Is Drinking Among Athletes Socially Accepted?
As an athlete, achieving optimal performance involves practicing hard, hitting the weight room and being on top of your game both mentally and physically. However many athletes tend to underestimate the way in which alcohol use, even a few drink, nullifies one’s hard work by erasing the effects of workouts, reducing endurance, and compromising the mental game. The goal of any athlete is to be at the peak of performance. Alcohol is socially accepted all across the world; annual alcohol use by intercollegiate athletes is about 80%. Athletes tend to get sucked into the social drinking atmosphere and it’s not only affecting their health and physical performance as an athlete but also its getting them into trouble. Why don’t more athletes try to prevent this problem and why is so hard to say no? College athletes and their drinking habits is a big deal to a lot of different people. All athletes are looked up to by so many, that most people think them drinking during their season is wrong. There are so many questions regarding this issue. Are their coaches aware of their players drinking and how often they’re doing it? Has the rate of athletes drinking gone up or down recently? These are all questions that people have. College athletes drinking during their competitive season is seen as wrong. Research shows that “actual use of alcohol among college athletes tends to decrease during their competitive seasons” (Martens). There are also many factors that tie into athletes drinking, such as; away games, practice times, and team rules. Do athletes drink more than non-athletes? That question is asked by many people around college campuses. Of course a lot of people would assume that the answer to that would be no. Athletes are assumed to always be either at practice or working on their studies. A study was done in 2001, they surveyed three different groups of students, college athletes, students that were athletes in high school but not in college, and non- athletes. These students were surveyed on their drinking habits like how often they drank, how much they drank, and the number of times they binge drink. The results were very surprising. The group of non-athletic students drank significantly less than the two athletic groups of students. In fact, the athletes drank almost two times as much and as often as the non- athletes. That number alone is amazing. Another thing that was shown in this study was that most athletes developed their drinking habits in high school. Almost 85% of the athletes said that they drank just as much, if not more in high school than in college. (Martens) Research also indicates that college athletes are significantly more likely to have binge drank in the past two weeks than non- athletes, with approximately 60% of male and 50% of female college athletes self-reporting binge drinking behavior. These rates are higher than the national average of 44% of college students reporting binge drinking in the last two weeks. (Brenner) The non- athletes stated that if they did not drink in high school they did not drink in college either. Most people’s views are the exact opposite of what this shows. Alcohol consumption is the biggest drug problem in the United States; “alcohol stimulates a feeling of wellbeing and euphoria and can eliminate social inhibitions. A lot of athletes are under the impression that a few drinks before an event can be a strong ergogenic aid” (Morgan). Some say they feel as if it can be a powerful tool to increase mental alertness, with a few drinks some athletes say they feel more alert and can numb the pain and they feel more confident and almost fearless. One of the main reasons college athletes drink is to socialize and fit in. (Morgan) College athletes feel the need that since everyone else is doing it, why can’t they? These athletes do not realize the physical toll alcohol plays on their body compared to someone who does not need to...
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