Developing Healthy Athletes

Are Athletes Under More Pressure?

We live in a culture that leads us to believe that if we work hard enough, we can change our body shape and size. The truth is, we have a natural body size and shape and it cannot be permanently changed. The culture emphasizes thinness and muscle-tone, and encourages us to lead a lifestyle of food and weight preoccupation.

There is often an added pressure for an athlete to maintain a certain body size, weight, or shape because sport has weight or aesthetic demands. A dedicated and motivated athlete may consider weight control as part of what needs to be done to excel in sport because there is a misconception that weight loss and excessive training will improve athletic performance. An athlete with a drive to satisfy the expectations of others, and to perform well, may find that self-worth becomes directly related to body size and appearance.