Practicing sports allows people to reap a variety of benefits. Participating in sports helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle by getting the exercise your body needs and can also serve as a stress reliever. Some people take sports more seriously than others and want to pursue a career as professional athletes. Many athletes push themselves to work towards perfection in an attempt to reach this dream. However, along the way many athletes lose sight not only of what they are working so hard towards but also of what is right and begin doing wrong things that eventually hurt them, their loved ones and sometimes even their own reputations.
While trying to work hard towards their goals, some athletes forget what their responsibilities are and prioritize work before more important things. Because they are aiming for perfection, they overwork themselves and pay little or no attention to their family. Track athlete Cortney Jacobs, basketball player Sherron Collins, volleyball player Paula Caten and football player Eric Butler have all found themselves doing this throughout their careers. They are all on the road a lot of the time meaning they don’t have a lot of time to spend with their children and partners.
Jacobs has stated that when she’s lucky she gets to see her husband and 4 year old daughter twice a month. Sometimes it’s not the long hours and traveling which causes problems for the athletes and their families. Sometimes athletes are focusing on themselves so much; they act selfishly and carry out deeds that have serious repercussions on not only them, but their loved ones as well. Not caring about the rest of their family, they act recklessly and thinking only of themselves, engage in a variety of misdeeds including adultery. This of course, eventually hurts the entire family.
In 2003, Kobe Bryant admitted to engaging in an extramarital affair. His status as a famous athlete meant his young wife had to deal with her marriage being in trouble while dealing with the media circus that surrounded the revelation of the affair. A more recent and infamous example of this would be the professional golfer Tiger Woods’ numerous extramarital affairs which were exposed earlier this year. Woods infidelities lead to his and his wife Elin Nordegren’s divorce and her return to her home country Sweden leaving his two small children to grow up without a father figure.
Apart from damaging existing relationships they have, athlete’s sometimes form new unhealthy ones too. In sports business, advice is thrown at athletes from all sides and in their quest to make succeed and become well known in their sport, athletes may take the wrong advice and unwisely allow bad people to influence them. Unknowingly and slowly, athletes may be lead down the wrong path without an easy way to turn back. A big problem the sports industry has had to fight is the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.
It is neither uncommon nor unheard of that young and starting athletes and athletes whose performances have hit a rut turn to steroids. Out of desperation or ambition, they think of how steroids might help their performance while forgetting about the serious side effects which include increased chances of having cardiac arrest, liver damage, infertility and uncontrollable aggression to name a few. Soccer player Lyle Alzado, boxer Jason Giambi and baseball players Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez are only a few of many athletes who have used steroids.
Aside from having serious physical and psychological side effects, steroids negatively affect athletes in other ways too as was the case with Olympic champions Ben Johnson and Marion Jones. Gold medalist Marion Jones was one of the best and most respected track and field athletes in the world but her choice to use steroids had huge consequences on her career. Steroids may have helped her become the best female sprinter and one of the best long jumpers, but she was forced to admit to using steroids in 2007 and as a result, had to forfeit five medals she won after 2000 including her Sydney Summer Olympics metals.
She was also banned from competing for a few years and was too disgraced to compete even after the ban was lifted. Similarly, swimmer Ben Johnson was stripped of his medals after it was discovered he used steroids and his credibility as a professional athlete was ruined. While steroids affect an athlete more on the professional side, drugs and law problems have a greater effect on the athlete’s popularity rather than their profession. Such were the cases of Hank Thompson, Luis Polonia, Mike Tyson, and previously retired Boston Celtic’s player Charles E Smith.
Mike Tyson’s and Charles’ popularity were soaring high when they began their careers. However, after Tyson’s accusations of rape, road rage, possession of narcotics, and DUI his popularity lowered dramatically. The same thing can be said about Charles’ popularity after he had been accused and found guilty of vehicular homicide. Lastly, when athletes strive for perfection sometimes they unconsciously acquire incorrect and bad habits. One such habit would be working out incorrectly.
Sometimes because an athlete works too hard they grow tired and lose their correct form. This without a doubt can lead to serious injuries which in turn cause an interruption in training as the athlete takes time to recover or forces an athlete to miss a competition. Only a few months ago, soccer player Dan Kennedy was forced to take time off due to a knee injury he sustained while rushing through some practice drills. Athletes can also pick up unhealthy eating habits.
Athletes might not watch what they eat and so this could not only lead to an increase in their weight but it could also be the start of an unhealthy life which may include becoming diabetic or having high cholesterol. Maybe an athlete is too busy practicing that they don’t have time to eat. They might not be eating more; they might be eating less which also has bad effects on the body such as anemia. In a way, eating wrong effects the way you play a sport. Either if you gain or lose too much weight, your performance slows down.
This of course, does not only hurt your reputation if you lose games that are of a high importance level, but also your body. Those who want to pursue a career as professional athletes train and practice really hard day and night. Sometimes however, aspiring pro athletes get tangled up in the wrong things in an attempt to speed up their progress or after they’ve become famous. Practice does make perfect, but athletes must remember that they can lose the success they attained at any given moment by engaging in the wrong things.