"Win at all costs" attitude can lead to injuries

May 27, 2021

Coaches and parents are responsible for creating an atmosphere that promotes teamwork and sportsmanship.

Youth sports should always be fun. The "win at all costs" attitude of many parents, coaches, professional athletes and peers can lead to injuries. A young athlete striving to meet the unrealistic expectations of others may ignore warning signs of injury and continue to play with pain. They may also develop unhealthy habits in a desire to succeed.

Female Athletes

Sports and exercise are healthy activities for girls and women of all ages. The participation of girls and young women in sports has increased significantly since the passage of Title IX. Occasionally, a female athlete who focuses on being thin or lightweight may eat too little or exercise too much. Doing this can cause long-term health damage.

Three interrelated illnesses may develop when a girl or young woman goes to extremes in dieting or exercise. Together, these conditions are known as the "female athlete triad."

The three conditions are:

  • Disordered eating
  • Menstrual dysfunction
  • Premature osteoporosis (low bone density for age)

Treatment for female athlete triad often requires help from a team of medical professionals including your doctor, your athletic trainer, a nutritionist, and a psychological counselor.

Steroid Use

Many young athletes — boys and girls — use black-market anabolic steroids to improve their athletic performance. Steroids have been shown to increase muscle mass, but they can cause serious and potentially life-threatening complications and should be avoided. Most steroids are illegal and are banned by sports organizations.

Sports Supplements

Many athletes of all ages take sports supplements, such as creatine, because they think it will increase strength and improve sports performance.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate nutritional supplements. This means that the supplement products available in stores may vary in amount and quality, and there is no guarantee of safety or purity.

There is also not enough research on the long-term health effects of taking sports supplements, especially in adolescents and children who are still growing.

No matter what your age or health condition, always see your doctor for advice before taking nutritional supplements.

Benefits of Sports Participation

Athletic activity by young people is generally safe with low risks and high benefits. The major goal should be enjoyable participation. Exposure to competitive and noncompetitive sports encourages the development of fitness, motor skills, social skills, and a life-long appreciation for sports.

Young athletes must learn to deal with success and defeat to place events in a proper perspective. The promotion of the "win at all costs" ethic can have both short-term and long-term detrimental effects on impressionable young athletes.

To schedule an appointment with our Orthopedic & Sports Medicine providers, call 812-282-8494 or visit our page.