Team/travel costs How Much is TOO Much

Discussion in 'Softball Parent Discussions' started by WalkOffHR, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. WalkOffHR

    WalkOffHR New Member

    DD managed to garner a National Champioship ring and a D1 scholarship over the past 2 seasons playing for a relatively no-name team. Our total costs for team fees and travel expenses related to the team was about $3,000 per year (mainly hotel costs as team fees were under $1,000).

    A friend whose DD plays for one of the most well known teams in Ohio also earned a scholarship to a D1 (no ring though) revealed to me that they spent $10,000 EACH of the last 2 years, the bulk of that being spent one 1 trip to California.

    What is your budget for costs ONLY associated with team fees and travel costs at the 16U/18U level? What do you consider to be an insane amount of money to spend?
  2. Irish196

    Irish196 Active Member

    Pretty sure you would get 100 different answers from 100 different people on that one.
    If it is worth it to the family in time spent together, memories made, great experiences, it is not insane. If you look at softball only in terms of a money in/money out transaction then I guess it might be a losing proposition if the yearly scholarship money doesn't equal the yearly travel ball bill.
  3. Watching22

    Watching22 New Member

    What most parents are really spending money on are several years of memories, as most softball players will not receive true athletic scholarships and even fewer a full ride to a large DI school. What has amazed me over the years is watching teams/organizations who can field a team without soaking parents every year and those that can't seem to manage that concept. I've seen successful teams charge $600.00 a year and unsuccessful teams charge $1200.00 a year. Why don't organizations open their books publically to show exactly where each dollar goes. Put your budget on your website and stick to it. I think parents sometimes blindly pay whatever the cost without asking questions. It's your time and money, how valuable are those things to you?
  4. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    One of the things many families need to understand is most schools don't neccessarily hand out scholarships that are purely athletic scholarships but are a "package" of scholarship money from educational, income evaluation (government FAFSA), grants, and finally monies from the athletic budget as available. Your FAFSA application will normally be the bulk of the package and your ACT test score plays a huge part in determining how much the government plays their poker hand and if they are willing to go "all in."

    My point being is work the system for all you can get. Take and retake the ACT test. Attend the classes that teach you how to score high on the test. If there is a fee for these classes it'll be one of the best investments you'll ever make. In some cases a single point or 2 improvement can mean thousands of dollars. It is the standard for our post high school education in this country yet many parents and students do not understand how it works----------or even know about it. No later than junior year you, as parents, should be proactive in contacting the school's guidance counselor yourself to get updates and advice on what to do next. I care for all the kids as if they are my own and that's why I say be proactive. Some kids don't understand the importance in some of this stuff and in their grown up way they have a tendancy to screen what they report to their parents and everyone misses out. Especially stuff like extra classes in the evening to improve the ACT score. lol. Don't get upset----------more kids do it than you think!

    This personal time with the counselor will reveal much more than what comes up at the parent meeting with an auditorium full of parents and students. THIS is what the package offer will be for your college bound rising star. Your time with your travel team may open some doors and is a contributing factor for exposure but contact Tenn. or Fla. with a really good 5-minute video and a single page player resume that includes her ACT test score of 36 (perfect) and watch how fast they respond to your daughter's request to play for them. A true blue chip player with a 36 ACT will have coaches clawing each other's eyes out to get to her!!!

    I'll bet even Joe would make an offer.
  5. JoeA1010

    JoeA1010 Active Member

    Yes, I would. What you have to be careful of, though, with a 34-36 ACT is that everyone will want you even if you are a so-so player. As a result, the player might be someone who is recruited to raise the team's ACT and GPA averages and not necessarily for softball reasons. The girl has to realistically assess the level at which she can get playing time.

    With the recruiting timeline for D1 and many D2 schools, I advise girls to take the ACT/SAT in the spring of their sophomore year. They can keep re-taking it, but those of us at high academic schools need a score before we can do much of anything with a recruit. If they wait until well into their junior year, we might be done with that class by the time they get a score. At the latest, I would take the test in early fall of the junior year.
  6. WalkOffHR

    WalkOffHR New Member

    Well regarding the memories part of the equation I would say watching DD catch the final out to win a national championship and seeing the ensuing celebration was pretty high up there!!!
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  7. lewam3

    lewam3 Active Member

    Well, who did DD play for and when?
  8. Irish196

    Irish196 Active Member

    That's awesome! Those moments are definitely what makes it all worth while.
  9. wow

    wow Active Member

    How much is too much? Its is all relative. The question is what is the VALUE of the teams you are playing and the exposure you are getting. If you are paying $10,000 and not getting seen by the coaches your kid wants to bee seen by, where is the value? The chances of blindly getting on a team for a cost reasons does not increase/decrease your chances of getting money. There is a plan by which systemically combining academics, contacting college coaches, playing the right events, and of course, hard work get you into a quality program.
  10. wvanalmsick

    wvanalmsick Member

    Too many variables. Where did you travel, where are you based, mode of travel, level of hotel, so on and so forth.

    If your DD wants to go far away from home to college, then you would want a travel team that travels a large portion of the US. If the team is comprised of girls who want to stay within a state or two away from home, then your team should travel more regionally which equals less money. The decision on the make-up of the team is really made before try-outs. The desired player model should be published prior to tryouts so that only that specific model player apply.

    Also, how much a family can afford to travel will vary greatly just within a team. $3000 for a season isn't too bad. $10000 for a season is a little steep, to me. I would have to analyze the initial cost input (Total travel ball expenses) versus what we would save in college expenses. I wonder if any OFC member whose DD played college softball would be willing to publish a breakdown of how much they spent for travel ball and non-scholarship college expenses versus how much they received, in the form of scholarships from the college (which would be listed on the 1099-T).

    The basic math is easy to do and see for the college costs (amount that will be covered with scholarships) and how much that would total for "X" amount of years but I guess the determining factor for if Travel ball was a good investment is up to the individual family. You would have to consider the monetary bottom line, the experience factor, the fun factor, and so on.

    Now back to the initial question, sorry I can't come up with a good figure. In my family's circumstance, $3000 would be just about the max.
  11. WalkOffHR

    WalkOffHR New Member

    Some great perspectives. This is a very difficult question because not everybody is faced with the decision between a $10,000 team and a $3,000 team. Knowing what I know today I would NEVER have pulled DD out of the Lasers way back at 10U. We took a MUCH harder path, one that I don't recommend to others hoping for a D1 scholarship. But as far as memories...we have had great coaches and made tons of great friends. We still have very close friends from the Laser days and from Heart of Ohio Nitro, the Diamond Dawgs, Ohio XS, the WildCats and soon Ohio Classics. That network of people from around the state and all of the various coaches along the way was/is priceless. Well, maybe not priceless...probably about $24,000 over 8 years. LOL.

    I couldn't afford $10,000 a year is my point, so we didn't even go to those tryouts. It was never a matter of deciding if it was a wise investment for college. I had 2 kids in travel ball, so that was a factor too. Some years $3,000 for each was borderline.

    Ironically just last night I ran into a player of mine who I coached in travel baseball for 3 years. He was at a D3 for baseball. I asked how it was going. Terrible. He left that school and is done with baseball and is going to a community college here in town. He said it was too expensive and he was miserable playing ball. I offered him the only counsel I could. I said when your done, you know your done and it's always best to leave the game on your own terms and not when someone tells you you can't play anymore. Besides, you got,what you needed from the game a LONG time ago, you just haven't needed it yet. You will know some day what that thing is when you face a crisis in your life. Then it will all have been worth it.
  12. lewam3

    lewam3 Active Member

    Now that is a fine post WOHR!
  13. Stupid Jim

    Stupid Jim Member

    If you are paying 10,000 a year, why not just put that money into an account for collage? Just for four years and the kids education is paid for. My uncle told me years ago when my dd started playing, "if you are in it for a scholarship, just put your money in the bank you will be much better off" and his daughter got a scholarship to a d1 school. Lets be honest here there are not that many scholarships to go around, no matter what any one says. I have talked to people who told me that their kid got a "full ride" after asking what school I was told that they are playing d2 or d3 and sorry folks, just NO scholarships ant the d2 or d3 level, most d1 programs only have one or two girls on a full ride leaving the rest of the team with half or third scholarships.
  14. coachjwb

    coachjwb Well-Known Member

    Jim ... a lot of what you say is true, but to correct one thing ... there are scholarships available at D2. If fully funded (at some schools is, and some schools not), D2 allows around 7 scholarships while D1 is around 11.

    One other note, while my DD played D3 and didn't get any athletic money, every dollar I spent on her for lessons and travel ball was well worth the memories we have of going through all of this together and the experience she had of playing in high school and college.
  15. wow

    wow Active Member

    You have to be in travel ball for the experience! If you get a full ride or some money great! But please do not get into the sport expecting to get money. This has to be one of the biggest mistake parents make at 10U. Club ball is about a experience of playing at a high level. Keep your expectations for college money low, save as go taking full advantage of 529 accounts, and any money spent on fees equipment, or lessons as a investment into softball not a college education! Then when the time comes and you have all those D1 full ride offers for your DD, you take the saved college money and go on a great vacation . .:cool:
  16. Stupid Jim

    Stupid Jim Member

    The only reason my daughter plays, is for the love of the game, she has no intentions of playing in collage, SHE decided that a few years ago, my post was not to belittle anyone, I just listen to orgs. at the younger ages tell parents that this is the only way that a kid can get a scholarship. There is a LOT more money out there for academic than there is for sports. I asked my uncle about the scholarships, and he said that you were pretty much right, I guess it depends on how many of the big scholarships (ie. football) are given out, the more big scholarships that are given the more other sports get. I can understand that if the girls intentions are to play at a higher level then it is money well spent, but if it is for a scholarship then just bank you money
  17. wow

    wow Active Member

    Please say that again and bold it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  18. coachjwb

    coachjwb Well-Known Member

    Not only that, but the chances of getting athletic money improves dramatically in this sport if you have good grades and high ACT scores as well.
  19. WalkOffHR

    WalkOffHR New Member

    Apparently there are a LOT of people willing to spend $10,000, because if you play for a team that goes to Colorado or California chances are you are spending that amount per year on travel.
  20. Samantha2221

    Samantha2221 New Member

    My DD's team pays a tuition fee of $1500. A $500 commitment fee, then $500 the next 2 months. It is an 18u gold program. That's just the tuition cost, you pay extra for the uniforms then there is the given hotel and travel costs.

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