Are Private Sports Lessons for Youth Athletes Worth It?

2012-08-02T15:44:19-04:00Coaching, Nutrition & Fitness, Parenting|

Private sports lessons seem to becoming more and more common in youth sports. Pitching coaches, goalie camps, fitness trainers—there seems to be no limit to the kind of expertise you can hire to help your youth athlete achieve sports success. However, are private sports lessons really necessary in youth sports? Are they really worth it in the end?

Here are 3 factors to consider before signing your athlete up for private lessons:

1. Financial commitment.

Belonging to a youth sports team, especially one that travels to compete, can get very expensive very quickly. Even buying gently used gear gets costly when you have to replace it every year as your child outgrows their pads, cleats and other equipment. Private sports lessons with a trainer are going to add additional costs to an activity that seems to cost more and more each season. While the cost of a lesson can vary, it’s probably safe to assume you’re looking at anywhere from $30-$70 per session depending on the expertise and reputation of the coach/trainer your child will be working with. You might be required to sign up for a minimum amount of classes as well, meaning you’ll have to pay for those sessions no matter what.

2. Time commitment.

Even if your private sports lesson is only an hour long twice a week, you have to factor that Are Private Sports Lessons for Youth Athletes Worth It?into your weekly schedule. Can you get to and from the lesson easily after work? Will it interfere with your youth athlete’s other activities? How will it impact the other members of your family and their schedules? Just like belonging to a youth sports team, signing up for private sports lessons requires a serious time commitment. If your child lives and breathes this sport an extra hour or two a week might not seem like a big deal, but if they have to give up another activity they love doing to squeeze a private training session in a packed week it might not be worth it in the long run.

3. Level of competition.

Before signing your youth athlete up for private sports lessons, you have to look at the level your child is trying to compete at. Does a 5 year old tee ball player really need one-on-one lessons? Probably not; just playing catch at home should be enough “extra” practice for now. On the other hand, if your athlete is trying to get on a high-powered travel team or has plans of being on their high school team a few private sports lessons might be worth the investment. They’ll get one-on-one attention catered around their needs and skills and have someone dedicated just to them and their sports success.

What do you think about private sports lessons? When do they become a worthwhile investment for youth sports players?