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Feeling Weak Compared To The Other Football Players

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,


This is about my 50th try, but I'm gonna' give it another go. I started doing football last year as a rookie and since it was my first time playing the sport I was never really too good at it. However I was able to move up on the depth chart and play a little as the season progressed. Now it's the off-season and we've got a new head coach for the team, and I'm back to where I started, maybe even worse. I can barely lift as much as I used to, and I find it hard to gain back any strength or any muscle that I used to have. What kind of diet do you suggest (in general)? Is it alright to take supplements? I feel pressured to use them since I feel weak compared to everyone else, and I want to start next year. I know hard work will help me but it's only gotten me so far. I need a new plan; I need something to give me a head start. I just don't know what.

Signed: Feeling Weak Compared To The Other Football Players

Dear Feeling Weak Compared To The Other Football Players,


Your body requires testosterone to build muscle mass and growth hormone for height. Because teenagers mature at different rates – some are faster and some are a little slower when it comes to physical development – it may just be that you are simply on the slower side. Some teenage boys do not begin to go through puberty until age 16, and therefore may not be able to achieve much muscle mass before that time.


However, while it is possible that you may not be building muscle at the rate you would like because you have not gone through puberty, you should not be losing any ground or becoming weaker. If you are finding that you are losing ground when it comes to building up muscle or you are feeling way behind your peers, it is possible that you are dealing with a testosterone or growth hormone deficiency. To test for this, you would need to see a pediatric endocrinologist who could check your blood hormone levels. 


If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment or contact your local teen health center.


Signed: TeenHealthFX