There is an ABSURD amount of money in sport nowadays: scholarships, signing bonuses, even the “league minimum” at the elite level is generational money.
So when an athlete expresses that they “don’t have the money” to train, and they need a discount, I never bend. I tell them politely I’m sorry it won’t work out, and good luck.
The reason is that “I don’t have the money” is ACTUALLY an expression of “I don’t think I’m going to succeed”. Because if an athlete has any belief in their future at all, they would see themselves as an investment capable of making the returns sport offers. So they would put their money into their training, skill work, nutrition, books on their sport, everything, knowing even a modicum of success will pay back massive dividends. But because they don’t see themselves as capable of having success, they spend their money not on themselves, but on things: shoes, meals out, entertainment.
The reality is that somewhere along the way they lost hope in themselves as an athlete. They’re still playing, but it’s usually to try to make Dad happy, or status in their small social media or peer group. And no amount of persuasion can convince someone they have a future if they’ve already given up on themselves. Their actions will follow their thoughts: because they don’t invest in themselves and improve, their inner fear that they’ll never amount to much becomes reality. “For as a man thinketh, so is he” Proverbs 23:7