Our student athletes today must make decisions about chemicals that no previous generation has had to face. This means, parents and coaches too must learn to cope with the reality of a world in which chemicals are readily available to their athletes.
The issue of alcohol, tobacco, steroids and other drugs in the lives of our young athletes and in our own lives is an area of concern that must be addressed and opened up for serious consideration within the coaching profession. In this society, it is a subject that is everywhere. In school, on television, in the newspapers, on our computers, in the movies and on the athletic field. For many of us drug use represents a mysterious subject with consequences that are unclear and an attraction to the young that is hard to understand. For many of our student athletes, it is also frightening, because drugs are all around them, and they too, are unsure.
Sports seem to define the American spirit of teamwork, fair play, dedication, competition, excellence, and the powerful will to win (sometimes at any cost). For most young people, sports is almost a universal language. More than one-half of all high school students participate in sports and even more are involved outside of school. Some of today’s most inspiring heroes are the stars of the Olympics, professional sports and even high school teams.
The coach molds a teenager into a disciplined and competitive athlete. He/She can give them a postive self image that turns the athlete into a leader. It is the coach who has a strong influence over the life, attitude and beliefs of the student athlete. Here, in this special relationship, there is a foundation for a program which can help reduce one of this nation’s most significant youth problems in our history - the epidemic of alcohol and other drug use.
The student athlete has a powerful influence over attitudes of their fellow students. Beyond that, many are also student leaders and have a major effect on the attitudes and perceptions of their schools, but the true source of that leadership starts with the coach.
Coaches cannot singlehandedly make changes in their school/community’s attitudes about alcohol and other drug use. As public figures, coaches are subject to the community norms, particularly if a “no talk” or a “don’t tell” rule exists about athletes. Coaches can, however, make a significant impact on teams in schools when a policy exists that advocates students seek out and get help for their chemical health problems. Coaches can be even more effective in communities that support, plan and offer chemical-free events.
Society’s attitudes in general and the attitudes of people associated with sports in particular can and must be changed. Education is the key to this change. Many athletic directors and coaches have developed a new approach; they continue to stress adherence to league and team rules, but utilize a variety of intervention and prevention measures in enforcing discipline and meting out consequences. All of us associated with sports can take a consistent and uncompromising stand against drug use coupled with judicious use of school and community resources.
We must encourage our student athletes to pursue healthy behaviors. The social, emotional and spiritual development associated with athletic excellence can be a powerful, positive influence in the prevention of alcohol and other drug use problems.
We must be competent. We must be caring and we must be committed to making the necessary changes. We have the power, we just need the courage.
- Bill Beacham
Coaching/Auxillary Staff: 3-Hours
Team Captains/Leaders: 2-Hours
Athletes Plus: 11/2-Hours
Athletes who eat a healthy diet with a variety of foods do not need supplements. However,
most people, especially teenagers, do not get all the vitamins and minerals that they need
from food alone. A daily multivitamin and mineral supplement can help make up for
deficiencies in your diet. Don’t be misled. Vitamin tablets marketed as natural vitamins are
not more effective than other manufactured vitamins.
Vitamins are carbon containing nutrients your body needs for peak performance. Vitamins
help you get energy out of food by making the body’s chemical reactions possible and more
efficient. Using extra vitamin tablets does not help athletic performance. The fat-soluble vitamins (A,
D, E, K) are stored in body fat. Vitamins A and D can build up and cause harmful effects.
Taking high doses of water soluble vitamins results in the extra vitamins being washed out
in the urine.iThe following lists the vitamins, their main sources and how they may help
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is needed for vision, especially night and color
vision. It also maintains structure and function of tissues surrounding the eyes and mouth
and aids in growth of bones, teeth and skin, Vitamin A may stimulate thc immune system
and increase resistance to infection. People should not rake vitamin A pills without a
physicians' vice, It can be harmful, even at low doses.
Beta-carotene is a safe form of vitamin A, and the body transforms it into vitamin A. Some
evidence suggests that food sources of vitamin A and beta carotene can prevent certain
kinds of cancers, especially colon and lung malignancies. But this is not true for beta#
carotene pills. One large national study had to be stopped when the smokers who were
given beta-carotene tablets developed more cancers than smokers not given this vitamin.
The RDA (recommended daily allowance ) for beta-carotene is 2.4 mg or 1000 IU (lnternational Units)
each day Good food sources of beta-carotene are yellow/orange and dark
green-leafy vegetables, nonfat milk, other dairy products and fish oils.
B-I (Thiamine): Vitamin B-I is needed for function of the nerves and muscles, and it helps
convent carbohydrates into energy. The RDA is 1.5 mg each day. Good sources are whole
and enriched grain products and beans, nuts and seeds. '
B-2 (Ribaflavin): Vitamin B-2 is needed for protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism and
For healthy skin. It is important for release of energy from nutrients. It also assists in formation
of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the backbone of our genetic code. The RDA is 1.7mg
each day. Good sources include low far dairy products, broccoli, dark green leafy
vegetables, meat, fish and enriched grain products.
B-3 (Niacin): Niacin is needed for cells_to use oxygen and releasing energy from foods. In
high doses, this vitamin can improve blood cholesterol and fat (triglyceride) levels. l-lower,
high doses can cause unpleasant side effects, like skin flushing and headache. Also,
high doses can cause liver problems and ulcers and worsen certain conditions like diabetes
and a form of arthritis called gout. The RDA is 20 mg each day. Good sources include meat,
milk, poultry, fish and whole and enriched grain products.
B-5 (Pantothenic acid) Protects the nervous system and helps produce neurotransmitters.
Pantothenic acid assists the body’s use of carbohydrates, fats and protein. The usual RDA
for young adult men is 10 mg each day Good sources of vitamin B-5 are found in meat, fish,
poultry whole-grain cereals and beans.
B-6 (Pyridoxine): Converts protein, fat and carbohydrates into energy and helps growth.
Vitamin B-6 also helps form red blood cells and assists nerve function. fI71e RDA is 2.0 mg
each day. Good sources include chicken, fish, beans, grains, green leafy vegetables and nuts.
B-12 (Cyanocobalamin): Necessary to make red blood cells and is required by the nervous
system. A few people cannot absorb vitamin B-12 from their intestinal tract and develop a
specific type of anemia (low red blood cells), along with a potentially lethal nervous system
disorder (pernicious anemia). People with this condition need injections of vitamin B-12.
The RDA is 2.0 mg each day. Good sources of vitamin B-I2 are fish, poultry seafood
and low fat meat and dairy products.
Biotin: Used in amino acid metabolism and the production of sugar (glucose) and fatty acids.
It nlso is important for healthy skin. Some biotin is made in the gastrointestinal tract.The RDA
is 100 mcg each day Good food sources are egg yolk, broccoli, peanut butter; cereals and nuts.
C (Ascorbic acid): The body needs vitamin C to build the connective tissue that holds cells
together (collagen), make healthy teeth and gums and for nom1al blood clotting. Also, vita-
min C is an antioxidant, which prevent damage from certain toxins, such as viruses, radiation
and some chemicals. Research has shown that taking 400 mgs of vitamin C each day
may reduce the risk of heart disease. The RDA is 60 mg each day, Good sources include
citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, green and ned peppers and cabbage-type
D: This fat soluble vitamin is needed for growth, strengthening bones and teeth and regulating
muscle function and calcium levels in the blood. The RDA is 400 IU each day. Good
sources include fortified milk, eggs (yolk) and fish. When your skin is exposed to enough
sunlight. lt is able to make vitamin D.
E: Vitamin E is an ‘anti-oxidant' similar to vitamin C_and helps protect cells from damage.
It assists the formation of muscle tissue and red blood cells. The RDA is 15 mg or I5 Inter-
national Units each day Good sources are green leafy vegetables whole grains, milk, wheat
germ, poultry and seafood. '
Folic acid : Also known as Folate, this vitamin is needed for red blood
cell growth and repair. It aids in the formation of our genetic material
use of amino acids. The RDA is 200 mg each day. Sources include
green leafy vegetables, beans and poultry cell development and
(DNA and RNA) and oranges, grapefruits.