Use of performance-enhancing drugs at contests

Discussion in 'tMP's .... "On the Spot" interview area' started by James Yelland, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. ari01

    ari01 Active Member

    I agree, no you can't compare the 2 people in your scenario, however what you can compare are 2 players of an equal ability, both with a solo to play and both with a similar high level of anxiety.

    The one player who takes BBs may gain an advantage and play better securing victory for their band. I was at the Open at the weekend and heard first hand how nerves affected some players and in the process plummeted that band down the final standings.
  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I would disute that any "unfair advantage" is achieved or attainable. PEDs in sport allow athletes to train longer and harder than their natural biology would allow them to. I can't conceive of any parallel in instrumental performance where this would help. It's perfectly possible for anyone to practice for 3-4 hours a day, should they wish to, no matter what their physical fitness or aerobic capacity.

    No, it isn't. Practice makes you a better player. Nothing else. Ever.

    Drugs to control the symptoms of extreme nervousness will simply prevent those nerves from making a good player into a temporarily crap player and ruining the performance.

    I'm not a fan of popping the pills in order to play, mind you. It's supposed to be fun. If you have to get pilled up to control the terror of performing on stage, then maybe a hobby that centres around performing on stage isn't right for you. Or contesting banding, at least. There are psychological techniques that can be used to mitigate nervousness - in any musical performance the main one is to be so on top of your part and your instrument that even if your sphincter's like a rabbit's nose your muscle memory will do the work for you but there are plenty of others.
    Slider1 likes this.
  3. Cochyn

    Cochyn Member

    Well that's just it, there aren't any players that are entirely equal. Everyone has weaknesses and I highly doubt that an adjudicator would be ruthless enough to stick a band in a low placing due to one individual player. It just means "that" band was crap collectively.
  4. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    #pedantalert..... Imho, anything which prevents nerves from ruining a performance is therefore changing and enhancing it ;)

    I know several people who take prescribed beta blockers before big gigs and contests. Every single one of them believes it helps make them 'better' in that moment (not much point taking them if they didn't), and I can think of at least 3 for whom they definitely do make a positive difference.... which in my books comes under the definition of enhancement.

    That said though, I don't believe for a second that beta-blockers in themselves make a significant enough difference for anyone to be worried about unfair advantages or cheating and I don't have a problem with it. If that's what some players feel they need to take part in the music-making they want to do, then good luck to them.
  5. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    This is a pretty stupid argument. Why just restrict people from taking beta blockers to manage their anxiety? What about other treatments? Surely someone who takes SSRI's or has hypnotherapy to manage their anxiety is getting an unfair advantage?
    Accidental likes this.
  6. Cochyn

    Cochyn Member

    Christ! Next people will believe that placebos will help with anxiety lol

    It's all in your head boys, gremlins that make you believe you need crap to help you perform. Just man up and play. If you fluff it, just make sure it's a good old train wreck to justify your excuses in the bar afterwards...
  7. Slider1

    Slider1 Active Member

    So thats what happened to the missing pee!:p
  8. Slider1

    Slider1 Active Member

    There are some people out there who have to take these pills just to stay alive let alone play!
  9. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    eh ????????????
  10. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    We are dealing here with small percentages of advantage from:

    Performance enhancing drugs.
    Breathing and playing techniques.
    Equipment choices.
    Doing more practicing than other people.

    Adding together those small advantages might make the difference between winning and losing.
    However, you can not equate it to athletics, where the drugs make a significant difference on their own.

    I take beta blockers for medical reasons, but they do make it easier for me to play and therefore make my playing more enjoyable. That can't be a bad thing.
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