Alcohol use in the NFL
High profile alcohol-related incidents involving NFL players seem to be becoming more and more common; just ask Cedric Benson, Odell Thurman, and Adam Jones. But, given the substantial body of negative health and professional effects alcohol abuse poses, why would such high profile professional athletes engage in such behavior?
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has proposed one possible source contributing to the problem – the advertising and alcohol policies of the NFL teams themselves. Judge John Burlew recently summarized the problem in a hearing related to linebacker Odell Thurman’s alcohol related arrest: “The allegations are that you had a legal substance-alcohol-in your body, a substance which they advertise and get money from, millions of dollars a year from.”
In summary, the CPSI proposes that the NFL hypocritically punishes its players severely for alcohol related incidents while simultaneously profiting from beer advertising and sales in the stadiums. They propose a complete ban of alcohol related sales and advertising at NFL games. The root of the CPSI’s concern is that young sport viewers could possibly view athletics and alcohol as inherently related, and be more likely to develop alcohol problems.
But why could alcohol abuse be more common among professional athletes? Is it more common at all among pros than other populations? Some reasons for alcohol abuse among high profile athletes can include:
Stress – athletics can impart extreme physical and psychological stress, and alcohol could be used as a form of “escape”
Social situations – any new athletes who enter into an established culture of drinking are likely to engage in the same behavior
Modeling – young athletes may be more likely to abuse alcohol if it becomes associated with role model athletes – an association which both increased alcohol advertising during sporting events and media coverage of athletes and alcohol may lead to
A healthy education of young athletes about normal and responsible behavior around alcohol, and demonstration of healthy behavior by parents, are both key to preventing youth alcohol abuse.
Sport Psychologists advice spurs Maryland to NCAA title in Field Hockey
Maryland was defending back-to-back national titles a season ago when the school hosted the field hockey final four. There was just one problem: The Terrapins hadn’t made the tourney. The experience was not a pleasant one for the team.
However, the coach credits the asssistance of sport psychologist Joel Fish. Primarily, his worked involved re-establishing and fortifying team camaraderie and unity, which had been lost after a slow start in which some focus had been lost as players also competed for national teams.
Maryland coach Missy Meharg described her teams performance: “Our girls played very mature mentally. They didn’t allow anything to unsettle them.”