It is important for our kids to stay active and their are many positive effect to youth sports, as they have been shown to help keep sedentary habits from forming, decrease the chances of illegal behavior and keep children in school. Most of them require some amount of coaching to teach the players how the game works, but as time goes on the quality of low-cost programs that do this is going downhill.
Basketball players, for example, have a number of options to choose from when deciding which team to play for, and by extension, which coach to play for. However, these are not always cheap, as travel programs and club teams that offer the best experiences often cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In contrast, the few free programs that are offered aren’t often run by the most basketball-savvy individuals, limiting how far a young athlete can go in the world of basketball by playing at this level.
In order to play for a team with higher skill requirements, not only must a player’s family have the cash to pay for the league, but they must also often pay for training camps to ensure that their young athlete makes the team and keeps his or her spot. Similarly to the dearth of free-to-play leagues, there aren’t many low-cost camps that are of much use.
This widens to disparity between the haves and have-nots, which sports are supposed to shorten. For example, Michael Jordan’s “flight school” costs $750 per player for five days of camp. While learning from arguably the best player to ever dribble a basketball would surely be of major benefit to players trying to improve their skills, the sad reality is that many can’t afford to pay $750 in addition to team costs, leaving young athletes without many means in an untenable position. Yes, there are other camps run by professional players that run in the $200 range, but even that amount can be a heavy burden on a struggling family.
The point of all of this is that it is important that players with fewer means be given at least a fighting chance to make their teams through competent training, as hard as it may be to find for cheap. Perhaps some of the camps can make special considerations for the less-fortunate, if they don’t already. Doing so could allow a skilled but unknown player to finally shine and be recognized for his or her talent, when they may have been undiscovered otherwise.
STACK Sports in Mahwah, NJ offers AAU Basketball Teams and basketball training to its athletes. STACK allows their players to come to it’s facility as many as 6 times per week giving them more opportunity than any other program.