Costs to participate in youth programs, like all other costs, have been soaring over the past several years. Everyone is on a budget, including the youth sports program your child is involved in. Just like it is fiscally responsible for individuals to live within a budget, youth sports programs need to live within a budget. A vast majority of these programs are non-profits, so they are spending the parents’ of the children in the programs hard earned money. Each youth program should be have a board of directors that is responsible for managing the program’s funds. There are a few things youth programs can consider when purchasing to save money.
First thing to consider is to go in with other youth programs on your purchases. What I mean by that is to consider buying equipment with other youth teams. If you are buying a hitting net for the baseball program, consider splitting it with the softball program. This will work for soft toss machines, hitting tees, field drags, and radar guns. These are small items that can be shared amongst programs as they are designed to be used for baseball and softball.
Big-ticket purchases such as pitching machines can also be shared. Many of the top of the line pitching machines are now being made as combination pitching machines. This means they can throw both baseballs and softballs with simple adjustments to the machine. Purchasing a top of the line JUGS, ATEC, First Pitch type of machine that comes as combination can be a little more costly, however it is being split between two programs. This will make the purchase more cost effective in the end.
Having good equipment is vital to youth programs. As mentioned above this can be a challenge with costs escalating. If it is possible the various youth programs that are spending other people’s hard earned money should try to pool resources together to get the best equipment available. Many of the reputable sporting good manufacturers are coming up with combination equipment for programs on a budget. If it is logistically possible to share equipment amongst programs every effort should be made to do this. This will help keep costs down and give programs the ability to purchase top quality equipment.