Athletic participation provides numerous rewards for children. Aside from promoting physical health, it also promotes discipline, socialization, team work, and many other essential life skills. Research has even shown that physical activity and sports can improve an individual’s self-esteem. To add to that, it can also decrease stress and anxiety. A child involved with sports may also be inclined to stay in school and maintain good conduct.
With its many benefits, there is no doubt that kids will get a lot of benefits from sports. However, parents must clearly understand that when a child is too pressured to improve his athletic performance, he may be lured to the use of performance enhancing drugs.
Many young athletes are enticed to take performance enhancing drugs and supplements because they badly want excel. Some individuals are drawn to these substances because it can increase muscle mass and strength.
While these drugs provide easy answers to their athletic goals, they may end up getting more harm than good. These performance enhancing drugs can cause very dangerous side-effects such as heart and liver problems, fertility issues, violent and aggressive behavior, circulatory problems, and a string of other serious health problems. With famous athletes hounded by controversies regarding steroid use, parents should already take it upon themselves to provide support and guidance, so that a teen will not resort to the use of these harmful drugs as a way to excel.
If your child had a bad game, make him feel that you are proud of his performance. A child can easily put unnecessary pressure on himself just to make his parents proud. Do not pressure your child to perform more than what he is capable of doing. Remember that each child is special and unique, and not everyone is born to be a star athlete.
It is also very important that you set clear rules about the use of performance enhancing drugs. Let your child know that these drugs can cause harmful side-effects, and he should not even consider on using these to boost his performance. Make an agreement that if he ever uses these drugs, you will have to ask him to quit playing.
Teach your teen the essence of competition, and try to make him understand why there is a need to compete fairly. Let him know that outstanding athletic performance should stem from proper training and a healthy diet. You may liken the use of performance enhancing drugs to cheating, which does not only lead to empty victories, but to serious health problems as well.
You may also try to talk with your teen’s coach about your concerns regarding these drugs. Take it as an opportunity to check the kind of environment that your teen is competing in. You may also try to determine the measures taken by the school to discourage the use of these harmful drugs. These should be in line with your views, and it should also look after the promotion of health for teen athletes.
Teens will definitely learn a lot of things from sports. But parents need to balance things out by making sure that they are not putting their health at risk. While winning can be exhilarating, let your child know that losing will always be part of the game. Great athletes do not really have perfect records, but they just learn how to work harder each time they experience defeat.