How Supplement Use is Harming Our Youth!


There’s no doubt about it, this is one of the hottest topics in youth sport! Should your child start or be taking supplements?

More often than not as a sporting parent this is viewed from a perspective to support your child to succeed, as opposed to getting an edge over their opponent.

Harmless right? Child’s best interest- yeah? Just looking out for your child?

Here are 3 reasons you may have never thought of that will likely hinder rather than encourage your child’s future success in sport, and in life!

1. Instant Gratification

You’ll hear me say this time and time again. We, that’s right! We have created ‘this generation’. Don’t complain about their behaviours, interests, or motivations without self-reflecting the impacts your decisions as a sporting parent have had on their development and mindset.

Remember the times when you dialled up connection to your internet? And when you were in the midst of an online chat/or game when a call came through on the home line and it dropped out! (Here’s Aunty Grettle thinking moody little prick! When you answered the phone with ‘What?!’) Only to have to dial up and wait again for 10min (what felt like an hr) to connect…

Well this generation doesn’t! and a screen freeze of more than 5sec is deemed too slow (Hahaha, oh how we forget).

Purchasing supplements for your child encourages instant gratification. It teaches them it’s ok to want instant success. It’s normal to get results immediately.

If they don’t get it, well they’ll just move on to the next best product (with a marketing campaign to boot) in order to succeed… Damn! They probably won’t even finish the tub of protein you spent your hard-earned dollars on, before they jump ship at this rate!

….. and we wonder why when they get played out of position or get dropped its ok to throw the towel in because that sports sh&*t!

2. Freedom to Choose

Part of the excitement in getting our weekly family take-away meal was the ride to (insert your favourite junk food here) fast food chain with your mum/or dad. Mouth-watering the whole way there, with a firm decision of your order etched into your brain. Only to be stumped at the drive through by second guessing yourself…. Argh! I should’ve gone with X!

…. Did I mention the drink spills on the car ride home? Or the many a dropped drink holder trying to juggle everyone’s ‘Jumbo’ drinks whilst getting out of the car on a hot summer’s night?! Sh&*t! (Again).

Well that choice doesn’t even come close to the variety available to our youth of today (I did say ‘our’ because we have the choice to shape their future). Gezzus, they can even do it while sitting on the couch and have someone bring it to them personally?!

As a sporting parent by purchasing and encouraging supplement use you open the door to an infinite number of choices. Combined with the point above (being instant gratification), there is only one option left… an endorsement deal! Because you won’t have any cash left to support your child’s new-found gateway to accomplish sporting success.

…. And we wonder why they can’t ‘stick’ to a sport or show the ‘commitment’ we did in our day!!!

3. Education

The best part of working in the youth space is watching them learn along the way. That’s right, actually learn and digest the information.

This generation are encouraged to seek answers immediately like no other! The difference is this- while they have every answer at the click of a button (or search engine), any professional in the educational space will tell you- it’s their inability to actually understand that information.

… So yes, they do have the world at their feet, but sling them your latest ‘Gregory’s’ in the absence of a device and watch them navigate their way home! They’ll have next to zero idea of what to do (Hahaha- harsh, but fair).

As a sporting parent part of the journey is encouraging your child to respect the ‘process.’ This doesn’t happen by you telling them, or even sharing your war stories as a youth. But rather placing them in an environment that encourages them to display their understanding.

… What is a good source of protein? In regard to your sport, when would be best for you to have it? How would you go about it at your local athletics track, football field, or tennis complex? Did you prepare it? How will it remain chilled?

It’s the situations you place your child in that allows them to think, react, and retain information that will likely support their sporting success down the track… NOT what you TELL them.

Supplement use is an expensive, unnecessary (in majority of cases), convoluted exercise that will not necessarily encourage your child’s sporting success, but even hinder it- in sport and in life!

It’s the actions we take in shaping ‘this generation’ that you as sporting parents can directly control. For free resources including blogs like these and other valuable tools likely to guide you through your child’s sporting endeavours join our mailing list and Facebook group of other likeminded parents. I’d love to hear from your too! Feel free to comment on your experiences or share this post with other parents on their journey 

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