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Pressures to succeed can result in psychological symptoms that are characteristic of eating disorders. In our research, we found that competitiveness was related to body dissatisfaction among female athletes, and that external pressures are related to symptoms of eating disorders.
Today's females receive mixed messages from society that recognize the importance of  participation in athletics and reward them for maintaining a fit body and having physical power, but at the same time perpetuate a cultural ideal valuing thinness, bust size, waist size, even the kind of makeup they wear and their hairstyles. Athletes who are subject to excessive criticism or are seldom praised may perceive themselves as not good enough or unworthy. One 2000 study found, unfortunately, that some coaches view potential eating disorders symptoms such as excessive exercise, perfectionism, over-compliance, and competitiveness, as desirable. Another 2000 study found that some parents view a strong desire to please others, namely themselves, as a healthy trait in their children.
Children whose parents rarely approve or inconsistently approve of their accomplishments are more likely to obsess about perfection in order to assure that they receive parental approval.
Athletes whose parents expect them to perform at a high level may learn to do well in order just to receive more praise or avoid excessive criticism. Individuals with symptoms of eating disorders are more likely to seek approval from others, even if such approval is unattainable or must be obtained through harmful means.


Because individuals with symptoms of eating disorders often strive for success in order to please others, they are more likely to worry about social acceptance, feel inadequate, spend time thinking about personal inadequacies, and be dependent on others.
Athletes playing sports in less competitive environments and thus subject to less competitive pressure are less likely to have disturbed eating patterns and body dissatisfaction.
Pressure to compete with peers in terms of appearance has been linked to eating patterns in adolescents.. College females who compare themselves to peers or celebrities are more likely to experience increased body dissatisfaction, especially if their focus is on weight and body size. Help athletes to experience satisfaction and approval from knowing that they have done a good job and tried their best.
Help athletes stay healthy by educating them about eating disorders, nutrition, and healthy eating habits.
A post by Anthony Donskov on Mike Boyle’s blog called Not Everyone Gets a Trophy, and a discussion with some fellow strength coaches from Massachusetts inspired this. To me, there are core values that will shape your life forever that need to be transmitted at a young age: discipline, hard work, dedication, perseverance, etc. If you reward your kids for every single thing, they will never learn what it takes to succeed.


When did boosting kids’ self-esteem came to the expense of everything else that’s important in life?! Did you get my 3 sports performance reports yet?  Just enter your info below, and I’ll send them to you instantly for FREE!!
Tags: anthony donskov, discipline, hard work, kids training, Mike Boyle, not everyone gets a trophyPosted by davidlasnieron Nov 20th, 2012and is filed under Kids training, Random Thoughts. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Stiles is an associate professor of sociology at Midwestern State University where she focuses on  gender, social psychology, and medical sociology.



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