Have you ever felt completely drained and unmotivated, frustrated by your “lack of improvement”, or as though you’ve lost your passion? Have you ever felt like you haven’t lived up to expectations? If you answered yes to any of those questions then it is quite likely that you experienced what is referred to as athletic burnout.
Burnout begins when athletes feel as though they haven’t met the expectations that are pushed unto them by peers, coaches, family, friends, or even themselves. Not meeting expectations makes athletes feel as though they have reached the limits of their effort. This eventually discourages them and makes them feel as though they have been “burnt out”.
When athletes are unable to achieve their expectations, they feel frustrated and begin to overcompensate by doing things like training harder and longer, entering more competitions, seek out more coaching, and more. Although this sounds like the athlete is being diligent towards their goal, it is actually quite counterproductive as this overcompensation makes the athlete forget to take care of other aspects of their lives. Their sport and passion become everything that they do and eventually cause burnout. Considering this, the key to avoiding burnout is balance and rejuvenation.
Keeping your passion can only be fueled by balancing other aspects of your life. If you think about it, an athlete cannot perform well without a proper diet, sleep, and exercise habits. If an athlete is overcompensating in order to reach an expectation, it is likely that they are not caring for these other aspects of their lives, which will only make their performance worse when the time comes for it.
Balance and rejuvenation can be achieved through ensuring that other aspects of your life (diet, sleep, social, physical, etc.) are appropriately cared for. It is also helpful to take short breaks from your sport in order to clear your head and come back feeling refreshed, stronger, and more motivated than ever before.
Pressure and expectations in the athletic field can be extremely overwhelming. If you want to succeed in your sport, it is vital to keep yourself balanced and rejuvenated. This will help you achieve all of your athletic goals and avoid risking burnout. If you are looking for sports psychology or counseling services to help you deal with your sports-related pressure, contact us at Mindset First. Our expert sport psychologist can help you manage the pressure that you feel. Contact us today at 905.660.9284 to book an appointment.