Steroids in Youth Sports

It was previously that kids would join little league teams excited to play baseball, football and hockey. Young boys all over the country had dreams of being the next Mickey Mantle or Roger Staubauch. These days, as kids innocently join teams ready to begin their dream of learning to be a professional in their chosen sport, and as parents cheer from the stands hoping that their little one doesn’t get hurt, the pressure to be bigger, faster and more powerful than another guy gets harder to ignore.
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With professional sports contracts spending millions of dollars for every player every year, a kid’s dreams may bring him fame and a pretty big fortune. But only when he is successful at beating out almost every other kid with exactly the same dream. From the 1,500 or so active professional football players, there are maybe millions of kids who dream of being truly a great pro quarterback. With those odds, kids, sometimes coaches, and sometimes even parents begin looking for an advantage for their child. Even though they are illegal to use a growing number of kids are turning to steroids to give them the edge they are looking for.
Steroids are hormone drugs that make athletes stronger and much more muscular. This is an obvious advantage on the football field. Kids recognize that their senior high school sports years are when college recruiters are likely to make offers to the best players to play on a college team. Being recruited by way of a major college means that the ball player will get not only a free ride scholarship to the faculty but will play on a great team and then maybe get yourself a job on an expert team. That is true for high school baseball, soccer, and hockey team players too. Kids are sometimes introduced to steroids as early as junior high school and sometimes the pressure to function as best makes the steroids too hard to resist. Also, some kids are given silent permission to use steroids by their coaches and parents because these adults may recognize the signs a teen is using steroids but not do anything about it.
Steroid use could cause some pretty complicated unwanted effects. Young men who use steroids may become larger and more muscular rapidly. They can also have bad acne breakouts, they are often shaky, have bad body odor, mood swings, and be aggressive and hard to get along with. For girls, using steroids could make them moody, and present them undesired facial hair and a deeper voice. Unfortunately, many of these things are present during the teen years anyway. A number of the more scary unwanted effects are heart damage, liver damage, and shrinking of the testicles.
Even over the counter steroids have side effects. Protein drinks and steroid powders can be purchased in health food stores and kids have quick access to these products. Since teen steroid users aren’t done growing the damage that steroids do can mean much more to them than to adults. Even over the counter steroids can cause kidney damage and heart damage.
As much as thirty million kids play a sport in this country and up to 11 percent of these kids have at least tried steroids. Steroids are a drug and using them is illegal. Sometimes kids are introduced to steroids by their coach. There have been some recent stories in the news about coaches who gave their players steroids or who suggested that the player give steroids a try to become a better player. Most often, another player introduces them to the drug either because the user brags about using steroids or a weaker player befriends the stronger one and the steroid user shares his secret.
Because steroid use has become such a problem for teenagers, parents, coaches and other adults are taking steps to stop the use of steroids. Some students find out about using steroids in health class. Some schools require that their students who play sports attend a lecture about steroid use in sports. And some other schools distribute a flyer or perhaps a pamphlet about steroid use to sports team members. Even the National Football League is becoming involved in teaching kids not to use steroids to improve their sports performance. These organizations have developed an approach of education to help keep kids from trying steroids or even to get them off steroids once they have started. Kids know that if they are caught using steroids, they are able to get kicked from their sports team. However they also know that if they take steroids, they may be bigger, stronger and play much better than some other players and that they have a better potential for winning.
For years kids have been learning that smoking, drinking and drugs are not good for them. But kids still continue to smoke, drink and do drugs. Even adults smoke, drink and do drugs. Some people say that teaching kids these things are wrong is all that is required to keep them from doing it. Other people say that if adults, mostly parents, don’t smoke drink or do drugs, kids won’t take action either. Since kids remain smoking, drinking, and doing drugs, including steroids, it’s obvious that this approach is not actually working. Education is wonderful for some kids, but it obviously doesn’t work sufficiently. The only way to find the majority of kids off of steroids is to perform random drug testing for high school sports team members. Since steroids are still a concern even after years of education and millions of dollars spent of getting the word out, it’s obvious that kids need a stricter sports environment.

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