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Getting the most for your money for the student-athlete

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer

As students scramble to get their backpacks and other school supplies, the student-athlete has an additional list of necessities as the new school year rolls around.
For the student who may be playing a particular sport, the list of essentials may include the much-needed shoes, cost of uniforms and other equipment and sports physicals.
The National Retail Federation estimates that parents will spend around $670 on school supplies. Parents of athletes can add an additional cost of approximately $200-$300 on sports equipment, clothing, and transportation.
The equipment and cost may vary, but the extra expenditures will likely be something families have to budget for at the beginning of the school year. Travel time to and from games and the cost of getting into the venue is also an additional expense that can quickly add up.
However, any enthusiastic family member will easily do what it takes to see their student-athlete in action.
There are some ways to help slash the cost of sports expenditures.
Buying “gently-used” sports gear would be very economically efficient. Parents may be experiencing their own competition to see if the recently purchased athletic clothing and shoe purchases will last throughout the school year or will a child’s potential growth spurt be the real winner. Buying “broken-in” athletic wear or purchasing clothes a little bigger may help with the cost. As far as travel, the biggest way to reduce that additional spending would be simply car-pool with other family members of the team, which could also build relationships and provide a sound support system.
So, parents and other family members get ready, the feeling of accomplishment of getting everything on the school supply list will be short-lived, because as the athlete is picked up from the first school practice there just maybe a new set of “school supplies.”
Being a family member of a student-athlete is one of the greatest experiences one can have. Watching the beloved player have a great game or even suffer through a hard loss; the support from family is needed and essential.
However, less than five percent of student-athletes go on to play in college, so remember enjoying watching the athlete is more satisfying when knowing the bank
account is not empty by trying to keep up with all of
the “must-haves” on the child’s list.