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

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8 Summary of Session 4

The main learning points from this session are:

  • There is a need to consider both the individual and situational characteristics when evaluating overtraining and burnout.
  • Organisations have a responsibility to create environmental (or situational) conditions conducive to well-being.
  • Lessons from the five insights into overtraining and underrecovery were:
    1. Chrissie Wellington’s example reinforced the research into the integral nature of recovery. Her statement ‘recovery is training’ helps emphasise this.
    2. The Bobby Clay example reinforces the research that prolonged underrecovery and undereating can have severe health consequences (NCSEM, 2017). Her example points to obsessional behaviour being a risk factor in overtraining and burnout.
    3. Dan Pfaff’s approach that less (training) is more (effective) is a reminder of the way athletes and sports culture are often inclined to increase training volume and the risk of overtraining.
    4. The ECSS/ACSM position statement (Meeusen et al., 2013) suggests overtraining is of widespread concern and the diagnostic criteria you considered showed the broad range of influences beyond high training loads.
    5. Effective monitoring of athlete training plays a valuable role in helping prevent overtraining and burnout since the information helps training to be adapted to individual needs and helps identify training patterns over time.

In the next session you will discover more about how the intense drive or motivation to train is often one of the key factors in burnout. As you can imagine there are some rich case examples to draw on. This is why the motivational perspective and research into how perfectionism contributes are particularly valuable in helping to understand burnout.

You are now half way through the course. The Open University would really appreciate your feedback and suggestions for future improvement in our optional end-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , which you will also have an opportunity to complete at the end of Week 8. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

You can now go to Session 5.