Coach Pete

Expert advice for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches

Doping is for Dopes

       jo cuts 006

Who is the real Sports hero?

With the latest news about one of my  favorite sports heroes taking performance enhancing drugs started me thinking about my little age groupers. These little guys work hard every day trying to achieve their goals, now we have another athlete accused of cheating. I wonder what impression does this have on them? I wonder do they think in order to succeed in athletics should they also cheat? Should they find ways to beat the system of hard work? Do they feel that drugs are the substitute for hard work. There are honest athletes who work hard every day and refuse to cheat to achieve fame and glory and we have to put these athletes on the pedestal of success.More has to be said about them and not the cheaters. The most common goal for our young swimmers is to reach the Olympics. This goal is now tarnished with the stigma of performance enhancing drugs, when records are broken we wonder, “were drugs involved”? It seems to me that the Olympics are supposed to be an event that matches the best athletes in the world against each other. It gives them an opportunity to represent their country with pride. It is not supposed to be a doping forum!

The Dallas Morning News reported that athletes on another high school football team told their coach that an athlete on the USA Today’s No. 1 ranked football team, Carroll High School, in Southlake, Texas, allegedly used anabolic steroids. Two other Texas high schools are also accused of steroid usage in the report released by the local school district.
What’s next? Will there be steroids or other methods used on the high school level? Or could it possibly be that this type of behavior could move even further down to little league, Biddy Basketball and Pop Warner or into US Age Group Swimming ?
It’s a scary thought but not impossible. I just hope the “evils” plaguing the sports world can be eradicated, returning athletics to the once proud state where achieving feats weren’t questioned.

I recently asked John Leonard the Executive Director of The American Swim Coaches Association, how do we as coaches explain to our little ones in simple terms that Doping is not the way to go and here is John’s answer

Coach Pete – I believe it is a simple and direct message. “Doping is cheating. Don’t Cheat. You don’t want others to cheat when you race them, don’t you cheat when you  race others.” Taking hits on an asthma medication when you don’t need to, is part of doping Don’t do it. Cheating is false winning. Don’t do it. When you cheat, you live with the shame for the rest of your life.

Don’t do it. Swim Hard, Swim Clean, Performance Enhancing Drugs are indeed for dopes.

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February 18, 2008 Posted by | Age Group, Coaches, Masters Swimming, Parents, Triathlons | Leave a comment