So here we are, your athlete is feeling burned out and you can see it all over their face. We feel you and want to help. There are many signs of burnout and not all burnout is long term. Players can be burned out and just need a short break. Or players have longer burnout and need something more.
Here are some tips to check on and help keep them playing their sport.
What are the signs?
- Your athlete is grumpy or angry when they play
- The athlete feels distant and may not want to talk about it
- May have less respect for the team and coaches
- Your athlete doesn’t enjoy the sport, the fun is gone
Here are our tips for changing it up:
We asked athletes, parents and coaches what has worked for them. Here are some simple ideas that you can start now. Burnout is real as more and more middle school aged athletes drop sports. We want players to keep playing.
The benefits to sport are endless. It helps your athlete in school, work and for their future.
Tip 1: Encourage them to journal
Players need to write their feelings down. Encourage them to write down what they love about the sport and what they don’t. Let them find the one thing they really love about the sport, have them focus on that.
Tip 2: Take a break for the sport
As players get older, they start to specialize and sometimes they have way too much of one sport. Make it ok to give your athlete a break. Actually, make them take a break. Players can break for a week, a few days or just a day to decompress.
When they know you have their back and want them to just decompress, this can help.
Tip 3: Add in Non Sport Specific Activity
Does your player like to do art or maybe something else? Have them focus on that. Do a family game night or bake cookies. The ideas are endless but the point is to switch gears and do something else that has zero to do with their sport.
Tip 4: Keep it Fun
Before they leave for practice or a game, tell them to have fun. That’s it. Don’t try to coach them before or after the game. When they get back in the car, ask if they had fun. If they say no, ask them why. That’s it. It is ok for your athlete to vent but you should NOT act on that. Just let them confide in you on how they feel.
Go out and enjoy what you like to practice. Maybe you like to shoot a lot or do tricks. Whatever your athlete needs, see if there is a way they want to play in a fun environment.
Tip 5: Player another sport
Sports are fun. It is great to play more than one sport. This allows your athlete to focus on something else but also helps their main sport. By playing other sports, physically your athlete can develop and use other muscles. Read on to why being a multi-sport athlete helps.
Athletes in all sports and all ages get burned out. It is natural. The best thing to do is to take 1 day at a time and implement one of our tips to help.