Coaches: Speak up about the dangers of steroid use with your young players

5/17/2011

Would you be able to recognize the signs of steroid abuse? Does the idea of steroid use in youth sports seem ridiculous?
 
Although the risks of using steroids cannot be stated enough, there are many alarming statistics involving youth athletes’ abuse of these drugs. Once thought to be reserved for professional athletes or a problem only facing teen athletes, the use of steroids has trickled down into youth sports. According to the Taylor Hooton Foundation most children begin using steroids between 7th – 9th grade, and the median age for initial use is 15 years old.
 
Internal, as well as external, pressures may encourage youth athletes to turn to steroids with the intent to increase muscle mass and perform better. Sadly, many children do not know much about steroids besides these short-lived results.
 
A 2008 Proctor and Gamble survey found that 85 percent of American young people have never had a parent, coach or teacher talk with them about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs.
 
In an ongoing effort to provide NYSCA volunteer coaches with the latest youth sports information while helping to create a safe, positive sports experience for children, the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) has partnered with the Taylor Hooton Foundation to provide coaches with the facts they need to know and share with their youth athletes regarding the risks of steroids.
 
The Taylor Hooton Foundation is the only organization in North America dedicated to educating young people and their adult influencers about the dangers of anabolic performance enhancing drugs. The foundation was founded in 2004 in memory of Taylor E. Hooton, a 17-year old athlete from Plano, Texas. Taylor suffered a tragic, untimely death as a result of his anabolic steroid abuse.
 
Volunteer coaches are viewed as role models in the eyes of their players – they are leaders who demonstrate sportsmanship, character and sports skills. NAYS encourages NYSCA coaches to open communication about the risks and realities of steroid use to their youth athletes and team parents. By talking about steroid use now, you may be able to prevent your players from being a statistic in the future.
 
To find your Taylor Hooton Foundation resources log in to the Member Area at www.nays.org. Then click the “Steroids Facts” link on the left-hand side.

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