Editor's note: This story originally appeared in our May 2019 magazine. You can subscribe to the print edition, or digital, here.
Melissa Reale knew her family invested in club soccer, but it took a conversation with her daughter, Lilly, to really crystalize how much the process envelops their lives.
Lilly, a 15-year-old defender, observed that the family hadn’t taken a vacation in years. Their obligations with South Shore Select (Hingham, Mass.) took up most free weekends and all of those school vacations. Lilly has gone on to earn youth national team call-ups and a verbal commitment to Boston College, but Melissa realized that she hit it straight on the head.