Parents spend thousands of dollars on children’s athletics. What’s the return on investment?

Apr 22, 2019

Boys play a game of baseball in Kosuge in Tokyo on April 22, 2019.

Boys play a game of baseball in Kosuge in Tokyo on April 22, 2019.; Credit: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images


Parents are investing more time and money into their children’s athletic endeavors with the ultimate goal of receiving a scholarship to help pay their children’s college tuition.

Despite the decline in participation of some youth sports, wealthy parents are more willing to spend large sums of money to help ensure their children have all the resources at their disposal. In fact, according to a 2019 survey of about 1,000 parents by TD Ameritrade, 40% of parents expressed confidence in their child receiving an athletic scholarship. Parents also said they’d be willing to go into credit-card debt, delay retirement and cut back on spending in order to finance their child’s sport. Yet, only 2% of high school athletes will be awarded a college scholarship in their sport.

So what might be reason for this gap in expectation vs. reality? Are high-cost youth sports worth the investment? If you’re a parent of an athlete or a student sports-player, what do you think? Weigh in and call us at 866-893-5722.

With guest host Libby Denkmann


Kiki Baker Barnes, athletic director at Dillard University

Lisa Delpy Neirotti, director of the MS in Sport Management Program and associate professor of Sport Management at the George Washington University School of Business

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