Succed on Your Merits—Thats What its About

Steroids Threaten Health of Athletes and the Integrity of Sports Performances

Life can be boiled down to the risks and benefits of the short term and the long term. In other words, many of the decisions a person will make will often have fleeting effects in their near future or long-lasting implications far down the road ahead. This is a theory that certainly applies to the world of athletes and competitive sports.

Young athletes, especially high school athletes, are at a stage of physical development where it can be hard to judge their full potential. So steroids can seem like a natural and logical option for many young athletes who want to excel faster and improve quicker. Steroids can seem like a viable option for increasing power and stamina and getting ahead of the competition. However, while steroids might produce some short-term improvements, the use of steroids can prove to be highly detrimental to the health of athletes, young and old alike.

While high school and college level athletes can be primary users of steroids, there are still important roles to play for parents and coaches and administrators. Coaches should adopt a no-tolerance policy for steroids. With so many steroids and doping substances that are able to go undetected by traditional testing, it is critical that coaches and role models explain the risks of steroid use to young minds to prevent them from using.

Performance-enhancing substances like steroids can seem appealing to the young, developing athlete, but their effects can be highly risky. Not only do steroids have the potential to diminish the physical development of a young athlete, but they also have the potential to deplete cognitive capacity and reduce healthy physiological functions. The use of anabolic steroids may temporarily boost the physical capabilities of a young person, thereby giving the illusion of enhancing short-term performance, but anabolic steroids can cause severe and long-term damage. The trade-offs for more home runs, more punt returns, and more yards gained can be along the lines of heart disease, male pattern baldness, psychological damage, testicular atrophy, and increased bad cholesterol. In this sense, the use of steroids—designer or anabolic—can be highly damaging to the bodies and minds of developing high school and college athletes.

In terms of unfair advantages, steroids create a rift in the integrity of competitive sports. When one athlete decides to use steroids in competitive sports, he is undermining the fundamental understanding in which competitive sports were founded upon. Every athlete, whether in high school, college, or professional competition, plays to the best of their abilities and relies upon their hard work and training to increase skill. When steroids are put into play, such aspects of the world of competition, like training and practice, are severely diminished. There is an unfair advantage on the field, on the court, and on the Astroturf.

To discourage the use of steroids by young athletes, parents and coaches should explain the potential risks of steroid use and implement serious sanctions for anyone who is caught using them. This might seem like a harsh treatment for a young person who is trying to perform at their optimum level, but it can save young lives, preserve fair play, and encourage personal skill building among athletes.

Alcorn State University. Sports Recruiting.

Beloit College Sports Recruiting.

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