The AAU provides a platform for kids to play organized basketball at a high level. For many players, this is their first taste of real competition, and it can be a valuable learning experience.
What is AAU Basketball?
Here’s a quick primer for anyone who’s ever wondered what AAU basketball is. AAU stands for Amateur Athletic Union, and it’s a non-profit organization that promotes amateur sports.
Basketball is just one of the many sports that AAU oversees. So what does that mean for AAU basketball? AAU teams are made up of players from all over the country who compete against each other in regional and national tournaments.
The level of competition is generally pretty high since most of the players are top prospects looking to impress college scouts. And because the tournaments are so competitive, they tend to be exciting to watch. So if you’re ever feeling like you need a little more basketball in your life, be sure to check out an AAU game. You won’t be disappointed.
How Much Does AAU Basketball Cost?
For the aspiring young hoopster, the question isn’t whether to play AAU basketball; it’s how much it will cost. The short answer is that it depends. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to give you an accurate AAU basketball cost breakdown because of the many factors that come into the equation. However, we can give you a general idea of how much it will cost for your particular case.
First, there are fees associated with joining an AAU team. These can range from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on the team’s budget and location. Then there are travel expenses. For example, if the team is based in Los Angeles but plays in a New York tournament, those airfare and hotel costs can add up quickly. And don’t forget about food and other incidentals.
So, you could be looking at a few thousand dollars for a season of AAU ball. But for many families, the cost is worth it. After all, this could be the start of your child’s path to college scholarships and a professional basketball career. So if you’re ready to take your game to the next level, start saving up now – AAU basketball isn’t cheap, but it could be a priceless investment in your child’s future and happiness.
Why is AAU Basketball so Expensive?
Anyone who has tried to sign their kid up for AAU basketball knows it isn’t cheap. But why is that? After all, it’s just a bunch of kids playing hoops, right? Well, it turns out that there are several reasons for the high cost of AAU basketball.
First, most AAU teams are privately run and not affiliated with any school or park district. This means they have to cover all their own expenses, from equipment and uniforms to travel and tournament fees. In addition, AAU teams often hire professional coaches, which further increases their costs.
As a result, the cost of playing AAU basketball can be prohibitive for many families. However, for those who can afford it, AAU basketball can provide an invaluable opportunity for young players to develop their skills and compete at a high level.
If you’re still trying to figure out why AAU basketball is so expensive, this post is for you.
5 Tips to Afford AAU Basketball
1. Stick to one sport at a time
The AAU covers not just basketball but other sports as well, with soccer, volleyball, and futsal, just to name a few. However, to keep expenses to a minimum, giving your kids just one sport to focus on is best.
Between registration fees, equipment, and travel costs, it’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars each month on youth sports. So how can you ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck? The answer is simple: focus on one sport. By having your child specialize in a single sport, you’ll be able to save money on expenses like registration fees and travel costs.
You’ll also be able to invest more time and energy into helping your child develop their skills. And at the end of the day, that’s what’s really going to help them succeed. You never know; if your kid gets skilled enough in basketball, they might even get a scholarship.
2. Buy one size up
Kids can outgrow their basketball gear pretty quickly. Unfortunately, for some kids, the jerseys and shoes they had been wearing at the beginning of the tournament may not even fit them by the end. And if parents had to buy new gear every time their kids outgrow their jerseys, it could get pretty expensive.
It’s a familiar sight at any youth basketball tournament: a kid shows up wearing gear several sizes too big. And it’s not just because they wanted to make a fashion statement. More often than not, it’s because they’ve outgrown their old gear, and their parents couldn’t find anything else to fit them in time for the tournament.
While it might look a little silly, there’s much sense in dressing your child in oversized basketball gear. For one thing, it allows them to grow into the equipment, so they’ll be able to use it for longer. So next time you’re at a youth basketball tournament, keep an eye out for the kids dressed for success… even if it doesn’t quite fit them yet.
3. Don’t be afraid to buy pre-loved
Anyone who’s ever had a growth spurt knows the feeling of outgrowing your clothes overnight. One day you’re comfortable in your favorite pair of jeans, and the next, they’re tighter than ever and cutting into your skin. The same goes for kids and their basketball gear. They can outgrow shoes and jerseys quickly, which can be a tough pill to swallow when you just dropped a couple of hundred bucks on new equipment.
So, to make it a little lighter on the pocket, don’t be afraid to buy pre-loved basketball gear for your kids. In many cases, the previous owners just outgrew their old equipment and had to buy new ones.
Regarding basketball gear, there’s a lot of debate about what’s “good enough.” Some people are perfectly content with pre-loved or second-hand equipment, while others feel they need the latest and greatest. There’s no right answer, of course. It all comes down to personal preference.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering buying used basketball gear:
1. Make sure that the gear is in good condition and will be able to withstand the rigors of playing basketball.
2. Be sure to clean the gear thoroughly before using it.
3. Don’t be afraid to bargain!
Ultimately, buying new or used basketball gear is up to you. But if you decide to go with pre-loved or second-hand equipment, just remember to do your research and take care of it!
4. Research the costs of what you’re getting your kid into
If you’re reading this article before getting your kid into an AAU basketball team, you’re doing the right thing. This means you’re not willing to go head first into an activity that may just drain your wallet for the next several years.
Similarly, you should also do due diligence on the potential impact of getting your kid into an AAU team on your finances. The first step is to get a complete breakdown of the costs and estimates before signing your child up for an AAU team. This includes travel, gear, coaching fees, and others. This way, you won’t have to dip into the family budget when the following youth sports expense comes.
5. Don’t treat your children as an investment.
For many parents, the dream of their child playing Division I college sports is a strong motivator for getting them involved in AAU teams at a young age. And while there’s no guarantee that your child will eventually earn a scholarship to play at the Division I level, being on an AAU team gives them a better chance than if they weren’t playing organized sports.
After all, Division I coaches are always on the lookout for talented players, and being part of an AAU team can help your child get noticed. Plus, playing on an AAU team can help your child develop their skills and improve their chances of making it to the Division I level.
So even though there’s no guarantee of success, being on an AAU team is still an excellent way to give your child a chance to achieve their dreams of playing college sports.
However, some parents treat the AAU as an investment that will eventually have an ROI when the time comes. Therefore, it’s important to emphasize that there are no guaranteed returns with the AAU.
Is AAU Basketball Worth It?
Anyone who’s played organized basketball knows that it’s a whole different game from your everyday pick-up game at the playground. For one thing, you actually have to keep score. And there are rules!
No longer can you just grab the ball and run with it – now you have to pass it to your teammates and try to score against the other team. It sounds simple enough, but it can be surprisingly challenging when you’re out there on the court.
Organized basketball, whether it’s in a league or in a tournament, requires strategy, precision, and teamwork. In a pick-up game, you might be able to get away with playing solo, but in organized basketball, you need to know how to work with your teammates. And, of course, there’s the added pressure of competition. When you’re playing for keeps, the stakes are higher, and the game is more intense. So if you’re considering getting your kid to join an organized basketball team, prepare them for a different kind of experience – but one that’s sure to be enjoyable and rewarding.
So if all you’re after is for your child to learn how to play organized basketball, then the AAU is worth it. However, if you’re getting them into an AAU team to boost their chances of getting into the NBA, think again. You’re better off doing your best to get your child into the school varsity team, where they’ll get to play for free.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Afford AAU Basketball
For any basketball fan, the AAU circuit is a familiar one. Every summer, the best young players from around the country come together to compete in a series of tournaments. These events are highly competitive, giving players a chance to showcase their skills in front of college coaches and scouts.
While the AAU circuit is often thought of as a breeding ground for future stars, it also provides an excellent opportunity for less-heralded players to get exposure and improve their game. However, just because your kid is in an AAU team automatically means there will be scouts on the stands all the time.
So, don’t treat it as an investment that will eventually pay back with a college scholarship or an NBA contract. Instead, treat it as the leisure expense that it is. This way, you’ll be able to spend your money wisely.