Unfortunately, it seems so. According to this Huffington Post article, 13 percent of teens playing high school football are believed to be currently using steroids…while the rate of steroid use for females playing high school basketball is 8.8 percent.
It doesn’t matter which generation you grew up in, steroids (or some form of dodgy performance enhancing drug) have had a bad influence on everyone from our youth to professional athletes.
Blame society’s high standards and expectation of praising sporting heroes. Blame the media for glorifying the strongest, fastest and biggest athletes. It doesn’t matter who we choose to blame, the roots have been established…steroids and other illegal sports supplements are rife and they’re encroaching on our children.
I remember back in the late 90s, some of the guys in my high school were experimenting with steroids to try and get the extra bit of muscle in the gym, or gain the extra yard of pace in order to make the rugby first team. It was sad because despite the obvious mood swings and increase in body mass and bulk, these guys were opening themselves up for serious health problems further down the line.
Why risk your life for an advertised ‘dream’ that’s far from being guaranteed. Sporting success is a complex myriad of genuine talent, mental maturity, genetics and luck…steroids won’t give you any of these…only problems – both with the law and your GP. It’s not worth it!
As a parent, I know it’s near impossible to prevent your children from the dark world of steroids…the best solution is to educate and advise them on the serious health implications on taking them. Instead of forcing sporting fame and fortune down the throats of our children, society should focus more on the health benefits of exercise, physical activity and sports in general.
The next objective is to look at the ‘enjoyment factor’. Why partake in an activity that you don’t like. Rather play a sport or perform an exercise that you enjoy…regardless if it’s trendy or the ‘next big thing’.
Finally, if winning is something to take seriously, why not work more on the age-old technique of practicing hard, training according to a planned schedule and methodically working through your fitness objectives…using what nature gave you in accordance to your genetic make-up.
You may not necessarily make the Olympics but 9 times out of ten, you’ll still be better shape and a lot healthier than those around you…why not be a natural inspiration to your family and friends rather than a steroid-induced health disaster waiting to happen.