What are you willing to invest in your child? 73% of parents surveyed by the Pew Research Center in 2015 had children in a sport or athletic activity, and 54% had children taking lessons in music, dance, or art. That same year, Karen Cicero, a mom and writer for Parents Magazine, asked her middle class friends what they were spending on their children’s extracurriculars. Their replies:
“Competitive gymnastics is costing us almost $6,000 a year now and she’s only 8.”
“We spend $10,000 a year for our two kids to play ice hockey.”
“$1,700 on piano lessons for two kids—plus we pay for dance and sports too.”
“We’re at $5,000 since summer for competitive soccer.”
“Competitive cheering costs us $10,000 a year.”
“We spend $425 a month on music lessons for two kids. I don’t even want to do the multiplication.”
Clearly these parents are willing to invest in their children, and these investments aren’t cheap. TD Ameritrade found that while the majority of families (63%) spend between $100 and $499 on athletics per child each month, 18% spend between $500 and $999, 11% spend over $1000, and 8% spend $2000 or more per month.
In short, parents are spending a lot of money on extracurriculars, and their reasons vary. While
Cicero cites the “confidence and friendships [my daughter] has gained,” many hope the activity will
lead to a scholarship or, potentially, a career.
Don Sabo, Professor Emeritus, Health Policy, at D’Youville and founder of the Center for Research
on Physical Activity, Sport & Health found that the most common reason students quit a sport is because they are no longer having fun. Other reasons include wanting to focus more on studying and grades, conflicts with teammates and coaches, and believing they are “not a good enough player.” In my experience, a student is no longer having fun in an activity typically because of the other reasons cited.
As a mentor coach, my job is to teach my students the skills needed to manage their time; navigate conflicts with others; and replace negative self-talk and limiting beliefs with positive self-talk, optimism, and a growth mindset. With these skills, students are more likely to feel empowered to succeed in extracurriculars and, therefore, choose to stay engaged.
If you are willing to invest in your child’s confidence or future success, there is arguably no better
investment than in a mentor coach. Clearly, the confidence and skills gained from working with one
of our mentor coaches extend to all areas of life-—academics, extracurriculars, family relationships,
friendships, career, finances, mental and physical health. I’m reminded of MasterCard’s “Priceless”
commercials. One can’t really put a price tag on the benefits our students gain from coaching. I have
students who are working on healing old wounds and, ultimately, relationships, challenging their
limiting beliefs, and becoming their best selves. They’re seeing their efforts pay off in their
relationships, in their success in school, and in their ability to imagine an even grander future for
themselves. No, I really can’t put a price on their outcomes, but I am incredibly grateful to be a part
of their stories.
For more information about investing in a mentor coach for your child, visit