Club Sport Expenses and Experiences


Team Colorado 16N1 Josie in Chicago, Illinois after winning the Windy City Qualifier.

Club sports are the best way for an athlete to master their athletic skills and put themselves in a position to get recruited to play their sport in college. Club sports also provide kids with the opportunity to improve many life skills, including time management and social skills. However, these benefits don’t come without cost.

Why are club sports so expensive?

The facts say club sports are almost necessary for student athletes to get recruited to play in college. According to NCSA College Recruiting, about 90% of college level student athletes played for a club team during their recruiting process.

Club sports generally provide athletes with an opportunity to play their sport at a higher level. With high school sports usually not costing much money and having short seasons, any student can join a high school sport and just treat it as a fun way to take up their time. Joining a club sport is a completely different commitment; athletes joining club sports are paying thousands of dollars for mandatory practices multiple times a week, travel tournaments, constant coaching, additional lessons and workouts, and whatever else their club asks of them. These commitments make for more competitive teams. Club teams also play other teams all around the state or country, giving athletes the opportunity to play against some top-ranked players, which can better prepare athletes for college type play.

Club sports also make it easier for athletes to get seen by college coaches. Most college coaches prefer to attend club events because hundreds of teams attend those events, so they can see many more athletes than they would at a school game with only two teams.

Senior MSU commit Kryssa Moerman reflects on her experience with recruiting, saying, “Club was definitely helpful for recruiting because I feel like nowadays colleges only recruit through club, or that’s where they first see you. Like for me specifically, my college [MSU] first saw me at one of the camps my club had. There is also a lot of recruiting happening at qualifying tournaments too because there is so much talent in one place.”

So, club sports can be a huge part of getting recruited. This doesn’t come without a cost. Prices vary from sport to sport and club to club. Generally, parents will find themselves paying thousands of dollars per club season.

Kryssa went on to say: “I definitely think the club costs are worth it especially if you get a scholarship from it because you are getting the money back. And even if you don’t want to play in college, it still builds character through teamwork and the hard work you put into it. The traveling part is also a really fun experience.”

Overall, club sports are definitely an investment. Athletes involved in club sports will often walk away with lifelong friendships, a stronger skill set, and in lucky cases, a college scholarship. Not all families have the opportunity to put that much money towards a sport, so it’s not uncommon to see gifted athletes have to quit their sport or take a step down from club. While they’re not accessible to all, club sports provide athletes with opportunities they may not find anywhere else.