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

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Session 7: Managing those on a burnout path


Managing people you think are on a burnout path is not a case of simply working through a mechanistic checklist of symptoms and solutions – instead it is a far more nuanced process. Excellent interpersonal skills are required to establish rapport and trust, and to encourage the person to begin to disclose their experiences.

Described image
Figure 1 The path metaphor is often used: preventing people progressing too far towards burnout is your focus here

The next two sessions look at managing burnout. You will consider how burnout might be prevented – how might organisations, coaches and parents improve their ways of working with both adult and child athletes?

In doing so, you will focus on three preventative strategies:

  • preventing overtraining
  • needs supportive coaching, and
  • creating a mastery motivational climate.

Each strategy is illustrated by a video example – sometimes the strategy relates to adults and sometimes to children but the strategies can equally be applied to either.

In the final sections of this session, you will explore strategies specifically designed for parents.

You will start, however, by exploring how each individual case of burnout requires a distinct and tailored response, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to think about how you would respond to burnout.

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • explain how a coach can control the training schedule, their coaching style and the motivational climate and therefore use prevention strategies for burnout
  • understand how adults’ and parents’ positive influence on youth sport can make burnout less likely. This can be achieved by both influencing an athlete’s identity and how much stress they experience through playing sport.