PED’s & Sports

Today, there are more and more athletes testing positive for banned substances throughout professional sports especially baseball. First and foremost, this article isn’t about condoning there use but rather to just offering a different point of view as to why they are being used. Millions of people play baseball across the globe, thousands play in some sort of professional level, and only a select few make to the big show. As children they all dreamed of making it but only a small percent actually do and believe it or not, the bummiest player in MLB today is probably 10 times better than anyone you know. Do you how much hard work goes into making to the big leagues? How many sacrifices these select few have to make just to get there?
All of the early morning practices and two a day workouts may not be enough for them to keep their spot, especially when there’s always someone younger ready, willing, and able to take their spot. This thought alone may cause some to juice because they are unwilling to lose their spot on their ball club because in actuality this is all they know. Imagine being a 16 year old kid and being told to drop out of school to pursue a career in baseball, which believe it or not happens quite often. Then fast forward to 12 years later, that 16 year old kid is now a 28 year old man and has no marketable skills to pursue a career outside of baseball. Yeah he may only be making 60K or so in the minors but at least he’s making something doing what he loves. Suddenly some young phenom shows up 17 years old plays 3 times better than he does at the same position. So what choice does the 28 year old ball player with no real marketable skills have other than to juice to keep up with this young phenom. Is it a risk? Of course it is but for the 28 year old afraid of losing everything to this young 17 year old its well worth it.
Now lets look at it from the 17 year olds perspective, yeah he knows he’s good. He has God given talent and he excelled rather easily through his just beginning career. However, now he’s surrounded by grown men, bigger, stronger, and faster then he is. He must be 175 pounds soaking wet and his trainers want him to add at least 30 pounds of muscle in 6-7 months and still expect him to be as fast as he is at 175 pounds. Can you imagine the immense pressure on the young kid, who is far away from everything he knows and his support system, while being forced to grow up fast and make adult decisions that he is unprepared for? So what happens? He decides to follow those adults surrounding him and try PED’s, before he knows it, he puts on those extra 30 pounds of muscle and he’s even faster than he was before he started using them. He’s driving the ball further and stealing more bases then he could have ever imagined. Within a year he signs his first major contract for a million dollars.
Now he’s no longer that young kid who was wet behind the ears, now he’s a grown man who’s putting up huge numbers and he’s about to sign a new deal worth over a hundred million. Only problem is he can’t live up to the contract without juicing. He has to keep up those 50 home run seasons, with 30 plus stolen bases, and .659 slugging percentage. He wants to rely on his God given talent but he needs something to get him over the hump especially after suffering that ACL tear last season. Now for the average person that would mean no more beer league softball but he has to come back and still put up those same numbers. How’s little Jimmy going to feel now that his idol ain’t got it no more.
Basically what I’m trying to say is everything boils down to choices and I do believe that using PED’s are the wrong choice but maybe we need to look at why these athletes are making that choice. Little Jimmy’s idol shouldn’t be a big leaguer, his idol should be his dad. That young kid who dropped out of school to play pro ball should have received an education to make him more marketable if baseball didn’t work out. Instead of just suspensions and life time bans maybe we need to look at the causes for PED use and educate those coming about the negative choices they can make that will lead them down the PED road. Maybe they need a Hustle mentality instead of juicing.