Parents: Little League International offers the information below regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes. Please have your Little Leaguers read this, and then talk with them about it. For more information, please read Little League’s position statement on the use of steroids and steroid precursors.
Children’s doctors agree: there are no shortcuts to success.
If you like to watch or read about sports, you might know that certain drugs called anabolic steroids have been in the news a lot lately. Anabolic steroids are pills or injected drugs that are sometimes used by athletes who want to gain an unfair advantage over their competition. While steroids may help some people grow quickly, they are known to cause very serious health problems for those who use them.
Little League is against its players using these drugs and other supplements in an attempt to improve ability. Now a major health organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a group of more than 60,000 children’s doctors, is making sure parents and volunteers know how to help young athletes stay away from steroids.
The AAP reminds kids that “many factors help determine athletic ability … including diet and how hard an athlete trains.” The AAP says that the medical dangers of steroid use far outweigh the advantage of gains in strength or muscle mass.
“Success in sports takes talent, skill and most of all, practice and hard work,” says the AAP. “Using steroids is a form of cheating and interferes with fair competition.”
There are many healthy ways to increase your strength or improve your appearance. Even if you don’t expect to play high school, college or pro sport someday, keep the following tips in mind:
- Train safely, without using drugs.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Set realistic goals and be proud of yourself when you reach them.
- Seek out training supervision, coaching and advice from a reliable professional or volunteer.
- Avoid injuries by playing safely and using protective gear.
- Talk to your pediatrician about nutrition, your health, preventing injury and safe ways to gain strength.
- Share this information with friends and teammates.
To be a truly great athlete and maintain your health, use your natural ability to work hard in practice and concentrate on developing your skills. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or off it.