Raleigh, North Carolina For many parents and children, the dream of playing college-level and even professional sports starts early.
High school student Blaine Tully has been playing softball for 10 years. Nine years for sophomore Aubrey Fulcher high school students. Eight years for student Nahla Begum.
All three are part of the Competitive Travel Baseball League, which is separate from school sports. It is one of the many club sports that help players hone their skills, but it can be very expensive.
Mom Kim Warren reviewed the expense list with 5 On Your Side’s Monica Laliberte. Warren mentioned travel, including airfare, accommodation, and tournament fees. Warren estimates that they spent about $10,000 or more on the sport.
Mother Heather Coleman said her family has spent thousands of dollars over the years. “Your club fees, your private lessons…the gear. They break some bats, so we’re constantly rolling,” she said.
Given what some spend, it is perhaps not surprising that 79% of parents surveyed Lending Tree They say they got into debt to pay for their children’s expenses.
Perhaps the most striking figure is the 87% of parents who say they believe it is an investment that can eventually pay off in income for their children, for example in the form of a scholarship.
“I hope to get a scholarship,” said sophomore Morgan Warren. “I think I have good chances.”
“I think a lot of people have the misconception that every kid is on a total journey, and this is a college athlete — and they aren’t,” said veteran college coach Rene Lopez. Author of “Looking for the Complete Journey?”
Lopez’s goal is to educate families that “more scholarship money will come from academic scholarships in most cases.”
The The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) says only 2% of high school athletes They are awarded athletic scholarships to compete in college, often a partial scholarship.
“In women’s football, there are 14 full scholarships available at the Division I level which will be split across the entire team,” Lopez said.
She wants parents to know that skill is important, and so is school.
“If all things are the same, your talent level is the same, I have a child of 3.5 (GPA), or I have a child of 2.3 (GPA), which child would I go after? It is the child of 3.5 (GPA), because that translates to a lot of other areas in their lives Lopez said.
Monica asked Heather Coleman’s mom if she thought about what she would spend on softball when all was said and done.
“She probably already paid for college,” Coleman said, adding that she thinks it was worth it because her kid got so many things from her like sportsmanship and leadership.
“It makes you want to work even harder when you know there’s only a tiny percent chance of getting in,” said sophomore Morgan Warren.
Student athletes also develop self-confidence.
When Monica asked freshman Blaine Cali about her skill level, Cali said “I don’t like to put my horn on myself, but the stats don’t lie!”