I first played soccer when I was just 6 years old; I continued to play regularly until high school, when the lure of girls and money from my part-time job seemed more important. I didn’t start playing regularly again until a few years ago when Her and I moved to Chicago. Except for recovering from some surgery, I’ve been playing regularly for the last 3 years. Here’s what I’ve had to spend to get back into soccer as an adult:
Shin Guards -$10
I see people who play without shin guards and it makes me cringe. I’ve seen these things costing as little as $5, and they generally last forever. I personally don’t feel as if there’s much difference between brands or models.
Knee Brace – $30
Since I got knee surgery, I thought I’d get a little insurance in the form of a knee brace. After reading the scientific literature though, the effectiveness of a knee brace in preventing injury is questionable. Even if there is no benefit to wearing one, psychologically I like having it on. I do suffer from a minor loss in flexibility, but it is a small price to pay for (supposed) injury prevention.
Goalie gloves – $30
I don’t play goalie every week, but there are times when I’m needed at this position. Gloves often come with a multitude of features, from padded knuckles for punching the ball to gecko-like gripping for catching. Regardless of features, just having gloves is an improvement versus playing bare-handed.
Shoes – $40
Just like with running, a good pair of shoes can go a long way in preventing injury and even enhancing performance. As with gloves, shoes can also come with a variety of features, from special cleats to additions that can help you “bend it like Beckham” (who will not be in the playoffs because of the L.A. Galaxy’s loss to the CHICAGO FIRE hahaha).
Clothing – $60
This includes socks and a goalie jersey. Both of those have very useful functions of providing comfort and preventing cuts and scrapes from falls or slides. I didn’t include shorts because I wear the ones I bought for running.
League fees – $280/year
This is by far the most expensive – actually being able to play. I play four seasons with my team – spring, early summer, late summer, and fall. The cost to enter a team per season is usually around $1200, so I end up paying around $70/season.
Getting back into soccer is one of the best things that I have done in my current post-college days. I’ve met new friends, have a lot of competitive fun, and have another reason to stay in shape. All of the equipment costs of the are one time costs, so playing more helps me get the most out of it.