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Old 02-24-2020, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
11,575 posts, read 4,654,761 times
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We have 2 girls in competitive cheerleading which costs us thousands of dollars a year for each of them. We travel to other states, pay for hotels, food, entrance fees as a spectator, gas, etc. Not to mention the cost to actually participate monthly, the uniform, separate required tumbling class, etc. To top it off, both teams won a bid to The Summit national competition in May at Disney which will be a few thousand more. Both girls also do school cheerleading which is obviously much cheaper] however, school cheerleading and competitive cheer are completely different in nature! Next year, my oldest is going into H.S. and she will not be able to do both as it will be too much. She has to pick which one to do. She has decided to stay on the competitive team; however, my husband and I not sure we want to keep putting out the money for it. I'd honestly rather put it towards her college.

My dilemma is that both my girls truly love it. It's the only thing my younger daughter has stuck to. My oldest said that if she can't do the competitive team then she won't cheer anymore because she is not interested in cheering in high school. We can afford it, but as I said above, it's thousands of dollars and very time consuming for us. They have practice all day every Sunday, another day during the week and competitions almost every other week for 7 months. My husband wants them both to tryout for school cheer and if they don't make it then he will continue to allow them to do the competitive cheer.

My question is this...…...what do you consider too much to pay for a childs sport? If you can afford it, do you continue allowing them to do it because they love it or do you put a cap on what you will pay regardless? Also, would you allow your child to do a sport that would be very time consuming on you as well? What is your perspective on this?
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Old 02-25-2020, 03:53 AM
 
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We had a similar situation but with horses. What a slippery slope from a week at summer camp to now we have a horse, a trailer, a pickup, various saddles and other tack, etc. Our oldest loves it SO much and has always done her part to defray costs by doing bar work, etc. I feel you on the time commitment too because all this started before the oldest was able to drive so I’ve spent countless hours driving and waiting and weekends hauling her and the horse to competitions before she turned 16.

Like you all, we can afford it, but also have other things we could do with the money. Our thought was as long as they’re enjoying it, not complaining, and keep up their grades, they could continue. They’re learning a lot - discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship, developing a work ethic, etc.

And I can totally see why your daughter doesn’t want to do h.s. cheer. It’s so different from competitive cheer. Who wants to stand around cheering on the efforts of others (most likely boys) when they can compete themselves?

Just my $.02
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Old 02-25-2020, 04:50 AM
Status: "The ministers cat is an exhausted cat" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: NJ
1,058 posts, read 363,411 times
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If they love it and its not straining you financially then you should support them. If its a hardship then no but the way i see it is I work extremely hard to give to my children but I didnt have and to help them become the people i want them to be. There are also cheer scholarships and college cheer teams
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:33 AM
 
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Ugh, takes me back to when my girls and nieces went through this. It's not only the money, but the time. And I'm jaded now, I saw so much that was just profiteering off of the families, from the gyms to the companies that ran the competitions that forced you to stay at their hotels, the admission fees, the ridiculously priced uniforms, the makeup, the noise, the awards based so many get to go to another competition and pay it all again, etc.

In our family, only 1 of the 5 stayed in competitive cheer and almost broke her back as a flyer. The other four liked high school cheer better and still did 2-3 competitions a year. Funny though, all 4 of them decided not to continue their senior year and wanted to do other things.

I think it's good to be honest with the kids about the expenses and the time they could have to do other things.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
438 posts, read 207,843 times
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I was in competitive athletics and there is no denying it was a huge commitment for both us kids and our parents. Not only did they (my parents) have to provide the funding and support, as an athlete my competitive team really pushed me more than any simple high school team could. I was exposed to more responsibility, there was way more personal accountability, and the result was a higher reward then what I would have gotten from any of the local high school teams. In the end it was my competitive team membership that rewarded me with the scholarships I needed to attend college and that's becoming the norm. Unless you got to one of the random top schools in a particular sport the only way to get taken seriously or noticed is through competitive regional teams.

But obviously as parents your reward as a parent is very little compared to your child and right now the sacrifices are mostly on your end. I say that take this as a opportunity to push your daughters to look at cheerleading as a way to display independence, responsibility, and preparing for their future. If they want to continue doing the sport competitively have them raise the money to participate in the competitive cheer on their own. This can be done through fundraising, getting a job/small time gig, or maybe even applying for an athletic scholarship.

This is also wonderful opportunity to help them start thinking about why they love cheer and how it can help them in the future. Maybe they want to continue to earn a scholarship; if so maybe a portion of the money you're setting aside for college could help advance their ability to earn one and a spot in a good school. Also remember that there are no guarantees that your child will go to college or be successful as an adult, and at their age this is the only time they have to dedicate to a non-school/job related pursuit.

If they're performing well in school and their competitions (and it sounds like they are) then maybe hold up with it for a bit more WITH expectations for them if they continue in high school;
  1. They have to keep their grades up and if competitions conflict with school too much then maybe retire with competitions (school cheer would probably be fine in this case).
  2. Once in high school they are responsible for covering a portion of the fees and costs relating to their sport. Once they get to driving age maybe require they provide or find transportation on their own.
  3. Every year they have to evaluate their participation and decide if it's worth continuing or not. Most kids get tired out of organized sports by the time they get deep into high school but don't quit out of fear of disappointment or just because they don't realize it's an option.

Personally I found that paying for my own competitive membership really made me realize how much I loved my sport and encouraged me at working even harder to succeed in it. Some of my siblings did this too, and a couple found out that they didn't really enjoy the sport as much when they had to juggle side jobs and pay extra attention to how much money it costs to participate. Maybe once your daughters realize how much work cheer really takes they'll have the same realization.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:43 AM
Status: "The ministers cat is an exhausted cat" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: NJ
1,058 posts, read 363,411 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicfamly5 View Post

If they're performing well in school and their competitions (and it sounds like they are) then maybe hold up with it for a bit more WITH expectations for them if they continue in high school;
  1. They have to keep their grades up and if competitions conflict with school too much then maybe retire with competitions (school cheer would probably be fine in this case).
  2. Once in high school they are responsible for covering a portion of the fees and costs relating to their sport. Once they get to driving age maybe require they provide or find transportation on their own.
  3. Every year they have to evaluate their participation and decide if it's worth continuing or not. Most kids get tired out of organized sports by the time they get deep into high school but don't quit out of fear of disappointment or just because they don't realize it's an option.
I understand youre saying this worked for you BUT asking a child to attend school full time, cheer almost full time and work to pay for cheer while keeping up with their grades and all their other responsibilities you might be asking too much. Competitive sports are almost full time jobs themselves, with workouts, practices and travel for competitions there is very little time for work. Especially is they are also focusing on school. Plus OP said school cheer and competitive cheer were too much in high school, its unlikely they will be able to find time to work.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:57 AM
 
Location: bold new city of the south
5,597 posts, read 4,562,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LO28SWM View Post
If they love it and its not straining you financially then you should support them. If its a hardship then no but the way i see it is I work extremely hard to give to my children but I didnt have and to help them become the people i want them to be. There are also cheer scholarships and college cheer teams
Both of my kids played Baseball and went to college on scholarships, my grandson is now in school on a scholarship in Baseball as well. I coached youth athletics for five decades, it was all beneficial for me.
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:21 AM
 
1,728 posts, read 1,042,697 times
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Anything more than two hundred dollars a month is too expensive unless the child is a prodigy or the sporting skills are marketable. It's a waste of money and bound to end in disappointment and letdown in the end. Better to spend that money and time exploring a broad spectrum of activities and either exposing your child to lots of diverse activities, or discovering one at which they truly excel.

My nephew is a competetive swimmer. He is very fast, and has dedicated thousands of hours to swimming. His parents have shelled out endless stacks of cash for all the swimming, competitions, travel, etc. They've rescheduled holidays, vacations, etc all around his swimming.

Now that he's in college, he's run up against a physical wall. He's fast enough to be on the team but not on a scholarship. He doesn't attend the top meets because he simply doesn't have the physiology to beat the faster swimmers (too short, hands/feet not large enough), no matter how hard he trains. He doesn't want to make a career out of his swimming (lifeguarding, ocean/swift water rescue, etc) so it is basically a giant waste and now he's depressed because he really has no real choice but to abandon competetive swimming and just swim recreationally.

I encourage my young children to try all kinds of sports and activities, but it's clear that a lot of gyms/dojos/organizations are just big money pits for parents to throw away their "disposable" income so a thousand little Janeys can climb a ladder of chromed plastic trophies that eventually goes nowhere.

So we will fund their interests at the level of fun/proficient. If they want more intensive lessons, or to join a travel team where there will be a big impact on family time and finances, then they will have to make a case for why their sport or interest is worth the money and time. They don't have to follow through and become a concert pianist or establish their own Ju-Jitsu academy, but they do need to work with us to make a plan to develop useful, and prefreably marketable, skills. If they're just doing it because it's fun, then it will be supported on the level of fun. We're not just going to shovel infinite time and money into a hobby with no end goal or cohesive plan.
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:57 AM
 
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It sounds like your nephew’s parents didn’t manage expectations very well. He should have known when he went looking at schools if his times were good enough to be a meaningful contributor to the team. That’s on them, not on the sport.

Marketable skills? Sometimes kids should be allowed/encouraged to do things just for fun.
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Brew City
4,867 posts, read 3,013,827 times
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I have two in hockey. Money plays a disappearing act in our house. If the most expensive youth sport wasn't enough, one is a goalie making it just that much more expensive.

We can afford it but of course we could spend that money somewhere else if they didn't play. The time commitment is intense though. Hockey rinks aren't found on every corner in WI so we travel almost every weekend from Oct to March. Literally the only weekend we've had off this season was after Christmas. Our kids are only 18 mos. apart but two birth years so they never get to play together. So if one is actually playing at home one day the other is probably out of town. We both want to be able to watch them so a lot of the time we'll end up driving two cars (the only time we use our second car is during hockey season). This weekend I'll drive from Milwaukee to Fond du Lac for a 12:30 game, back to Milwaukee for a 2:15 game, stick around for a 5:00 game, then back to Fond du Lac to catch the rest of the tournament weekend. Meanwhile my husband will stay in Fond du Lac for both games as he coaches our youngest.

I don't know about cheerleading but even if my kids quit playing competitive hockey tomorrow it's something they'll always be able to do when they're older just for fun (and fitness). I play in two women's leagues with a range of women from complete newbie skaters and grandmas to college players in their early 20's.

Hockey season is almost over. Then it's off to the soccer fields.
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