If you or your child plays any sports, you know that the sacrifice of your time and efforts is just the beginning of what playing can cost. There are league/team registration fees, late fees if you miss deadlines, uniform costs, the expenses of traveling such as lodging, gas, rental cars, bus fees, and meals. There are the expenses of private coaches and trainers, gym fees, training equipment, camp costs, and competition fees. Not to mention the additional costs of lodging for your family when traveling, admission fees for family members to tournaments and the lost wages that you experience when dedicating time to all that participation requires.
Many players cannot afford all the expenses of playing on a travel team which may limit their growth as a player. Families can carry a large financial burden just simply by deciding to involve their kids in sports, even without a travel commitment.
The recognition of the high cost of playing baseball and softball is part of why Vinci Pro decided to run giveaways. At least the winner can experience a “break” in the costs. We wouldn’t stay in business long if we just gave away the high quality Vinci gloves, but we can at least offer some tips for how you can cut down the price tag for playing baseball and/or softball. Below are a few ways you can start saving now, we will continue to bring you new ideas in the future.
Start with league/team registration fees. Sometimes a team or league may need certain types of professional services that you can offer in exchange for a reduction of your fees. For example, if your are particularly good at social media, you may be able to run the team’s Facebook page for the season, updating on team news and sending out reminders in exchange for having your kids fees waived for the season. Teams rely on volunteers for much of what they do but that does not mean you have to give away services that you could use as leverage to put yourself in a better position to play. Think outside the box on what you can provide that others may not be able to and you will more likely be able to convince the administrator to make a deal.
Scholarships are an especially effective way to save money not only on registration fees, but also on training camp costs and competition fees. There are lots of need-based and talent based scholarships available from multiple sources. Be sure to ASK before you register or pay. Also, apply even if you don’t think you will qualify. It might just take a few minutes to complete an application that could save you hundreds of dollars.
On the topic of training, it may be possible to save some cash that you would otherwise spend on private instruction and personal trainers by looking to people who you already know for less expensive lessons or even free training time. Depending on your (or your child’s) skill level, you may be able to tap into resources such as school coaches, or even advanced players for one on one training. A young college player who has already received private instruction from great coaches and trainers may be willing to pass on the knowledge that they acquired for less than the price that they paid. This helps that player recoup some of the cost that they paid and saves you money from the start. Already have a trainer you love to work with? Ask them if they can offer you referral incentives and then tell everyone you know how great your trainer is.
Playing on a travel team provides great memories and challenges players but it can come with high costs. Plan ahead to save money by shopping for lodging deals on daily deal Sites. Sites like Groupon.com offer savings of up to 70% on hotel stays so if you know where you are going ahead of time you can look out for deals in the area. Don’t dismiss the idea of camping when the weather permits. Camping with your teammates can be a wonderful experience adding to the memories and saving tons on lodging costs. Also, you don’t need to eat out just because you are on the road. When you choose a hotel, try to find one with a kitchenette so you can prepare meals in room, or at least make sandwiches and pack ready to eat snacks to cut down on the meal costs.
Players and parents can really save a bundle on equipment costs. While you may not always have a say on where you get your uniforms, you can save on personal equipment like shoes and bats by taking part in – or even hosting – an equipment exchange. At the youth level these can really serve as a way parents can save, as young players often outgrow things like shoes before the equipment has been worn out. Not sure where to find an equipment exchange? You can also get used equipment at used sporting goods stores and online classifieds like Ebay and Craigs List. Sometimes buying used is ok, but sometimes it’s best to get it new. For example, it’s a good idea to get your safety equipment new. Plus, when you purchase QUALITY equipment, like your Vinci Glove, you will get years of use which will save you money in the long run AND provide you with all the comfort and functionality of a high end glove.