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Cheer - and the cost thereof
Old 11-30-2014, 09:46 AM   #1
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Cheer - and the cost thereof

Granddaughter Riley, who is now 5 1/2... is visiting for the weekend. Her dad, recounted a recent session with a cheerleading "coach" who had spotted some excellent athletic traits, watching Riley swimming in the local pool. She asked Scott (DS) to come for a consultation, to see if Riley would qualify for classes.
Long story short:
Uniform and necessary accessories$480, but free shoes $90 "if you sign up today".
Registration fee $150
$650 for 4 months of lessons.. (one lesson/week for 1 hour)
Then... optional "summer camp" (not a actual camp, but the gym) one hour twice a week for 8 weeks. $400 plus new uniform.

She's in her first year of school... kindergarten.
Cheerleading this time around ain't gonna happen.

I thought this sounded crazy... small town in Ohio... but no... Apparently this is not unusual, evidence this article.
Uniforms, Bows & Fees...Oh my! The 101 On The Cost Of Cheer | Cheerleading Blog

Quote:
Common High School Cheer Fees (based on the national average):
1) Registration: $150
2) “Spirit” fees (banquet, pep rallies, gifts, etc.): $100
3) Uniform: $100
4) Warm-ups: $65
5) Performance/Game Accessories (shoes, socks, makeup, hair supplies, pom poms): $100
6) Practice gear (shirts, shorts, tanks, socks, shoes, bag): $100
7) Tumbling classes: $100 for 10 classes
8) Cheer photos (team and individual): $50
9) Summer cheer camp: $150-$350

Then there are always additional costs, like travel fees or replacement gear (cheerleaders go through a lot of bobby pins, shoes, and practice wear).

On average, the cost for one year of high school cheer for a new member is between $700 and $1000. For a returning member, the average is between $500 and $800. Remember, this is just the cost for one year! If someone is in cheer for all four years of high school, that’s close to $3500! This doesn’t even include the totals of youth and middle school, and we know that a lot of cheerleaders starts young.
I live in a different world.
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:15 PM   #2
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DW, who is a teacher and has her graduate degree in early childhood development says that too many children are losing their childhood. Sacrificing recess in school for the sake of "test prep", placing them in adult structured & directed activities (i.e. sports, etc.) at such an early age, deprives young children of the opportunity to learn creative problem solving and social skills through independent play.

There will be plenty of opportunities as she grows in age for that girl to decide if she wants to be a cheerleader, soccer star - whatever. Right now she needs to be a child and learn to explore her world on her terms without having her every waking moment scripted by adults.

Then there is the entirely separate matter of exorbitant fees that begs the question - who is really benefitting here?
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:37 PM   #3
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This sounds like a scam to me - if the parent has the money, the child has the talent. Be careful.
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:39 PM   #4
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The local moms with kids in cheerleading in high school here spent thousands per year for each kid on cheer camps, competitions, travel, uniforms and whatever. Then they'd complain about how expensive it was. I used to think that is one problem with a pretty easy solution.
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:39 PM   #5
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What team would she be cheerleading for at 5 1/2 years old?
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
What team would she be cheerleading for at 5 1/2 years old?
Cheering for the K-swim team?

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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Her dad, recounted a recent session with a cheerleading "coach" who had spotted some excellent athletic traits, watching Riley swimming in the local pool. She asked Scott (DS) to come for a consultation, to see if Riley would qualify for classes.
Didn't they borrow this approach from those art school ads in the sunday paper?

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I live in a different world.
Why
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:03 PM   #7
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Years ago, a mother in a wealthy NJ suburb (Upper Saddle River) complained to me that when she called parents of HS girls trying to recruit them as cheerleaders, one mother said, "I'll let my daughter sign up to cheer the boy's football team as soon as they have male cheerleaders for the girls' soccer team". She was miffed. I thought that other mother hit the nail on the head. I realize that cheerleading is just as strenuous as some of the stuff out there on the field, but it's a sidelines activity. (Side note: I know an actuary who graduated from Rensselaer but that's not what her mother brags about- she brags that her daughter was a cheerleader at Rensselaer.)

Riley would be better off in swim races where people are cheering HER.
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:38 PM   #8
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IMHO cheerleading, dance and gymnastics are simply businesses. They try to convince parents that the child has true raw talent but only the trained professional can see the latent ability lurking below the surface. And many years of expensive classes and training are needed to bring the child to the level of world-class performance.

I'd love to know how many children who went to a consultation to see if they "qualify", and whose parents had the ability to pay, were told they DIDN'T cut it.

It's a perfect situation for the coaches/trainers - almost all little kids are too young to have obvious natural talent, and of course you can train kids to be better at just about anything. Then when the kids get to the age where you really do have to be outstandingly talented to compete, and 99% of them get washed out, many thousands of dollars and hours have already been spent. Sorry, no scholarships for you, but at least you get to keep the lifelong joint damage as a lasting memory of your participation!
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:53 PM   #9
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Concussions are another reason to think twice about cheerleading, besides the time, money and the whole cheering on males message controversy:

Cheerleaders at risk for concussion - CBS46 News
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Old 11-30-2014, 03:53 PM   #10
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So, was your son sold on the classes? I have a niece involved with cheerleading at school and competitions. I know she's gone to camps @ school through the summer months but the fees aren't high. She's never taken "classes". She has had to raise money to travel to competitions but it's mostly on her to raise the money not her parents. She does enjoy it and so far no serious injuries.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:39 PM   #11
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So, was your son sold on the classes?.
DS is not as frugal as his father, but very sane. A friend in his neighborhood (a lady with mucho $$$), insisted that he go for the "consultation"... with the lady coach.
He was polite, but firm... "No Way!".
Anyway, she's so totally in to life, that she doesn't need 'classes". Smart, sweet, loving, 5 1/2, and we think, "the light of our life". ... a chance to show her off to my friends, here...
closed lips smile, 'cuz she lost her first tooth a half hour before the pic was taken...
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:48 PM   #12
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She is very cute. I agree with the others here that she just needs to enjoy being a kid.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:17 PM   #13
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I now have three grandchildren, the oldest 3 1/2 years old. The ecstasy and novelty has yet to wear off. Your granddaughter is a beautiful girl.
Back on track regarding the original topic, I too agree that this trend of coaching, classes, etc for an ever-younger age is getting out of hand,. Kids need to just be kids.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:33 PM   #14
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Kids need to just be kids.
Does anyone think that in the US this has a snowball's chance in hell of happening?

After a new great depression, or WW3 or something similarly powerful-maybe.

On Thanksgiving I sat with man I have known 15 years or so. He was a special ops non-com, but maybe 5 years ago became a contractor. In my opinion, what this guy doesn't know about life isn't worth knowing.

Anyway, he and I agree, it's essentially over for us. Our society is so completely insane that there is no way, given what our politics and social ideas are, that any of the social strengths that we understood as America prior to ~1960 will ever be seen again.



Ha
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:49 PM   #15
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I have relatives who are in competitive cheer-leading programs. They do cheer for school teams, but they also train year round for competitions. It's can be an expensive activity for kids. Similar to high end gymnastics programs. Expensive camps and lots of very athletic moves. Lots of danger from falls onto hard surfaces from towers and throws. Height is part of the scoring in competitions, so they are always trying to get greater height in the most dangerous moves. Like gymnastics, some children start coaching and training at unexpectedly young ages. Lots of pressure to "make" the cheer-leading teams. Lots of drama. Lots of team members drop out with career ending injuries.

It seems to me that the experience is completely poisoned by the intense adult presence in coaching and judging the activity - it's no longer about the kids' experience or joy in participating, but has become a high pressure adult-driven competition (and adult egos have taken higher priority to kids' enjoyments). I'd be very reluctant to have anything to do with it, unless a kid really really wanted it for their own reasons and interest in that kind of high level competition.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:48 PM   #16
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I am one who thinks that kids should be given an opportunity to do different things and then decide what they want to do...

So far DD has done:

Ballet (one season when young, a waste of money at her age at the time)
Gymnastics (two seasons which equal one year, again, a waste of money at her at at the time)
Swimming (two different summers, but likes doing it)
Acting (a few classes, but has since dropped it)
Soccer (very good and like it a lot, scored 80% of her teams goals <proud papa>) will continue to do this going forward
Piano.... cost a good amount of money, but she does like it but does not practice enough

At schools she does chimes bells, orf, and choir... will do sports when she gets older...

Wants to add

Softball
Volleyball


DW pushed her into some of these when she was young.... but DD wanted to do most of them...


I am one that thinks cheer classes are a big waste of money and would not allow DD to do them... especially at 5 1/2 YO.....
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:49 AM   #17
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I am one who thinks that kids should be given an opportunity to do different things and then decide what they want to do...

Texas Proud: Lest my other comment be misconstrued, I agree with you. Key, as you wrote, is giving the kids the opportunity and of course their choice whether to continue the participation. What has apparently changed is the fun factor (or, perhaps better said lack of fun factor due to getting competitive at a too-young age).
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:24 AM   #18
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Does anyone think that in the US this has a snowball's chance in hell of happening?

After a new great depression, or WW3 or something similarly powerful-maybe.

On Thanksgiving I sat with man I have known 15 years or so. He was a special ops non-com, but maybe 5 years ago became a contractor. In my opinion, what this guy doesn't know about life isn't worth knowing.

Anyway, he and I agree, it's essentially over for us. Our society is so completely insane that there is no way, given what our politics and social ideas are, that any of the social strengths that we understood as America prior to ~1960 will ever be seen again.



Ha
Maybe unclemick can share his curmudgeon certificate with you Ha...
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:24 AM   #19
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Oh the blight of the upper middle-class. IMHO, all this money spent on extra-curricular activity is a big waste and only benefits an extremely small percentage of the participants, which includes coaches/owners. They try to sell you on the college scholarship angle, but only a very few will be offered one, and then you are more like an unpaid employee of the institution required to give countless hours away from your studies for the privilege of representing your college in competition.

A little cynical I know, but as a product of the 70's, I don't remember any families spending this kind of money on their kids sport endeavors, whether it was football, soccer, baseball, or cheer leading. YMMV
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:36 AM   #20
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There is no such thing as a 5-1/2 year old who is not adorable. Shame on the "coach" who exploits them.

I know a couple of kids who went to college on cheerleader scholarships. They were both high school varsity gymnasts, though.
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