When Mark Hyman interviewed parents of young athletes for his book on the rising cost of youth sports, he found tales of love, dedication and massive expenditures.
"One parent told me, 'I'm spending more money on my younger son's ice hockey than I am on my older son's college tuition,'" Hyman said.
One dad, Fran Dicari, calculated that he spent $11,704 in 2011 on soccer and baseball trips, golf clubs, physical therapy, gas for getting to games and all manner of fees, uniforms and equipment for two kids.
"And those are relatively inexpensive sports. Hockey is notoriously expensive," between the cost of ice time, equipment and travel, Hyman said.
"Those families can easily spend $10,000," Hyman said of the annual expense. "Sometimes it approaches $15,000 or more."
Some parents see their expenditures as investments toward future college scholarships — usually an unrealistic hope, Hyman warns in his book, "The Most Expensive Game in Town" — while others spend with no expectation other than fun and enrichment for their kids.