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

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11 Summary of Session 8

The main learning points from this session are:

  • Eight psychological strategies for managing and reducing burnout were identified along with a source for additional information. These strategies can often also be used to help prevent burnout.
  • Three burnout reduction strategies were outlined in detail:
    • self-compassion – used to help counter anxiety, self-criticism and perfectionism, and which can enhance athlete coping skills. Self-compassion helps athletes treat themselves kindly rather than being harsh and self-critical.
    • goal setting – this was applied to burnout and emphasised distinctions between:

      – outcome, performance and process goals

      – SMARTER principles of effective goal setting, and

      – short-term and long-term goals.

    • social support – the perception of support was highlighted as important. DeFreese and Smith (2013) link its effectiveness to Self-determination theory. Social support can partly be achieved by using:

      – the person-centred concepts of congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathy, and

      – knowledge of different types of social support, and the positive encouragement of social networks, interactions and activities amongst squads and groups.