Sports Medicine Congress

As a synchro coach, can I cause an athlete to develop an eating disorder?

It is extremely unusual for a coach to cause an eating disorder in an otherwise healthy individual. Most athletes with an eating disorder have an underlying family history of eating disorders, or a personal history of psychiatric difficulties. However, a coach can definitely contribute negatively to the eating disorder if he/she places unnecessary emphasis on body image, nutritional intake or body composition. A caring and sensitive approach to all young female athletes is necessary to help prevent the development of eating disorders in our young aquatic athletes. As a coach, you do have tremendous influence on your athlete’s self esteem and self-concept.

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