In my bible study last night, we had a bit of a chat about those who were “lost” – and football players came up immediately. It came after West Coast Eagles star Ben Cousins was Suspended Indefinitely. We talked about how often football players, and others as well, turn to drugs to fill a void in their lives.

It didn’t use to be that way. Drug use wasn’t so rife in the early 90’s. Why? Because players weren’t fully professional. Then Captain of the West Coast Eagles (now coach) John Worsfold used to own a pharmacy, and you would often see him working there when he wasn’t at training. These days, the players are payed so much (Ben Cousins was apparently on an $800,000 contract), that they don’t need to have that non-football job. It just gives them free time, that they don’t know what to do with.

The same is often seen in Classical Music (though to a much lesser degree, and  is not published as often). Alcoholism is a major problem within Classical Music for the same reason – players have too much spare time, and no separate passion to involve themselves in, so they drink. This can have major effects on their personal lives, their family lives and their professional lives. This is especially evident in places such as England and America, where one bad performance can mean a red line through your name.

So how can you avoid these problems. I believe the answer lies in having other interests that can fill that void.

For John Worsfold, it was his Pharmacy. For one of my lecturers, Michael Goldschlager, it’s wood working. For me… I’m not sure what my passion is.

I enjoy spending time on the computer. I like playing games, heading off to LAN’s, working on my website. I enjoy golf – though I don’t get out on the course as often as I like. I enjoy phantom comics, though I don’t buy them as often as I could. These, I think, are my non-musical passions. A dose of them keeps me on track with my career, and means I do not look towards alcohol or drugs to fill a void. Sure, I enjoy a good drink (Got a nice bottle of red that I can’t wait to open up on the 10th), and sometimes I drink a bit too much (though I try not to), but it’s not a problem at the moment, and I don’t wish it to become one.