Health and social behaviors of high school varsity athletes

The purpose of this study was to evaluate and explain the physical fitness level, social behavior and drinking trends of high school adolescent athletes at one public high school in California. Varsity athletes participated in an anonymous survey that attempted to answer the level of physical fitness performance by athletes, social activities and the amount of time spent with family and friends, and how many student athletes have consumed alcohol. The survey assessed if they have consumed alcohol, how much, how often, how was the alcohol obtained and the reasons for adolescent drinking. As a head coach, the social behavior and health decisions athletes make are of interest to me, especially if they jeopardize a team's success. As an educator at a new high school, which is growing into its fourth year, the athlete's social behaviors need to be acknowledged. The significance of this retrospective study is to recognize the social behaviors, drinking trends and be more aware of the possible risks. It was determined in this quantitative study that sixty-four percent of varsity student athletes consume alcohol. The students obtain alcohol from friends, adults and at parties. Seventy-six percent of student athletes indicated they spend their free time at parties. It was apparent that student athletes spend a vast majority of time with their friends, partying and consuming alcohol. Further research must be done to determine the effects of alcohol on athletes' physical performance level. KEYWORDS: physical fitness, social activities, drinking trends, adolescent athletes