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At this past Thursday’s talent school (an extra weekly soccer practice), Simon was on fire. After nine weeks of agility drills, passing drills, and coordination exercises, Coach Darren let loose and joined the kids for an hour-long scrimmage. It was the last practice of the Winter II session, and Darren wanted the kids to have fun and show off their skills.

Without a doubt, it was the best we ever saw Simon play. He out-ran, out-maneuvered, and flat-out out-played most of the kids out there. In fact, at one point Darren had Simon switch sides in the scrimmage and appeared to appoint him as the unofficial coach of his group. There was none of the jogging or hesitancy we sometimes see in him, just focus and a warrior-like mentality. It was noticeable enough that two parents complimented him when the practice ended.

At home that night, Matt made an interesting discovery. That Cliff Bar Simon ate before practice? The one designed to hold him over until we had dinner? It was called “Cliff Energy” and the box stated clearly that it “contains caffeine” and that “Caffeine packs a punch. Not to be consumed by pregnant women or children.”

We doped our own kid! And the worst part is, we’re really tempted to dope him again. No, not really. Maybe just a little? At 50 mg of caffeine, the bar is 5 mg over the recommended daily limit for children under 13. Simon drinks no sodas, so the only other caffeine he consumes is from chocolate in a treat.

Would it be the end of the world if he ate half a Cliff Bar before a game going forward? Or is this a slippery slope towards Sudafed and who knows what else down the line. We’ll probably just get the adult, non-caffeinated ones going forward. But I have to be honest that it’s more tempting than it ought to be to give in to the power of caffeine.

One Response to “Doping”

  1. tlalbaugh says:

    So funny! I drink black tea (as you know : ), and I have no qualms deliberately giving Kira half a cup on occasion (she much prefers the real stuff to decaf already), either to perk her up or to help her focus if she’s particularly scattered/hyper (it’s not just the caffeine; it’s the stopping and sitting and sipping a warm beverage that helps too). And it was particularly helpful when she went through a serious (and completely unexpected given her diet) bout of constipation. That being said, I was totally weirded out to hear that not only do high school, college, and grad students regularly pop Ritalin and whatnot to help with focus and stamina these days, but professors and other researchers do as well. Is that really different? I don’t know. Heaven knows I drank a lot of coffee in grad school. I certainly would not give my kid “drugs,” and she doesn’t drink soda or other caffeinated drinks, but a bit of tea here or there doesn’t bother me at all. But just you wait: As the parent of an athlete, I’ll bet you start hearing about all sorts of performance-enhancing stuff pretty soon. Remember Honey Boo Boo’s go-go juice?

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