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

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10 Summary of Session 7

Some of the main learning points from this session are:

  • Experiences of burnout differ and require individual responses in which a holistic view of the athlete’s experience is needed.
  • Burnout prevention strategies include:
    • Promoting time off and monitoring to help prevent overtraining and underrecovery. This was supplemented with Meeusen and De Pauw’s (2013) advice to coaches and athletes.
    • Encouraging needs supportive coaching which relates to Self-determination theory. This describes a coaching style, language and behaviours which allow athletes to contribute their ideas to the coach and where controlling behaviours are avoided.
    • Creating a mastery motivational climate drawing from Achievement goal theory. This involves encouraging expectations and goals that are related to improvement, effort and collaboration. This strategy is particularly suited to help manage the negative aspects of perfectionism (Lemyre et al., 2008).
    • Fostering a broader identity beyond sport, drawing on social perspectives of burnout.
    • Encouraging appropriate parental support, which is likely to make sport less stressful for children (based on research by Harwood and Knight (2009)); this includes aspects of needs supportive coaching and mastery motivational climates and overcoming false myths about early specialisation in sport.

In the final session you will investigate how different psychological skills can be used to help reduce burnout. These include some perhaps familiar ideas (like goal setting), some that you may be less familiar with (like social support) and some relatively new skills that are having an impact (like self-compassion).

You can now go to Session 8 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .