Money Moves: Expensive vs. cheap equipment

Is the expensive equipment worth it? Or should you stick with the cheap stuff? 

~Michael Innacelli, CNUTV Managing Editor & Sports Editor~

Sports can be an expensive hobby. 

You have to pay for shoes, shirts and all sorts of gear just to be able to play the sport.

As a society we want our kids to be active but some people just can’t afford all the expensive gear to play. 

That’s why there are bargain brand versions of things.

It’s pretty easy these days to find something like $40 soccer cleats, or a $30 baseball bat, so why bother with buying the expensive gear?

The expensive gear is probably better than the cheap gear, but for an average athlete is it worth it? 

The answer is it probably  isn’t worth the extra money from your paycheck.

So why do people who aren’t going to play in college or at the pro level buying all this expensive gear? 

It’s because of the culture of sports.

As a kid I can remember always being the odd one out on the soccer field. I was the one who had Puma brand cleats. 

Today Puma is a pretty popular brand, but a few years ago this wasn’t the case.

I remember thinking that I wasn’t as good as the other kids and that’s why I didn’t get the Nike or 

Adidas brand cleats. 

Obviously the reason I didn’t have those cleats were because my parents didn’t want to buy me $150 cleats when I was only 12 years old. That is not exactly a safe investment to be making for your child. 

However, the culture of expensive gear made me think I was an outcast.

As I grew up I started taking sports more seriously. I would go through cleats pretty much once a year for soccer, and I had three baseball bats in my bag at any given time.

I ended up buying the more expensive gear as I got older but it never had the effect I thought it would on my ability.

I wasn’t scoring more goals in soccer because I bought nice cleats, I wasn’t hitting more home runs with my expensive bats and no matter what kind of running shoes I wore I never broke the five minute mark in the mile.

At first I thought that the reason must be my gear not be good enough, but as I got to my senior year of highschool it became very clear what the real issue was.

I was spending so much money on things that I thought would make me better, but at the end of the only thing that could play the sport was me.

It didn’t matter whether I wore a $70 pair of cleats or a $200 pair, if I played well it was because of me, and if I played bad it was my fault.

Yes, having more grip on my cleats was nice when I had the expensive pair, but it wasn’t the be all end all in determining whether I would play well.

The point is that you should get equipment that you like, in the budget you want. If you are reading this article I hate to break it to you, but you probably aren’t going pro in your sport.

Maybe think about the gear you buy when you hit the store next time. Think about what exactly that extra $100 is going to get you.

Save a few bucks and go for the cheaper equipment, that’s my two cents.

Not only will you feel like you’re a better person for it, you’ll be able to spend more money on the celebration after you win your next game.

That’s money well spent.

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