Strategies to Curb Risk Behaviors in Adolescent Athletes

Strategies to Curb Risk Factors in Adolescent Athletes

By Detavius Mason

Today’s athletes are bigger, faster, and stronger then ever before. From a young age, athletes know to play on the high school team, on a Division Ι college roster, and eventually on the pro level, they have to be “better” then their peers. Adolescents are faced with that type of pressure to succeed starting in middle school! With this type of pressure for success coupled with the negative examples presented to them by the athletes they see on TV and/or admire, it is not surprising to anyone why some high schools choose to random drug tests their student-athletes throughout the sporting year. Three of the top sports in America (basketball, football & baseball) have had great players tarnish their legacies due to illegal performance enhancing drugs, narcotics, alcohol related incidents, or steroids. These professional “role models” who get arrested for such buffoonery help to reinforce the “everyone does it so that makes it ok” notion, add to that the dream of playing professional sports & the win at all costs attitude makes high school kids the ideal target to implement an intervention program to attempt to reduce risk behaviors. Two of these programs, the Athletes Training & Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS) program for males and Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENA) program for females focus on anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines, narcotics, as well as sport supplements, dieting pills, and eating disorders. Continue reading “Strategies to Curb Risk Behaviors in Adolescent Athletes”