This post is genuine and sincere, and as a result anonymous.
The game of hockey has made me feel so insecure over the last few years. My son, like everyone's kid, is pretty talented. Plays Tier 1 for a local PeeWee org. I quickly realized that Tier 2 must simply wasn't for us, my son kept asking for more and more hockey. I tried to schedule more events with his tier 2 team but it was not a priority for them. They would always back out or cancel due to other events, too much travel etc.
My son asked for more and once he made the team, my wife and I made the 10k commitment. Yes I say 10k because once you factor in the 5k tuition and equipment and travel, eating out with the team, hotel stays etc plan on spending 10k minimum.
Now that we are in and practicing 3x a week most weeks, I am constantly bombarded with more and more opportunities that I have to turn down. I use the term opportunities because as you know as hockey parents, we have to live and learn to see what spring/summer teams, what private lessons, what clinics are of value to our kids and which ones are just money grabs.
The social media influence and talk around the rinks about who is doing these private lessons and pictures of tournaments up North has made me feel insecure as a parent. I know my son wants to do those things but he does a good job of not bringing it up more than the first time. I think he knows his mom and I simply do not have the time or money to "compete" with some of these families.
Hockey really is a sport for the rich. I dont consider myself poor, maybe middle to upper middle class, but the amount of money being thrown around is alarming. Yes I get it, parents are chasing a dream but its heart breaking to tell your kid he cant do extra that everyone else is doing because mom and dad cant afford it right now. Or in the event we can swing it this month, how are we going to a private lesson at 1pm? We do work. I've even know people who pull their kid out of school to attend private lessons.
For those of you who can afford Tier 1 plus supplemental private lessons, God Bless. At least in my rink, I can see the extra paying off.
Just needed to get this off of my chest. I know some people who play Tier 2 feel the same way about Tier 1, but believe me there is a whole other level that most of us simply cannot fathom.