Burnout in Youth Sports
Believe it or not, sometimes the harder you train the worse you get. Not providing your young athletes with adequate recovery time, could lead to burnout. Kids need time to recover. Those children that couple hard training with sufficient recovery periods will experience performance gains. On the other hand, hard training that does not incorporate sufficient recovery time; can contribute to declines in sports performance.
Factors Contributing to Burnout
One of the factors that contribute to burnout is fatigue. When young athletes continually push their bodies to their physical limits, without incorporating proper recovery methods; injury and decreased performance could ensue. A second factor is boredom. Coaches need to be creative. Running the same mundane practices could have a reverse effect on performance. Add in some cross training and always remember to keep it fun. Fun is the number one reason why kids play sports. Stress is the third element of burnout. Young athletes have to deal with pressure coming from their parents, coaches, teammates and themselves. Sometimes the pressure to perform is so great, that they begin to feel a loss of control. Parents and coaches should educate themselves about the pressures of youth sports, so they can teach children how to cope with the heavy stress they sometimes experience.
Signs & Symptoms of Burnout in Sports
Burnout basically comes from the emotional and physical exhaustion your child feels, from the pressures related to sports and life. When your child is pushed to excel, has to battle high expectations and is forced to follow a year round training schedule; burnout could be knocking at their door. Some of the signs and symptoms associated with burnout include: feelings of frustration, a negative mood towards their sport, mental and physical exhaustion, decreased commitment, disappointment, under performance, sadness and a lack of enthusiasm. Before long, if not properly dealt with, your child will soon be talking about quitting the sport they once loved.
Ways to Prevent Burnout
You can prevent your child from reaching a state of mental and physical exhaustion, by providing sufficient recovery times and mental toughness training. When you include goal setting, positive self-talk, imagery and relaxation techniques into their training program; you give them the mental tools necessary to battle burnout and succeed. Learn more about mental toughness training in youth sports by going to www.youthsportspsych.com.
Mental Game Coach