1. Home
  2. sports
  3. news
  4. My daughter is a high school athlete. I spent a lot of time and money on her sports even though she has no future in athletics.

My daughter is a high school athlete. I spent a lot of time and money on her sports even though she has no future in athletics.

Shannon Serpette   

My daughter is a high school athlete. I spent a lot of time and money on her sports even though she has no future in athletics.
  • My daughter is on the softball, volleyball, and cross country teams at her small high school.
  • I can't even begin to count how many hours and how much money we've invested in her school sports.

My daughter has been on sports teams since we signed her up for T-ball in early elementary school. Being an athlete has become a big part of her identity.

In grade school, she played every team sport she could. During the summer, she participated in local and travel teams. Now that she is in high school, she is a member of the volleyball, softball, and cross-country teams.

That means I've spent much of my time shuffling her to and from sporting events and sending a lot of money on her hobby. Some parents I know have insinuated that high school sports aren't worth the time, but I've found some rewarding benefits.

Sports are a huge time commitment

As a mother of a three-sport athlete, sometimes seasons overlap, and you wonder how you'll possibly be able to cram everything into your schedule. There were times when my daughter was on two softball teams and a volleyball league simultaneously in the summer and trying to run her cross-country training miles as well. It is complete chaos at times.

There were mornings when my alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. so that I could get her to a 6:30 a.m. practice or the bus for a Saturday cross country meet. At that point, I sometimes questioned my sanity.

My daughter can't find a regular part-time job to save up for college because of her erratic sports seasons. Employers don't always understand when you can't show up for work because a softball game was rescheduled last minute due to rain. Instead, she makes money taking small gigs whenever she can, like umping softball games and babysitting.

My daughter isn't a superstar on any team, so this isn't an investment in her future

Although my daughter is a good player in all her sports, she's never been one of those superstar players who gets all the limelight or that coaches seek out for their teams. She'll never earn any sports scholarships in college or play sports professionally, so we aren't dedicating our time and resources with that in mind.

She'll never be recruited by a top college and only hopes to play softball in college if she can even get accepted onto a team.

So, sometimes I wonder if it's worth the time and money my husband and I sink into softball equipment, driving to games and practices, team t-shirts, and running shoes. We've easily spent several thousand dollars.

But then I think about how much she has grown as a result of sports.

My daughter has been transformed by her participation in sports

Over the years, playing sports has done some amazing things for my daughter. I've watched her confidence grow, and I've seen her handle countless setbacks with unbelievable grace. She worked through disappointing injuries, dealt with difficult teammates, handled criticism well, and has become mentally tough.

She's also learned to juggle a schedule so busy that it's almost mind-boggling at times.

She's physically fit, and one of the reasons we wanted her to get into sports in the first place is for the health benefits of exercise. For that reason alone, I believe the time and money we've spent is well worth it.

The time we've spent on sports has made us closer

My daughter isn't the only one who has reaped the benefits of all the time spent on sports; my husband and I have shared in the perks too.

All that time in the car driving to practices and games has given us an endless supply of shared experiences and memories. My husband and I often recall the thrill of watching our daughter hit her first over-the-fence home run and her giant smile as she ran to the home plate with her cheering teammates standing there to congratulate her.

My daughter and I have spent so much time hitting a volleyball around or going on a run together to increase her speed for cross country. We've laughed, chatted, and joked, and she's mentioned how much she will miss these moments when she goes to college. It's truly been a bonding experience for us.

If she's lucky enough to play softball in college, her dad and I will happily drive for hours just to see her make a play or two on the diamond. And that makes all of this worth it.