The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has launched a program called CoachTrue (a play off of their “Play True” slogan) that is designed to educate coaches around the world (in all sports) about the dangers of, and how to prevent, using performance enhancing drugs. This is a great program to help coaches feel support in fighting the “winner takes all, regardless of the costs” attitude that some modern-day swimming programs have taken on, even at the youth level.
A great feature of this program is that it really explores the ins-and-outs of a coach’s (and swimmers’) own responsibility for what they put in their body, and discusses the nuances of therapeutic-use exemptions.
This is a program that I think all youth coaches should be taking. Think that just because you coach at the high school or age group levels, that you don’t need to worry about your athletes doping? Well, think again. There’s at least one reported case of a 12-year old who was on steroids given to him by his father in Houston from 2008. Steroids have become so pervasive in our sporting culture, that its never too early to learn efffective identifcation and prevention measures.
The CoachTrue program even includes a certification process, which could justifiably be used by club programs, and definitely school programs, to certify their coaches.
If you’re interested, visit the CoachTrue website:
From the official Press Release:
CoachTrue’s elite-level module has the following features:
– Pre-Test: An evaluation of the coach’s current knowledge
– Tutorials: A series of presentations with voice-overs that provide essential information on the following topics:
1. Health consequences of doping
2. Coach’s accountability
3. Results management
4. Therapeutic use exemptions
– Scenario-Based Activities: A practical application of acquired knowledge to likely real-life scenarios
– Who Wants to Play True: A fun way for coaches to test their knowledge on anti-doping issues
– Post-Test & Certification: Once coaches have completed all required learning steps, including a final assessment (post-test), they receive a certificate of participation.