Major League Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. on Wednesday cautioned parents against believing their high-spending on athletics will pave their kids' way to a professional sports career.
The Baltimore Oriole turned entrepreneur counts a youth sports tournament company among his post-baseball business pursuits. Ripken said he's come across some parents who harbor outsize expectations.
"Sometimes the fever to say, 'OK, I've got to have my kid playing more baseball so they can become a professional baseball player' — you want to keep that in perspective," Ripken told CNBC in an interview on "Squawk on the Street."
A recent study by TD Ameritrade found most parents spend $100 to $500 a month on sports expenses for each child. About 20 percent shell out $1,000 or more. Those outlays sometimes come at the expense of long-term financial goals, including a timely retirement or funding a child's college education, TD Ameritrade warned.
More than one-third of the respondents to the survey said they thought their child would make it to the Olympics or go pro, when in fact just 2 percent of young athletes achieve that level of success.
Parents should instead enroll their kids in athletic programs for the experience and enjoyment of sports, Rikpen said.
"If you want to support your child in activities that they want to do, it's OK to do that, but I wouldn't layer on the expectation that I'm making a professional baseball player or professional lacrosse or soccer player by putting him in all these tournaments," he said.