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Be a SADD Tortoise!

Are you a school Athlete? According to The Next College Student Athlete, “high school sports provide competitive experiences for nearly 8 million student-athletes every year”. School athletics offer rewarding experiences that teach youth team, leadership, social, and interpersonal skills. An athlete mediates, contemplates, intimates, appreciates, elucidates, and illuminates their physical and mental potential. However, an athlete should not exasperate, irritate or aggravate their bodies by the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PED) or steroids. These anabolic steroids are used by athletes to increase their muscle composition, strength and act like hormones in the body. The findings of a Youth Risk and Behavior Surveillance System study estimated that among U.S. high school students, 4.9% of males and 2.4% of females had used anabolic steroids at least once in their lives. That’s 375,000 young men and 175,000 young women. (FDA)


Being an athlete takes skill, stamina, and strength. Each of these requires time to develop, enhance, and sustain. A successful athlete is someone who lives a disciplined lifestyle, leads with a healthy mindset, commits and invests time with energy, and demonstrates a lot of self-control. Constant practice and strain can be challenging and overwhelming at times. Athletes may become impatient and want to accelerate quickly, thus turning to PED’s.

There is increasing pressure and demands placed on student athletes to aggressively improve their stats and records as a way to minimize the expense of college. NCAA Divisions I and II schools provide more than “$3.6 billion in athletics scholarships annually to more than 180,000 student-athletes”. (NCAA) The competitive ring for scholarships is fierce as the cost of higher education rises.

Using PED’s may seem like a good scheme to ensure your ability to meet physical and college demands. However, these steroids are very damaging and harmful to your body with negative long-term side effects. The USADA states that taking steroids can cause the “body to stop producing hormones naturally and lead to organ enlargement, stunted growth, liver damage, and fertility issues. Moreover, natural testosterone levels may never recover, making the consequences of doping irreversible” (USADA). Teens using these steroids may also experience severe acne, mood swings, and, most alarming- premature cardiac arrest.


This risk is not even worthy, as PED’s do not improve an athlete’s performance. True impacts on an athlete are traits and characteristics such as genetics, athletic ability, training, diet, age and sex. This perceived “fast track” does not add any lasting skill or true improvement for an individual.


Being an athlete means being patient and waiting for results. If you’re thinking “I will only have to take steroids for a limited while” then you are most likely mistaken. You are conditioning your body in a way that it cannot sustain. Being an athlete also is having a certain mindset. Without rules, there would not be the sport that you so much love to play. Within it exists guidelines, expectations and safety measures. By using PED’s you have lowered your own individual standards, morals and protections. You are no longer an athlete. Play to your ability, it is one of the things that makes us all unique. Find your “athletic stance” and be proud of where you stand in your physical body. Your best investment to get better is time and effort. The tortoise took a longer time to get fit, but stayed stronger and healthier for the rest of his life. The rabbit was quick to get energized, thrusting and leaping forward great distances only to be consumed by its closest predator.


Make sure to stay connected with SADD for more blogs/great reads like this!



Sources:

Commissioner, Office of the. “Teens and Steroids: A Dangerous Combo.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/teens-and-steroids-dangerous-combo#:~:text=Various%20studies%20have%20been%20conducted,least%20once%20in%20their%20lives . Accessed 6 Sept. 2023.

“Department of Health.” Anabolic Steroids and Sports: Winning at Any Cost, www.health.ny.gov/publications/1210/#:~:text=Anabolic%20steroids%20help%20build%20muscle,how%20hard%20the%20athlete%20trains . Accessed 6 Sept. 2023.

“High School Sports: Everything You Need to Know.” NCSA College Recruiting, 3 Feb. 2023, www.ncsasports.org/articles-1/high-school-sports#:~:text=High%20school%20sports%20provide%20competitive,the%202018%2D19%20school%20.




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