Thursday, June 4, 2009

Coach serves sobering alcohol facts

Came across a great article discussing the effect of alcohol on the body and how it hampers performance. Below is a couple excerpts from CANDACE CHASE's article in The Daily Inter Lake.

Youthful drinking steals more than innocence from young drinkers, according to former champion runner and Olympic coach John Underwood.

For athletes, one drunken episode wipes out 14 days of training.

“That’s a huge price tag,” he said. “These are things I share with athletes.”

Speaking Tuesday at the third annual town-hall meeting in Kalispell on underage drinking, Underwood said studies have found that binge drinking impairs the brain longer than the night of partying does.
He said alcohol damages the brain’s ability to send signals to the muscles. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to make the connection, he said.

“Your brain operates your body,” he said.

A former NCAA All-American distance runner and World Masters Champion, Underwood coached or advised more than two dozen Olympians. A crusader for drug-free sports, he holds three International Olympic Solidarity diplomas for coaching.

As founder and director of The American Athletic Institute, Underwood made a reputation examining athletics and recreational drug use. He performed the only case study of the residual effects of alcohol on elite athletic performers.

But Underwood said he finds the greatest satisfaction working to keep all youths, not just athletes, free of alcohol and drugs. Because a majority of students participate in sports, he said, the alcohol-athletics connection resonates.