Sports activities – endless work on yourself, many hours of training, physical and psychological stress, which carry with it serious consequences. It is not surprising that so much attention is drawn to the sport and people talk a lot about it. How to recognize burnout in sports? What are the causes of burnout?
Burnout in sports – what is it?
Burnout in sports is the body’s psycho-physiological reaction to too frequent, extreme and ineffective attempts to meet the training and the requirements of their coach.
Burnout means psychological, emotional, and sometimes physical damage. Initial defined activity brings joy and satisfaction. However, over time, under the influence of various factors, excessive stress and lack of satisfaction arise. They slowly begin to dominate. The need to solve problems requires a lot of energy, fatigue arises, and training stops being effective. The lack of a positive result weakens motivation and willingness to continue working. The athlete’s physical and mental health deteriorates.
How to recognize burnout in sports?
Psychologists have described 3 major components of burnout. They apply both to athletes and to people from other fields of activity. These include:
- mental and physical exhaustion – burnout is accompanied by a decrease in energy, interest, faith in one’s strength, capabilities, and a sense of the work done;
- low self-esteem, depression – an athlete who experiences such emotions, trains and competes with his sense of helplessness and renunciation. The effectiveness of his training is deteriorating. What he used to do without problems now becomes a serious test;
- depersonalization and devaluation – depersonalization means that a competitor begins to perceive others as impersonal and senseless, worthless people. According to studies, this is a result of the fact that an athlete loses a positive attitude towards sport and those who accompany him in his career.
Studies of burnout in sports
Burnout is one of the most common reasons for not participating in sports. Studies show that this is a very serious problem. According to surveys conducted by Silva (1990), as many as 47% of the interviewed athletes experienced burnout at some point in their careers.
Much of the athletes did not give up sports, despite the burnout. Many factors affect this, including financial problems. One thing is for sure – a player struggling with burnout loses the joy of sports and begins to treat it as an unpleasant duty.
Symptoms of burnout in sports
How to recognize burnout in sports? Changes in the behavior or emotionality of an athlete may attract the attention of his relatives, teammates, or coaches. The sooner the intervention is done, the better. Therefore, it’s worth knowing what the symptoms of burned out athlete are:
- Low motivation and lack of energy;
- problems with concentration;
- lack of desire to go in for sports;
- no interest in sports;
- trouble sleeping;
- physical and mental exhaustion;
- reduced self-esteem;
- negative emotions;
- mood changes;
- changes in the system of values and beliefs;
- emotional isolation;
- increased anxiety;
- changeable mood
If you or your colleagues began to notice these symptoms, then immediately contact a psychologist.
Where does burnout in sports occur?
Causes of burnout in sports can be very different, depending on the personality of the player, his life situation or the nature of the sport in which he plays. Through searching several studies, we managed to identify several factors:
- the amount of stress experienced, methods of dealing with it, and social support;
- a turning point in the sports season – the risk of burnout increases with the passage of the season;
- lack of free time;
- parental pressure;
- lack of autonomy (ability to decide for oneself), competence, social support, or financial problems;
- physical problems (injury, overtraining, fatigue, lack of improvement in shape);
- logistical problems (mainly the need for long and long journeys);
- interpersonal problems (dissatisfaction with personal life, negative influence of parents, bad atmosphere in the team, lack of help from the coach);
- psychological problems (unfulfilled, inadequate expectations, lack of talent, dissatisfaction with training, perfectionism).
Researchers identify two main causes of burnout: psychological and social-related to the physical sphere. People with difficult mental and socio-physical past are in great danger. That is why it’s so important to use the methods and techniques of sports psychology or the help of a sports psychologist. Mental training allows you to equip the player with coping strategies that minimize the effects of the above-mentioned adverse factors.