Gymnastics is a great sport for the ultimate physical development and life skills of children. Gymnastics is a sport that develops individual confidence, athleticism, coordination, grace and elegance, etc. It also teaches life lessons like determination, motivation, drive, hard work, etc.
Gymnastics is not, unfortunately, known as an inexpensive sport. The high cost of the sport is a result of the high costs of privately operating a huge indoor training facility, with high utility costs, expensive equipment, expensive insurance and high labor costs. Those cost are passed on to the consumer.
There are additional gymnastics costs, in addition to training, especially for gymnasts who qualify to compete. Team leotards, team warm-ups, grips, good health insurance, travel expenses, meet entry fees, coaching fees all add up.
The most common method for helping parents offset the additional high team costs is the creation of non-profit organizations that help pay for competition costs, among other things.
For many families, gymnastics may seem too expensive, but before parents decide to eliminate team gymnastics from consideration, they should consider the potential ways to do gymnastics on a tight budget.
Sign Up Just for Gymnastics
The benefits of gymnastics are so wide-ranging and the commitment to excel in the sport is so demanding, that you can choose for gymnastics to be your gymnasts only extra-curricular activity. Avoid the costs of signing your children up for more than one sport or activity.
Save on Leotards
There are inexpensive leotards available both online and at local box stores. If you buy leotards online from some of the smaller companies, you can get both a low price and an original, unique leotard for your daughter. It will be difficult, however, to save much on grips, team leotards and team warm-ups.
Sell Your Gymnast’s Old Leotards, Floor Music and Routines
Since you will not be the only one who wants and needs to save on gymnastics costs, there will be other gymnasts and parents who may be interested in buying your old team leotards, team warm-ups, optional floor music and even optional floor and/or beam routines (so they can save on the cost of choreography).
Cut Travel Food Costs
One of the high costs of traveling is the cost of food. It is both less expensive and likely healthier. If youâ€™re going to a meet with other families, take turns providing a meal. For trips where you are driving, bring a cooler of drinks on the trip and pack a lunch. Drinks can cost $2 per bottle at a snack bar or convenience store so you can save money on such inflated prices. For fly trips, buy powdered drinks and take them with you. Look for local or chain restaurant discount coupons online before you leave on your trip.
Online Travel Discounts
A careful search on the Internet can save you hundreds of dollars on airline costs for flights to fly meets. Extensive online searches can find you travel discounts, including hotel discounts, group discounts, special online deals and local restaurant coupons and discounts. Some hotels have programs which earn you free nights, so pick one of those and use it all season. Look for hotels with free breakfasts and refrigerators in the room so you can save on food costs.
Carpool to Practice and Meets
With the high price of gas, it is economical to share driving expenses with other gymnastics team members, both to practice and meets. Gymnasts also usually like to ride with their friends and teammates to competitions.
Barter, Barter, Barter!
This is likely the best possible option for offsetting the costs of your gymnast participating in the sport. Most gymnastics clubs are in tremendous need of help. They have all the needs of a professional sports organization, but almost never have the budget to pay for all of the services that they need and want. The first thing parents should do is look and see if they have business or professional skills and services, that a gym club might be interested in bartering for. Gyms are in need of legal, accounting, marketing, medical and other professional skills.
Barter Your Time
If you do not have professional skills that your gym is in need of, you may still be able to barter your time doing other more generic work. This could include everything from telemarketing to cleaning. Some of the time you barter could even be done while your gymnast is at the gym training, so that you could barter work at the gym, instead of driving to and from the gym twice each practice day.
Put All Your Children in the Gym
To take advantage of family discounts and to save driving costs, you could put all your children in the gym (if they like the sport). Often, if the oldest child is in gymnastics, and the younger children have been to the gym and watched, they are interested and excited to start gymnastics themselves.
Consider This an Investment
Gymnastics is preparation for life. Parents must balance the cost of any sport or activity against the gains their child will make and take from the program. Invest in what you want your children to be and put your money into what will put them on a path to becoming the type of person you want them to be. Many of us believe that gymnastic s is certainly a bargain in these terms.