It is not unusual to be hyper focused on athletics in this country. We start children in competitive leagues at younger and younger ages. We buy them the latest equipment. We drive hours for them to play in tournaments for exposure to college recruiters. We enroll them in camps to learn from some of the best coaches. All of this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I played a lot of sports growing up and started playing softball competitively at thirteen. It taught me discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship, and countless other life lessons. That's why parents help their children get deeply involved in sports. Unfortunately, effort in school work doesn't always get the same level of attention. This is more of an accidental reality than a well-thought-out decision. Sports are an easy way for parent's to be involved in their children's lives. Pop culture capitalizes on the entertainment value, making sports an accessible form of entertainment the whole family can enjoy. We need to re-adjust our thinking so that sports and education are valued in a similar way.
My husband loves playing baseball. His dad is not very good at catch, but that never stopped them from playing together. His dad's lack of throwing abilities did not hinder my husband's ability, but it also didn't help him become better. That's why his dad paid for my husband to play in a league. There was a patient and knowledgable coach that taught the kids the rules of baseball and ran drills to improve their skills. A "tutor" is an educational "coach." They are proficient in the subject and work with your child to grasp the concept.
Sports doesn't stop with your YMCA league. High performance athletes seek a wide variety of help to step up their game. There are sports psychologists, physiotherapists, personal trainers, and nutritionists that assist the coach in shaping the athlete. Why do we expect school to be the be-all-end-all for our child's education? If an athlete has a prayer in making it big, they need a support system that helps them hone each aspect of their game. Think of a tutor as a necessary part of your child's support team. The teacher's do there best to educate your child, but there are a lot of children in the room. For some students they go too fast, for others they go too slow. That's where a tutor can go at the pace specifically needed for your child.
Professional athletes are not the only people that make a lot of money. Athletics are not the only form of scholarships. There are more high-paying careers and academic scholarships than there are positions on a professional sports team. Anyone with a child has worried about the costs of college tuition. In-state tuition at Kansas State University is estimated at just over $20,000 per year . That's $80,000 for a four year degree. Considering a university degree is a near necessity in today's job market, this potential $80,000 bill isn't outside of your horizon. But, you could get one year nearly paid for simply by having an ACT score of 30 and GPA of 3.6 . Not a bad return on investment if you spent $1000 on tutoring and got a $14,000 scholarship in return - and that's for a scholarship given simply by being eligible when you apply to university. Think of the others that have academic requirements that you apply for on the side.
It is easy to justify costs for our children's sports. It's an easy way for parents to spend time with their children. Popular culture idolizes athletes and often reports on their successes. Don't forget that education can be just as valuable to your child's growth and well-being. Similar to when you reach out to a coach to teach a sports-related skill, you may want to reach out to a tutor to help with their academic skills.
 "Tuition and Costs." Kansas State University, 29 Jul. 2016. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.
 "Scholarships." Kansas State University, 01 Sept. 2016. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.