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Learning from sport burnout and overtraining
Learning from sport burnout and overtraining

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5 The sport psychologist’s viewpoint

A sport psychologist and two academics from the OU’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies were asked for their interpretation of the ideas you have learned about in this session:

  • Barker’s case
  • the four main burnout perspectives
  • measuring burnout, and
  • categorising burnout factors.

Listen to what they had to say in Activity 5.

Activity 5 Academics in conversation

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Listen to the audio below featuring Professor of Sport Psychology Iain Greenlees and the OU’s Candice Lingam-Willgoss and Ben Oakley.

The purpose of this audio is to hear from experienced practitioners about burnout. This is an important summary of your learning to date. Whilst listening identify any new points that help enhance your learning from this session.

The participants also touch on other topics that you will go on to explore in later sessions.

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Audio 2
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When this audio has been listened to by people studying burnout they all noticed different things to take away from it. Three of the more common items that they described as enhancing learning were:

  1. Greenlees provides a useful summary of the advantages and disadvantages of questionnaires that attempt to measure burnout. One strength he mentions is that they allow some standardisation of what burnout is, but a weakness is that it's not clear what questionnaire score can be classified as describing someone as burnt out. He terms this as the lack of threshold numbers.
  2. Lingam-Willgoss reflects on her experience of teaching the topic, stating how people often relate well to the stress perspective of burnout since everyone has experienced a range of stressors and therefore find it relatively easy to understand what prolonged overload might lead to.
  3. A third point is one that Greenlees makes about the list of 15 burnout factors. He suggests that this list is particularly useful when you think about preventing and managing burnout (covered in Sessions 7 and 8).