Player Development

How to Prevent Burnout in Youth Sports

Burnout in youth sports has been a wide topic of discussion as of late. Here are a few signs to be aware of.
youth soccer

by Griffin Lloyd

Former college athlete and video editor. Current content creator, sports enthusiast and dog dad.

Youth Soccer team

As a parent, it’s difficult to know when your kid is showing signs of burnout. You want to help them pursue their passions and skill sets without riding them too hard. It’s a delicate position to be in, but one that most parents go through.

It’s important to first understand what burnout in youth sports is and looks like to best avoid it when, or if the time comes. Not only can it affect their physical health, but also their mental health. Creating a balance between the two as they get older is an imperative skill to learn and best to acknowledge earlier on.

What is Burnout?

“Burnout or overtraining syndrome occurs when an athlete has worsening performance despite intense training. It is believed to result from a multitude of factors, such as constant high levels of physiologic or emotional stress, fatigue, immune system failure, or insufficient recovery time.”

Children’s Hospital Colorado

Symptoms of Burnout

While there are a number of factors that contribute to burnout for young athletes, here are a few that are important to be on the lookout for.

  • Drop in physical performance
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Lack of ambition
  • Prolonged injuries

How to Prevent

Here are a few proven ways to take care of oneself long before this can occur.

One of the easiest prevention techniques is to practice self-reflection as an athlete. One recommendation is to implement a growth mindset. Opposed to a fixed mindset, athletes are able to understand and progress the skills they’ve already developed, as well as the ones they haven’t yet.

An easy way to reflect on your habits, movements, and plays is through game film. Reviewing your play is a great way to not only look at special moments, but also to recognize and work through the frustrating ones. Trace’s all in one solution will deliver personalized moments directly to your inbox after each game; and with an average of 768 views per game, we are seeing consistent player engagement and reflection.

Every individual is different. All athletes show different signs of burnout, and while there are often a combination of variables, these are just a few that are consistent. At times, it can be impossible to avoid, but it’s important to be aware of the physical and mental well-being of your athlete to ensure they’re taking care of themselves.

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