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Managing Alcohol in the Club Teams - The hidden challenge for the coach . John Leahy, Tipperary Hurler and Aileen Tohill, Ulster GAA. Contents. Relationship between alcohol and sport New GAA research Role of the Coach Challenges Identifying signs Offering help. Alcohol and Sport.

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managing alcohol in the club teams the hidden challenge for the coach

Managing Alcohol in the Club Teams - The hidden challenge for the coach

John Leahy, Tipperary Hurler and Aileen Tohill, Ulster GAA

contents
Contents
  • Relationship between alcohol and sport
  • New GAA research
  • Role of the Coach
  • Challenges
  • Identifying signs
  • Offering help
alcohol and sport
Alcohol and Sport
  • Traditionally there has been a strong association between alcohol and sport
    • Sport can have a positive influence on adolescents on their use of alcohol and drugs compared to peers
    • However, being involved in sport as an adult may encourage greater intake of alcohol
    • Athletes involved in team sports may be at greater risk of excessive drinking than individual athletes
alcohol and sport4
Alcohol and Sport
  • Research has identified that alcohol is:
    • Commonly associated with team bonding behaviours
    • Frequently consumed in binges
    • Heavily associated with both win and lose scenarios
    • Used as a relief from stress
new research
New Research

Team Problems Caused by Alcohol & Other Drugs for GAA Coaches

Brendan Murphy & Mark Gottsche, November 2010

  • 347 GAA coaches questioned
  • Responses sought around their opinions, experiences and attitudes
  • Looks at the extent of the problem
main findings
Main findings
  • 81% of coaches felt the use of alcohol and other drugs to be a ‘serious’ or ‘very serious’ problem in Ireland
  • 52% felt a team they coached had been affected by a players use of alcohol or other drugs

What do you think were the main ways teams had been affected?

alcohol and sport8
Alcohol and Sport
  • Missing training
  • Under performing
  • Missing matches
  • Arriving under the influence
  • Disruptive
  • Injury as a result
coach s influence
Coach’s Influence
  • Coaches can have a positive influence over their players by:
    • Being approachable/supportive
    • Building a sense of collective responsibility
    • Setting challenges
    • Educating around nutrition and hydration
    • Placing importance on rest and recovery
    • Playing attention to/supporting to injured players
    • Providing/acting as role models
effects of alcohol and sporting performance
Effects of Alcohol and Sporting Performance

Reduced Endurance - Alcohol reduces the body’s ability to produce glucose, leading to less energy and less endurance capacity.

Greater risk of cramp - Alcohol left in your system after a few drinks the night before contributes to a bigger build up of lactic acid.

Dehydration - Alcohol is a diuretic, making you use extra fluid on top of the normal during exercise – putting you a greater risk of dehydration

challenges for the coach
Challenges for the Coach

Effect on sports injuries - Alcohol increases the bleeding and swelling around soft tissue injuries (sprains, bruises and cuts) so they take longer to recover.

Loss of B vitamins - Alcohol robs the body of B-group vitamins which help repair body tissue after injury

Slower reaction times - The relaxant properties of alcohol affect the central nervous system and slow down information processing – affecting reactions, co-ordination, accuracy and balance.

awareness of alcohol substance use among players
Awareness of Alcohol & Substance Use Among Players

Starting to argue with referee during games

Starting to give back chat when are given instructions during games

Making excuses when missing training & games

Being injured more regularly

early intervention
Early Intervention

‘Team Managerment / Coaches can play an important part in minimising the damage alcohol / substance use can have on players’

Highlighting the problem regarding players drinking should never be completed in front of other team members

preparing for brief intervention
Preparing for Brief Intervention
  • Seek professional guidance
  • Arrange a good time to meet
  • Never meet on your own
  • Have facts written down
  • Show empathy
early intervention15
Early Intervention

Focus on the following:

Ask how his/her feels about the training?

Ask how his/her own performance is going?

Discuss his/her training attendance

Discuss his/her training & playing performance

early intervention16
Early Intervention

Discuss his/her attitude towards training, games, etc

Here you can point out how you see his/hers attitude has changed

Before they may have been encouraging & supportive of team mates

All management attended the meeting & support each other

early intervention17
Early Intervention

Ask the Question:

Is there anything we can do, to support you?

They may tell you themselves at this stage that alcohol / substance use is an issue

early intervention18
Early Intervention
  • If they do – you can reassure them you are here to offer support and if there is anything you want us to do we will support you?
  • You can suggest do you want us to contact Treatment Services, Counsellor etc...
early intervention19
Early Intervention
  • If they don’t say anything – you may have to suggest to them,

‘Do they think their drinking or substance use is causing them any concern?’

  • If they agree you can offer to support them.
early intervention20
Early Intervention
  • If they don\'t agree with your views or not seeing their substance / alcohol as a problem –

You cant do much more

  • Just reassure them you are there if they ever need anything
  • and you will be continuing to pick your team on training / game performance
early intervention21
Early Intervention
  • But what you have done is pointed out to them how you see their life is planning out due to there use.
  • This type of intervention will always be remembered
early intervention22
Early Intervention
  • Having worked with people who end up with problems, they will always speak about how others tried to point out to them, that substance / alcohol use was a problem in there earlier days of use.
  • If they had only listen then – is more often the line you will get
challenges
Challenges
  • Drinking Culture
  • Team Management acceptance to alcohol consumption
  • Motivational circumstances of player
  • Professional demands on Players
  • Lack of Enjoyment from training & games
  • Lack of expertise in the alcohol & Substance area
  • GAA association with alcohol Companies
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