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Research shows "Life of an Athlete" shouldn't contain alcohol

By: Kelly Schlicht Email
By: Kelly Schlicht Email

While the drinking culture is prevalent in Wisconsin, schools, coaches and community members are coming together this week, to fight against athletes consuming alcohol.

It's no question student athletes train hard. But according to the American Athletic Institute, just one night of drinking can put them back two weeks in training.

“If you drink to intoxication those training hormones can be down for 4 days,” says John Underwood.

Underwood says his program "Life of an Athlete" is in town this week, trying to combat the culture of underage drinking—Which he says starts as young as 11 for boys, and 13 for girls.

It's something coaches say they have discussions about frequently with their athletes.

“In the job that I’m in, in coaching, you have to build relationships with kids and when you have those relationships, you have to be open and talk about these things, especially in our community and in our society. In some instances, it's accepted and we have to let those kids know they're held to a higher standard and those choices will affect the team,” says Paul Kling, the head coach of Eau Claire Memorial High School Football.

Underwood says education for both parents and students will hopefully stop the prevalence of partying.

“We have kids that want to be good athletes but aren't living the lifestyle to make it happen. We have parents spending huge amounts of money on their athletic careers. You're not going to see a return on that money if your kid's out smoking weed every weekend and getting drunk after every game. It's a culture that has to start to be challenged and changed,” says Underwood.

The "Life of an Athlete" talks will be happening this week in several locations.

Monday is at Augusta High School at 7 pm. Tuesday it's at Altoona at 6 pm. And Wednesday, there are two talks at Eau Claire Memorial High School at 5 and 7 pm. Parents and students are encouraged to attend.


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