In part one of this series of three blog posts, we looked at the characteristics of burnout. In part two, we explored various explanations for burnout, including stress, feeling trapped, lack of motivation, and the culture of performance sport. Here in part three, we’ll think about what we can do to reduce the chances of our young athletes burning out and maybe leaving sport behind.
We’ve all had times when we’re feeling a bit tired and lacking motivation, when we don’t really feel like practicing or training, or when something we usually enjoy doing seems like a bit of a chore. More often than not, once we remind ourselves that we actually love what we do, or even take a few days off, we can get on with it and get back to enjoying our sport.
Ok, so this is an easy one. A while ago, the news at large announced that Roy Hodgson, (at the time, manager of the England football) team was considering using a Sport Psychologist ahead of the World Cup to boost England’s chances of not bowing out of yet another tournament on penalties.
If you’re a basketball fan like me, you’ll be eagerly awaiting the return of the Chicago Bulls’ explosive point guard, Derrick Rose. Rose missed the whole of the 2012-13 NBA season after suffering a torn ACL the previous year, and a few months ago, I wrote a piece about him and some of the psychological factors that should be taken into account during an athlete’s return to play following injury. You can read it here if you like. It’s not bad.
So I’ve been doing some consultancy work in boxing for a while now, and it’s safe to say that it’s a sport that’s unlike any of the sports that I’ve worked in before. It’s a brutal sport, there’s no getting away from it. The aim is to punch your opponent until he/she can’t punch you back any more.
However, it’s also a sport that requires not only immense physical strength and stamina, but also discipline and control, and the ability to think tactically and strategically while under pressure. So in some ways, I suppose it’s not that dissimilar to other sports after all.
Momentum. Or the perception of momentum. Does a change in momentum just come down to your ability to re-focus when things aren’t going your way?
As a basketball fan, I can honestly say that I’ve really enjoyed watching Great Britain compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Having both men’s and women’s teams there amongst the world’s best players has been good for British Basketball, and their performances have certainly been credible.