Stressed out by your kids’ sports?

Parents worry about cost, time, travel and more

Youth sports are supposed to be fun for both children and parents alike. Win or lose, there is always fun to be had and important life lessons to be learned.

So, why are Canadian sports parents so stressed out?

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According to a recent survey of 1,000 Canadian sports parents from FlipGive, the rising cost of youth sports is the primary cause of stress for parents of young athletes, and the worries are widespread.

Here are more of the findings:

FEES ARE TOO HIGH

It's no surprise that 82 per cent of Canadian parents believe youth sports to be too expensive. 42 per cent say this was their main cause of stress. 26 per cent of Canadians point to team and league fees in particular as a major cause of financial stress.

TIME COMMITMENT

Some 37 per cent of parents point to the time commitment of youth sports as the biggest stress factor. For many, it involves nights and weekends, tons of travel, practices, games, etc. That's a lot of hours for the kids and their parents.

GEAR, TRAVEL, LESSONS

Sports gear can come at a premium, especially in some sports like hockey (better hope your kid's not a goalie). 24 per cent of parents say gear is the most expensive part of participation. Some 21 per cent said the cost of travel to away games, while 15 per cent point to private trainings and lessons as primary expenses related to their kids’ sports involvement.

PRESSURE TO WIN

More than 50 per cent of Canadian sports parents think it is okay for coaches to be tough on kids, and nearly 63 per cent believe that parental involvement in sports can add extra stress for the kids. On a related note, 61 per cent said they get stressed if certain expectations are not met by their child’s sports league or team.

PARENTAL GOALS

“Having fun” was ranked as the number one goal for parents in regards to their child’s sports involvement (23 per cent said it was their highest priority). The other top-ranking goals were “learning to win and lose gracefully” (19 per cent), “staying active and getting exercise” (17 per cent), and “learning the value of teamwork” (15 per cent).

Parents in these provinces say their children's sports involvement causes them the largest amount of stress:

1. Newfoundland and Labrador 40 per cent

2. New Brunswick 35 per cent

3. Quebec 34 per cent

4. Alberta 27 per cent

5. Ontario 26 per cent

6. Nova Scotia 25 per cent

7. Manitoba 23 per cent

8. Saskatchewan 21 per cent

9. British Columbia 20 per cent

Submitted by FlipGive, a sports fundraising platform.

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