Cody Sims: Are You Financially Prepared To Raise An Athlete?

Monday, July 4, 2022 - by Cody Sims

Organized sports are a great way for kids to stay active, make friends and develop character. But there’s no denying that the cost of childhood athletics is expensive. And while you may not be raising an Olympic-caliber athlete, if your child is one of the 45 million kids between ages 5 and 18 who play an organized sport in the U.S.1, you know about the financial commitment all too well.

Expenses can add up quickly, and it can be easy to lose track of the cost for your child to be on the team. 

What can you do to feel in control of athletic costs? First and foremost, create a budget for each sport and season your child plays with these five expenses in mind: 

1. Athletic training. Typically, the largest sports-related expense is skills training and team building 
activities. You can anticipate these costs by adding up the price of each sport camp, specialty 
class and clinic your rising star may attend next season. If your child has an opportunity for 
private coaching or to attend a workshop with friends, consider whether or not it makes sense 
financially for him or her to participate.

2. Equipment. Trends in the sporting goods industry are constantly changing. So how often do you 
need to replace your child’s equipment, practice clothes and warm-ups? While you don’t have to 
follow every trend, keep in mind that the right equipment – meaning it fits properly and meets 
safety standards – can prevent injury. If you’re unsure about whether you should replace the 
softball bat or football pads, get a recommendation from your child’s coach or an expert at your 
local sporting goods store. 

3. Travel. Whether it’s a weekend game in a nearby town or an out-of-state tournament, travel is 
becoming more frequent in youth sports. Make sure to find out what travel is expected so you can 
plan transportation, hotel rooms, meals and time off work into your budget.

4. Participation fees. In addition to team or school fees, there’s often pressure to purchase items 
commemorating the season. Custom t-shirts, embroidered equipment bags, team pictures and 
post-game celebrations can add up. Keep an open dialogue with your child so they know what 
items you’re comfortable purchasing.

5. Health care. While you never want your son or daughter to come home injured, it can happen at 
any time. And it becomes more common as athletes move into more competitive levels. Prepare 
for these events by making sure you understand how your health care coverage applies to walk-in treatment, emergency care and preventive costs. Broken bones, sprained ankles and repetitive 
stress injuries happen, and you’ll want to be ready for any out-of-pocket expenses.

It’s challenging to put a price on supporting your child’s athletic talent and interests, but it’s important to put the cost of athletics into perspective. If you know the true financial commitment of your child’s athletic season, you can feel confident that your level of investment makes sense for your child, as well as your budget.

1 Open Access Journalism of Sports Medicine

* * *

Cody Sims, CRPC, AAMS, AWMA, is a financial advisor and franchise owner with Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. in Chattanooga, Tn. He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 27 years. To contact him,, 423-648-2900, and 412 Georgia Ave., Suite 210, Chattanooga, Tn. 37403. 

Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser.

Investment products are not insured by the FDIC, NCUA or any federal agency, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by any financial institution and involve investment risks including possible loss of principal and fluctuation in value.

Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC. 2022 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

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