times a week.

The $50 for a wide receiver trainer on Saturdays.

Another $550 to attend a summer combine circuit on 10 college campuses.

That’s not counting $500 for a helmet, $50 for gloves and $180 for cleats — and at the rate 15-year-old Marquet’s feet are growing, that means about three pairs per year.

“Sometimes, I don’t even know how I’m making it,” Raynelle Dorsey said. “I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

 
Another $550 to attend a summer combine circuit on 10 college campuses.
 

That’s not counting $500 for a helmet, $50 for gloves and $180 for cleats — and at the rate 15-year-old Marquet’s feet are growing, that means about three pairs per year.

“Sometimes, I don’t even know how I’m making it,” Raynelle Dorsey said. “I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

It’s just the cost of doing business in today’s youth sports world.

Exorbitant costs have been an issue plaguing youth athletics for decades, especially as private leagues have taken over and the competition to get an edge with college recruiters has become an obsession for parents. But even more so now, the high-cost pursuit of teen and even pre-teen athletic glory has reached unprecedented, mind-boggling levels, experts and industry insiders said.

In essence, the privatization of youth sports — now a billion-dollar industry — and the inflated cost of everything from gas to a pack of tennis balls have turned youth athletics into America’s newest caste system. The wealthy have access to the best training and top programs simply because they can afford it, while the poor and disenfranchised are playing fewer sports than ever before.

In fact, only 22% of kids living in poverty get an opportunity to play sports, while household income remains the biggest driver of early participation, according to the Aspen Institute.

 

Parents, now more than ever, are bringing their anxieties onto the sidelines, where league officials across all levels of sports are reporting an unprecedented explosion of bad behavior. And now, as costs rise and moms and dads shell out thousands of dollars for sports, emotions ratchet up to even higher levels, making the sidelines and bleachers more volatile than ever.

“The structure of youth sports now almost sets the parents and coaches up for bad behavior because of the pressure and the stress that they’re under, and their own needs being satisfied or not being satisfied,” said Charlie Maher, a Professor Emeritus at Rutgers who also serves as a sports psychologist for the Cleveland Guardians. “They’re saying: ‘What am I getting from my investment?’”

 
https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/more-sports/the-cost-of-youth-sports-is-out-of-control-e2-80-94-and-crushing-a-generation-of-nj-athletes/ar-AAYZEEe
 
 

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