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Understanding the Benefits of Club Sports

In many areas of the country, club sports aren’t even an option. Young athletes are dependent on potential exposure through their local high schools, but inner cities and suburbs run to the beat of club sports.

 

In the United States, club sports are a $17 billion dollar a year industry and participation is in the millions. The Aspen Institute’s Project Play estimates that 3 out of 4 American households have at least one school-aged child participating in youth sports or 56.6% of American children. So, what’s all they hype about? Read on to learn more about the benefits of club sports.

 

Club sports redefined the word commitment. There’s a travel commitment, a financial commitment, and a time commitment. Typically, high school and varsity sports run during a traditional season like football in the fall and baseball in the spring, but club sports are year-round, even if the competitive season isn’t. What does this mean for your child? Recruitment. With club sports being offered year-round, it gives young athletes the opportunity to hone their skills and work on technical development. Additionally, it gives college coaches more time to evaluate players for the next level. According to a recent NCAA survey of college athletes and whether they played club sports prior to college, the answer was a resounding yes.

  • Soccer: 88% of women and 77% of men competed on a club team.
  • Basketball: 92% of women and 91% of men competed on a club team.
  • Women’s volleyball: 91% of women’s volleyball players competed on a club team.
  • Women’s field hockey: 79% of women’s field hockey players competed on a club team.
  • Swimming: 79% of both women and men competed on a club team.
  • Baseball/Softball: 94% of softball players and 85% of baseball players competed on club teams.
  • Lacrosse: 81% of women and 82% of men competed on club teams.

It’s important to note, there were some team sports that fell on the opposite end of the spectrum. Only 25% of football players competed on a club team, and 28% of men’s track and 34% of women’s track athletes competed on a club track team.

 

Here are some other benefits to playing club sports:

 

Increased exposure

  • Since high school and varsity sports seasons align with college sports seasons, coaches have limited availability to scout future players. Since club sports run all year long, it gives coaches the opportunity to scout in what would be their off-season, leading to increase exposure for athletes in club sports.

    UH Elite

Learn from top coaches

  • Club coaches are licensed qualified professionals with the tools to aid in athlete development.

Face a higher level of competition

  • High school and varsity sports are limited to play other local teams while in club sports, athletes play with and compete against some of the best in their sport, both locally, regionally, and in some cases, nationally.

Get the opportunity to travel

  • Club teams travel to play in regional tournaments. This prepares young athletes for the grueling travel schedule they will face in college – flying across the country several times per month.

 

Although club sports are more expensive, the benefits outweigh the costs for some families, especially those with young athletes who want to play in college. If your family needs assistance with paying for club fees, consider applying for financial aid assistance. Learn more here.

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