Swim Team costs

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by uk_wildcat, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. uk_wildcat

    uk_wildcat Mouseketeer

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    My 9 year old son started on the YMCA swim team in January this year. Since he started in the middle of the season, we paid $151 for Jan-April. We also paid a $50 fundraising fee because there were no fundraisers going on at the time. Then he did Summer swim, which was May-July and it was $240. This added up to $441 from Jan-July. On top of the fees, we had to pay for each race entry ($3-$5 per race) and equipment (fins, jammers, goggles, etc.) and team shirts. He really likes it and it is really the only sport he has shown any interest in.
    Overall we have spent a ton on it, but it hasn't been so much that we can't do it.

    Today the coach sent out the new fees for 2011-2012 and they are going to a fee structure that covers Fall and Summer swim for one price. The problem is that they aren't offering a per season fee, so if we decide not to do summer swim, we will still be paying for it. The total cost will be $875 (this includes the fundraising fee). We will still need to pay the per race fee and any other costs that come up during the season.

    Does this sound like too much to you? He will be practicing 4 days/week and as of now they only have one coach per age group, so it's not like they are paying a whole lot of coaches. When I look at last years fees, if we had done the whole year (Sept-July) the total cost would have been $592. This seems like a huge increase.
     
  2. jazz0007

    jazz0007 DIS Veteran

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    My daughter is going on 9 and is about to join our team. They haven't posted the new rates for the next season yet but here is last season for you to compare.....rates are on pg 4. That does sound like a big hike to me though!! And I think it's rotten not to let you pay by session! :(

    South Central Swim Team rates
     
  3. jcemom

    jcemom Official Tag Fairy Assistant

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    My DD signed up for YMCA gymnastics. A friend talked her into it. Well, I sure am glad it was a monthly fee over the summer, because it is way beyond my budget. (She wasn't crazy over it anyway, thank goodness.) The gym fee is inexpensive, the membership fee is reasonable, but once you add in the coaches' salaries, and the meet fees, well, forget it. I can't afford it. It was going to be $170+ per month, not including meets and gear, September through April. :eek:

    For the number of classes she takes right now, dancing is cheaper than gymnastics. :rolleyes:
     
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  5. gina2000

    gina2000 anonymous

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    My son's been swimming for years. Your fees don't sound outrageous at all but I'm from the east coast so that may make a difference.

    Does the new fee include: USA swim registration fee and YMCA membership for the year? Those two fees will add about $100 to the practice fees.

    Has your fundraising tab been raised? Usually Y teams fundraise for away meets and to defray the cost of national swimming meets.

    Also, does the fee hold $$$ in escrow for future swim meets? Most teams take $$$ up front to pay meet fees for swimmers. It is replenished as need be. Other families may have had meet fees set at the beginning of the year rather than pay on an "as you go" basis. It's too hard to collect meet fees per meet and easier to hold a set amount in the swimmer's account to be drawn down as necessary.

    Swimming is an expensive sport. Pool usage and maintenance is expensive. The coaches don't get rich on their salaries...for them it's truly a labor of love.

    Good luck with your choice. My son's been a competitive swimmer for over a decade and while it's not for everyone, it's been a rewarding experience for him.
     
  6. princesspwrhr

    princesspwrhr DIS Veteran

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    It's all going to vary by region, but what you've quoted would be cheap for my area swim teams. We have some friends whose children are on various swim teams and the $875 is on the low end. I would call around and see what other teams in your area charge so you can compare your new fees and see if it's in line with your area.

    My girls are in other sports. My oldest is a competitive gymnast. We pay $400 a MONTH just for practice (25 hours), her leo that they keep for 1-2 years is $310, her warm ups are $250, yearly membership is $54, and the meet fees range from $85-$110 (they do 8-10 meets per year). We do thankfully have an established fundraising program at her new gym - that covers the cost of sending the coaches to the meet (otherwise it would be another $600+ a year) and after you've participated in fundraising for 6 months the PA pays meet fees. This is much higher than the gym we just left, but the caliber of training is also higher and while my daughter is not an Olympian, she does want more from gym than her previous gym was able to offer. My middle dances (not competitively or show travel yet) and my youngest plays rec soccer. The travel league in our area is $1600 a year, plus uniforms, coaches fees, etc etc etc. I don't know what I'll do when the middle wants to travel/compete and the youngest wants to do travel soccer!
     
  7. CrAzY4DL

    CrAzY4DL Mommy, you magic-ed my heart!

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    Wow, I feel lucky with our swim team now!! DD8 joined the Ceres Dolphins in April for $150, which paid for EVERYTHING. Pool time, coaches salaries, all meet fees, etc. We bought a team suit ($55) but wasn't mandatory, bought 2 silicone team hats with her name on them ($30 for 2) but they weren't mandatory. We fundraised with an omelette breakfast, every kid that sold 20 tickets got a free team suit (in our case, we got the money back) and then there was another fundraiser with a fireworks stand. Season just ended July 16th and I thought the fees were very fair.
     
  8. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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    Wow, either I need to sign my kids up for swimming, or move to Ohio! That sounds like a great deal. Just signed ds8 up for select soccer, training twice a week in the spring, winter, and fall, games on the weekends, and summer training, and it cost $1,800, which is cheaper than other leagues.

    I pay $300 a month for 2 of my dds' dance, plus extra for privates and workshops (one teacher charges $75 per half hour for privates). Competitions cost about $60 for both, one dances 4 dances, the other 2 dances. Solo dresses, which get replaced yearly cost about $2000, and the 2 pairs of dance shoes they each need run me $400 total. Wigs are $100 each, socks are $12.

    Swim lessons at our local Y average $18 per lesson.
     
  9. bethy

    bethy DIS Veteran

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    We are going to pay about $2000 for our DD9 to play premier soccer this year. And that doesn't include travel costs and any additional tourneys they could get invited to . . .

    We figure that it's regular exercise, for one - and it's cheaper than bail or rehab later on!
     
  10. Disneybuckeye

    Disneybuckeye DIS Veteran

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    I don't think that fee sounds bad at all. Swimming is a great sport. My boys swam all the way through high school and it really kept them out of trouble and they made tons of great friends. I paid about $2k each for club swimming fees, fundraising, and meet fees per year up to high school and about $4k per year during high school. Travel was extra, but not extensive as their team was so competitive and lots of good swimmers came to our home meets Suits were extra, but once my kids made the national team they received 2 free competition suits per year, a warm up and a bag which was nice. Now their club team was very competitive (state and sectional champs and one Junior national runner up), so I think that adds to the price. Their HS swim team was also very competitive (7 state titles and 2 national titles while my boys were there) and to be able to contribute in HS you had to swim for a good club team.
     
  11. uk_wildcat

    uk_wildcat Mouseketeer

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    It does not include either of these. We pay about $72/month for YMCA membership and he is not doing any USA swim meets, so we aren't paying for that.

    The other YMCA teams in the area are cheaper, but none of them are really close enough to me to make it worth the drive. The other thing is that many of those teams are larger, have more coaches and better facilities, so it's hard to swallow paying more for what our Y has.

    I think one of the things that many of the parents are wondering about is where the extra money is going. Nothing was sent out to explain the increase. If they told us that they were hiring more coaches, or using the money for something specific, I think I would be more understanding and wouldn't worry about the extra cost. As of now, we only have one coach per age group. Some of the age groups have 20-30 kids in them, which is quite a lot for one coach to deal with every practice.
     
  12. Janet Hill

    Janet Hill DIS Veteran

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    I will be paying ~3,400 in about two weeks for a year this is with a 1 payment discount and does include meet fees. I'm in Northern VA and year round swim clubs are quite pricey around here.
     
  13. PaulaSue

    PaulaSue <font color=purple>I have a purple car too and lov

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    Wow, I guess I should stop complaining about E's (DD 10) winter meet fees. Nov-Feb,3 times a week 1 hour practices and she did 4 meets, 1 team suit, 1 hair thing, and team pictures besdies the sub sale and food donations every meet for $225ish. I hate to think of the gas to and from so I stop counting there.:sick:
     
  14. my2minnies

    my2minnies Mouseketeer

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    We just finished our first full season of swim this year. My dd is 8 and joined a team that is a member of USA Swim. We just got a copy of all that we have paid for the year and it was just under 2K. It is a LOT of money, but if you break it down it is a great deal and much less expensive than any of her other sports.

    She can attend practice up to 4 days a week, but we were there probably closer to 2x a week. It was a great experience but it is very intense. She wants to do another year and I will sign her up again. She also wants to do club soccer, but THAT is so much money and time so only one thing at once.
    We are on the East Coast so I know things are more money here, but it sounds like it is not too bad where you are.

    Ask if you can break the payments up by seasons. They may allow you to. I know that they will for my dd's team.
     
  15. princesspwrhr

    princesspwrhr DIS Veteran

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    Then I would call or email and ask for a breakdown of where the fees are going, what is imperative to be paid now and what kind of payment plan they are able to offer. We move a lot and my oldest has been on the competition team at 3 gyms now and everything has been open book. "your fee is this much, it covers X, Y, Z" Knowing does make it easier to swallow.
     
  16. Swimalie

    Swimalie DIS Veteran

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    Wow, I need to join your Y. But then again, I have such a wonderful coach that to me, the money is worth it. I pay $2450 for the school year and an additional $389 for the summer (mid-June to the end of July). This does not include meet fees, $180 annual registration (incl USA-S registration), suits, some gear, technical racing suits, etc. I am also a masters swimmer so I pay an additional $38 per year plus meet fees. Some meets are as high as $70. I do buy suits as inexpensive as possible - TJ Maxx and Marshalls have them for around $10 this time of the year. For practice suits, I don't care what they look like.

    With the team registration, we get 1 suit, 3 caps, gear bag, 2 t-shirts, kick board, pull buoy, and sweat shirt. So for $180, it's not a bad deal. We also got a warm-up suit one year.

    With all that, I get a coach who has an Olympic gold and silver medal, great swim practices and the option of a private pool. My team is an age group, USA-S team but I am 40. I practice with teen agers every day (they keep me young). We are also ranked as the #1 team in the country. So, yes our fees may be higher. I don't want to add up what my swimming costs me each year (I would guess close to $4000 if I go to Nationals).

    You are getting a great bargain if your son likes swimming and gets a lot out of it. It is the only sport you can learn which can save your life and it is a lifelong sport. I have competed in meets with 98 year olds!
     
  17. need2cruise

    need2cruise Too far away from the cruise ports

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    Dd's competitive swimming costs $884 per year (fees plus the cost of the membership to the swim club). Swimsuit runs $60 x2 suits since they wear a different suit to certain competitions. Track suit they wear runs $80, $20 for the teeshirt and $35 for sweatshirt. $15 for their logo swimcap (x2). $5-$15 entry fees per each meet. $15-$20 per spectator pass for each event (x # of family members who go). Travel to 5 different states for different competitions (plus pitch in for coachs travel expenses). Not to count the cost of gas to get them to practice 5 days per week. Will be glad when they get back to the local pool, right now it is close to a 40 minute drive one way to practice. So yeah, swimming gets expensive, the better they are, the higher the cost!
     
  18. Minniemouse07

    Minniemouse07 DIS Veteran

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    I loved swim team growing up but ours was FREE! Yes, FREE!

    Our township had 6 public pools and each pool had their own team. We had practice two mornings a week all summer with meets early Saturday mornings. We didn't have matching suits or swim caps...or even fins and goggles! Just whatever suits you have (suitable for "racing") and bring your own towel!

    My dd (10) loves swimming but I can't see dropping thousands of dollars for the local YMCA team or local swim club. We can all just be happy going to the Y and swimming during open swim!

    If I could find a nice, relaxed, local, intramural program I would sign dd up for that but no way am I paying all that $$ for swim team! :sad2:
     
  19. Swimalie

    Swimalie DIS Veteran

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    It may seem like a lot but for the kids I swim with, it's a chance at a college scholarship. We have 17 graduating seniors this year and all but 1 will be swimming in college with scholarships (the 1 hopes to transfer to a swimming school in 2 years). We have 6 kids going to Olympic Trials as of now. These are kids who will "pay" back their swimming one way or another.
     
  20. Minniemouse07

    Minniemouse07 DIS Veteran

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    That is great for higher level teams but unfortunately not every kid needs a "higher level" experience. It is sad that there aren't "fun" teams that don't require a huge investment like there used to be.

    Also, our local Y team requires 3-4 practice days a week during the season, and starts at age 6. I'm sorry, my elementary aged daughter didn't need to be swimming that often every week during the school year!

    Again...a low stress, relaxed team that is out to give kids the swim team experience and swimming practice without all that pressure and expense of the current options.
     
  21. Lisa loves Pooh

    Lisa loves Pooh DIS Veteran

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    We did a no frills, no meets require swim team and we paid $100 per session per kid. There were 3 sessions per year and we stopped at two. This was only 2 practice days and it paid the coaches and the pool rental.

    This was a "generous" discounted rate for being on a homeschool team as we didn't compete. If we wanted to compete, it would have cost more. And the more days you swim, the more money it was.

    So I don't know if $852 is a "deal" or not. But it sounds about normal.

    Our price did not include the cost of the kick board, flippers or goggles, or any team uniform gear.

    It is one of those situations, where you have to really break it down to the units...how much practice/coaching they get and how much a swim meet costs.

    We did a county league back home that was cheaper as it was at the county pool, but it wasn't that much cheaper, IIRC.

    For our $100, we got about 20 sessions which came out to about $5 per session for an hour of swim practice (coaching and facility rental). It was somewhat comparable to many other activities available for kids and in some cases cheaper. What kills you is the quantity that you sign up for. (So conversely, around here, a music lesson is $30 for a half hour at just one time per week. )
     

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