Athletic Burnout

Topics: Stress, Psychology, Anxiety Pages: 4 (1321 words) Published: January 13, 2013
Engagement in sport provides a great source of enjoyment for most athletes and improves the overall well-being of individuals. However, in today’s multi-million dollar sport industry, there is a substantial amount of pressure for an athlete to execute and succeed in professional sport (Hackfort & Huang, 2005). They are required to maintain their optimal physical condition in order to perform to their greatest ability, and many professionals understand the importance of training hard and constantly working at their skills to improve them. In addition to excelling in physical condition, mental toughness and perseverance are traits that are instilled in athletes at a young age to diminish psychological barriers that may limit their performance. However, if an athlete is not able to balance multiple physical and psychological stressors at equilibrium, many repercussions may arise which prevents athletes from functioning at a peak state. As a consequence to this prolonged chronic stress, the athlete suffers from burnout (Schaufeli & Buunk, 2003). Defining Burnout

Athletic burnout is recognized as a growing psychological problem that is increasingly becoming a major factor in negatively affecting the performance of athletes across a wide spectrum of sporting disciplines. Burnout is a psycho-physiological response that is characterized by physical and emotional exhaustion caused by excessive and perpetuating stress (Silva, 1990; Dale and Weinberg, 1990). It occurs when athletes feel overwhelmed and are unable to meet continual demands resulting in decreased sport performance, a reduced sense of accomplishment, and a decline in participation (Silva, 1990; Dale and Weinberg, 1990; Gustafsson, 2007). This internal response usually inflicts athletes that ineffectively try to meet excessive training and competitive demands through high motivation and unrealistic goals (Silva, 1990). Once affected, this stress reaction causes burned-out athletes to experience...
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