“Pay to Play” by Hailie Davidoski (11)

pasted image 0Baseball, Soccer, Hockey, Football, Softball, Lacrosse, Basketball, Wrestling, Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Volleyball, Rugby and more… Sports. Lots of people love ‘em and lots of people play ‘em. It’s not uncommon to spend a pretty penny on sports training, camps and lessons. The only issue though is that the prices and pressure put on athletes to be the best in everything have greatly increased dramatically over the past few years. 

Because of this pressure and desire to be the best, there are athletes and their parents who are constantly spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars on sports every year, just to get better and to advance in their sport with their eyes on college scholarships. As athletes increase in age so does their grit to become the best in everything they do. They sign up for camps year round, play on travel teams, take private lessons and participate in practices year round.

I interviewed Mr. Ungrey (GHS Varsity Softball Coach) and asked him how the cost of playing sports when he was in high school, compares to how much athletes spend now, including his daughter, Madison Ungrey, who currently play sports at the high school level. He mentioned that he played football, basketball and baseball, but mainly focused on baseball more than the other two and spent a couple thousand in total on all sports when he was a high school athlete. But, later commented about his daughter’s softball expenses by stating, “Well with softball, she’s been playing since she was 10. I would say we spent/spend about $1500 a year not to mention that she has played many travel teams and that is expensive. She has attended many camps and has played for the school when possible. Altogether JUST for softball, I would say we have spent about $9,000 so far and she is a junior this year. Then for basketball she’s been playing for a while and I would say for her to play basketball we spend about $1,000 a year. Altogether for both sports over the years I would say we have spent about $15,000 so far and that doesn’t even include covering travel expenses, food and equipement.” Who knew that being an athlete could be so expensive?

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