How Athletes Avoid Burnouts

This desire to do well is engrained within themselves and no defeat or setback will shake their willingness to improve and continue to practice. This group is least likely to display signs of burnout.

The authors also stressed the effects of external motivation. While it can begin in a positive light, over time, burn-out can develop if the athlete feels they are not accomplishing much in their sport.

For example, feeling shame or embarrassment for not doing well in racing or technical skill. Therefore, they tend to no longer identify themselves as part of the team or within the sport itself. These athletes are more likely to lose interest and de-motivate themselves to continue.

Coaches and teammates can work together to instill a supportive environment that includes communicating with each other and identifying those athletes at the beginning of the season to help the onset of burnout. 

The key to being successful in sports is to begin with an underlying enjoyment of what you are doing and showing up regardless of winning a gold medal.

In a nut shell, if you're not having fun, then is it really worth it at all?

Active logoEnjoy your sport and sign up for a sports camp.


Dr. Rose Giordano, PhD is a nutritionist, rower, and expertise on nutrition, exercise physiology, and health. Dr. Giordano is presently a faculty member at Drexel University College of Medicine in addition to her independent consultation practice in Sacramento, California.

Original Article:
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Jan.
Temporal Ordering of Motivational Quality and Athlete Burnout in Elite Sport.
Lonsdale C, Hodge K.
University of Western Sydney, University of Otago.

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