The Cost of Youth Hockey: Is It Worth It?

cost of youth hockey
Brett Johnson

A hockey dad tells why the cost of youth hockey means nothing to him

By Brett Johnson

One of my friends recently asked me about the cost of youth hockey. “Why do you pay so much money and spend so much time running around for your son to play hockey?” he inquired.

Well, I have a confession to make: I don’t pay for my son’s hockey. Or his skates, his pads, his helmet, and his uniform. Or his ice time, clinics and camps, for that matter.

So if I am not paying for hockey, what exactly am I paying for?

• I pay for those moments when my son becomes so tired he feels like quitting but doesn’t.

• I pay for the opportunity that my son can have and will have to make lifelong friendships.

• I pay for the chance that he may have amazing instructors who will teach him that hockey is not just about a game but about life.

“I have a confession to make.
I don’t pay for my son’s hockey.”

• I pay for my child to learn to be disciplined.

• I pay for my son to learn to take care of his body.

• I pay for my son to learn to work with others and to be a proud, supportive, kind and respectful team member.

• I pay for my child to learn to deal with disappointment. When he doesn’t get that goal he hoped for, or falls during a breakaway he has practiced a thousand times but still gets up and is determined to do his BEST next time…

• I pay for my son to learn to set and accomplish goals.

• I pay for my son to learn that it takes hours and hours and hours and hours of hard work and practice to create a champion, and that success does not happen overnight.

• I pay so that my son can be in the rink instead of in front of a screen.


I could go on but to keep it short, I’ll say it again: I don’t pay for hockey. I pay for the opportunities that hockey provides my child to develop the attributes that will serve him well throughout his life, and give him the opportunity to bless the lives of others.

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From what I have seen over the years, I think it is a great investment. That’s why for me, the cost of youth hockey means nothing.

Brett Johnson is a hockey dad and coach living in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada. is reader supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.


  1. The gentleman who responded speaks for the majority of PARENTS that think and feel the same way. They don’t look at the monetary cost, but what comes with playing on hockey team. If some kids are fortunate enough to win a league championship during their playing days or a few tournaments, they are memories that last a lifetime.

    There is nothing wrong with being confident and healthy, and having the courage to depend on someone else to reach an objective that will follow them for a long time through their lifelong journey.

    For all the parents out there, keep on supporting your kids’ dreams because we all have the same common goals in mind for our kids growing up. Be the best you can be, be a leader, and show up when your teammates need you the most. That is a true team player.

  2. What a great article (this coming from a Mom of 4 boys who are now grown and volunteering for the teams their kids (my grandkids) are on)! I am still involved with Minor Hockey boards and just wish there was a way to explain this to every parent and have them believe and understand that this is what it is all about!

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