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don't get burned out
Dont Get Burned
Burnout. It happens to everyone, everywhere, everyday. Athletes -young, old, professional, amateur, male and female- all experience burnout in different forms and degrees. Burnout is defined as the physical, emotional, and psychological reaction to intense pressure to fulfill obligations, whether they be sports or otherwise. Simply put, people get tired and worn out because they often take on the responsibility of doing too much. Burnout is most common among professional and Olympic athletes that train hard and work hard for long periods of time. However, others can also experience burnout in athletics. Burnout leads to reduced interest in the sport, quality of performance, and then withdrawal.
Burnout is often associated with overtraining, overreaching, and staleness. Overtraining is the point where training is no longer beneficial but harmful. Overreaching is similar to overtraining however the length of time makes the difference. Overreaching for long periods of time leads to overtraining. Staleness is the effect of reaching a performance plateau. Together with overtraining, staleness eventually leads to athlete burnout. In sports psychology, several models exist to help explain, prevent, and treat burnout in athletes.
Stress models of burnout point to stress as the key factor in burnout. Silvas training stress model is based on the notion that some training stress is necessary to improve.. These improvements are based on positive adaptation to training stress or negative adaptation to training stress. Smiths Cognitive-Affective model of burnout has for stages that lead to burnout. Investment model of burnout insists that if an athlete participates in sports based on enjoyment, burnout is less likely to occur. On the other hand, if an athlete is trapped into participation this will lead to burnout. Empowerment model of burnout suggests that stress is not the cause but merely a symptom of burnout. This theory in particular deals mainly with youths in sports.
Burnout normally occurs slowly, over a long period of time. It may express itself physically or mentally. Physical symptoms may include feelings of intense fatigue, changes in heart rate, weight, blood pressure, vulnerability to viral infection, and then immune breakdown. Mental burnout may manifest itself with feelings of lack of control over commitments, belief that you are accomplishing less, tendency to think negatively, loss of a sense of purpose and increasing detachment to situations that cause stress. In some cases, burnout can lead to a decreased self-esteem.
Keeping the sport and activities fun can help prevent burnout from setting in. If athletes are in danger of burning out they can re-evaluate their goals and prioritize them, reduce unnecessary commitments, learn stress management techniques, following a healthy lifestyle, and developing a support network among friends and family. Interventions can sometimes provide a solution. Self-awareness is the first step. Time off from the activity followed by initiation of relaxation techniques round out the recommended intervention process.
Some athletes can move past the burned out stage and continue participating in their sport. Others however, are unable to once again have fun engaging in that sport again. Younger children are increasing vulnerable to burnout. Gymnasts, ice skaters, and other Olympic caliber athletes are pushed at such an early age and so hard that once they can make their own decisions, they reject the sport. Some also accomplish such large goals so young that they reach a performance plateau early. Parents also push their children to play sports even when they do not wish to play. This can also lead to burnout of young children.
Deciding the level of commitment in a desired sport is one of the most important decisions to be made regarding prevention and treatment of burnout. Athletics should be fun, enjoyable and help relieve stress. Once it begins to cause unhealthy levels of stress burnout might follow. Sport can be a lifetime activity that can enhance life, but in the wrong context sport can be life altering and debilitating.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that supported me regardless of whether or not I participated in sports. My parents encouraged me to participate only if and when I wanted to. Sports were never mandatory and my parents did not push me. They did not live vicariously through my sports participation. I think ... more
Find essay on Team Sport
There have been many greats to play the game basketball, but we have never, and
maybe never again, see the likes of Wilt Chamberlain. His entire life Wilt
Chamberlain made the improbable look routine. No professional athlete in any
team sport combined the size, strength, and fluidity of movement that Wilt
Chamberlain brought into the sleepy, dimly lit NBA arenas of 1959. Ill go one
step further: No one who has played pro team sports has ever dominated every
minute of every game in the early 60s. His size and strength were sources of
wonder not only to paying spectators, but also to his fellow players. Wilt
played in the NBA for 14 seasons, from 59-60 through 72-73, and he helped
the NBA from league of moderate local interest to a major TV attraction.
Unfortunately, especially for younger fans, most of the TV tributes following
his death showed the Wilt of the early 70s. Sure, his Lakers teams were
great-the 71-72 team won pro sports record 33 games in a row. But Wilt by then
was a much different player than he had been in his younger days. I myself have
not seen the "real" Chamberlain play a number of times, but when I
did, it was amazing. Through most of the 60s, Chamberlain played with
strength, speed, and dexterity. His footwork was quick enough to fake out
defenders, and he had enough touch to make his finger rolls and fadeaways
virtually unstoppable. Of course, no one could repel his moves to the hoop, and
even when he was technically boxed out under the boards, he would get his share
of reach-in rebounds over the heads of shorter opponents. But in November 1969,
he had surgery after tearing a knee ligament. Through diligent rehabilitation,
he was able to return to the Lakers at the end of the regular season, and play a
full playoff schedule. "But Wilts style was different after the injury:
more mechanical, flat-footed, clearly not as fluid, less certain of his
ball-handling skills" (Sports Illustrated). It is this Chamberlain whom we
see on most of surviving film or videotape. A great player, still, but a much
different one-certainly less dominating than the man who terrorized the league
in the 60s. Michael Jordan scored 50 or more points in 30 regular-season games
in his career. Wilt Chamberlain scored 50 or more points in 45 games during the
61-62 season. Twenty-six years after he played his last NBA game, Wilt still
holds the leagues all-time single-season records for average points, rebounds,
and field goal percentage. Wilts second-best season in each of those
categories is better than any other players best through all of NBA history.
Some day, perhaps, everyone will be talking about a player who is the Next
Jordan, or the Next Magic, and maybe even the Next Russell. But I do not expect
we will ever see anyone that we will call the Next Wilt.
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