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Burnout and the Changing Landscape of Youth Sport Tom Raedeke East Carolina University Youth Sport Specialization Is It Too Much Too Soon?

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Presentation on theme: "Burnout and the Changing Landscape of Youth Sport Tom Raedeke East Carolina University Youth Sport Specialization Is It Too Much Too Soon?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Burnout and the Changing Landscape of Youth Sport Tom Raedeke East Carolina University Youth Sport Specialization Is It Too Much Too Soon? Colby-Sawyer March 2010

2 Overview Setting the stage: Importance of the Burnout Issue –What is burnout? –Is it prevalent? –Impact on athletes What Causes of burnout –Chronic Stress –Erosion of Motivation Prevention strategies

3 Defining Features Emotional & Physical Exhaustion Sport Devaluation Low sense of Personal Accomplishment Raedeke (1997) Raedeke & Smith (2009) Other key features Relatively Chronic State Different than sport drop out

4 What is Burnout? Exhaustion Devaluation Reduced sense of accomplishment

5 The Changing Landscape of Youth Sport BurnoutA phenomenon on the rise (or at least increasingly discussed) –Sport specialization at young ages –Near year round training –Professionalization of youth sport –Increasing training demands

6 9000m per day

7 How Prevalent is Burnout? How prevalent is it? –We arent really sure-

8 Negative Ramifications Negative Impact on Athletes Sport Experiences –Performance decline –Decreased motivation –Dropout –Negative impact on team climate

9 Negative Ramifications Negative Impact on Well-Being and Health –Mental Health Depression Self-esteem –Illness susceptibility –Substance abuse Cresswell & Eklund, 2006

10 What Causes Burnout? Burnout Stress = Perceived imbalance between task demands and resources

11 What makes sport demanding? Training Demands * Overtraining Too much training with too little recovery * Time demands * Lack of improvement Gustaffson et al. 2007; Kentta et al 2001

12 What makes sport demanding? External Influences * Parents Overinvolved Supportive, but family life centers around sport –Lots of time and money invested into sport –No break from sport * Pressure from coaches Negative coaching style Pressure to win Building credentials (Raedeke, Lunney, & Enables, 2002; Gould et al. 1996)

13 What makes sport demanding Internal Demands (personality) * Perfectionism * Trait Anxiety * Contingent Self-esteem * Pessimism/Optimism ( Appleton et al, 2009; Chen et al., 2009; Hill et al, 2009

14 What about the resource side of the picture? Strong ResourcesLess Stress and Handle Demands Better Social Support Lifestyle Management Mental Skills Training Life balance Raedeke & Smith, 2004; Gould et al. 1996

15 Stress Perspective Summarized High Demands PersonalityCoping Resources Perceived Stress Perceived Overload (exhaustion) Unmet goals/expectations (reduced accomplishment) Lack of enjoyment/meaning (devaluation) Lifestress Smith, 1986 Goodger et al. 2007


17 Burnout-Erosion of Motivation Burnout stems from a lack of fulfillment and failure to find meaning in sport –While everyone can experience stress, burnout can only be experienced by people who entered their careers with high expectations, goals, and motivation- -people who expected to derive a sense of significance from their work (Pines, 1993) –State of fatigue or frustration brought about by devotion to a cause or way of life that failed to produce expected reward (Freudenberger and Richelson, 1980)

18 Burnout = Loss of Meaning Athletes feel they are trapped, stifled, and that they are wasting time in sport while missing out on other life opportunities Bottom Line: Being an athlete and athletic success dont seem as important or significant as they used to

19 Why Does Sport Lose Meaning? Why do athletes participate? What do they expect to gain from sport participation?

20 Goals and Expectations Enjoyment---To have fun CompetenceTo be successful AffiliationTo be part of a team What causes burnout? Unmet goals and expectations

21 More On Loss of Meaning Coakley (1992); Black & Smith, 2008 Raedeke (1997). + _ Sport Structure Control Multifaceted Identity Control Unidim Identity

22 Burnout linked to erosion of commitment Two faces of commitment: –Attraction (enjoyment)-based Commitment Because they want to be involved Satisfaction, love of sport Passion –Entrapment-based Commitment Because they have to be involved Obligation Burnout

23 Burnout and Commitment PassionEntrapmentLow Commitment SatisfactionHighLow BenefitsHighLow CostsLowHigh Alternative Options Low High InvestmentsHigh Low Social Constraints ?HighLow

24 Entrapment Coakley (1992); Raedeke (1997); Schmidt & Stein (1991) Entrapment Decreasing Benefits Increasing Costs Decreasing Enjoyment Investments Social constraints Lack of Alternative Options Control Identity

25 Preventing Burnout: Secondary Individual Approaches Teach athletes how to deal with the demands of training and competition –Target: Individual Athlete –Typical Approach: Stress Management –Limit: Does not treat source of problem

26 Organizational Approach: Primary Prevention Maslach: Truth About Burnout –Organizational/situational factors play a larger role in burnout than individual characteristics Approach: Take preventative steps to improve the quality of athletes sport experience (work culture) Target: The structure of sport, coaches and parents

27 Prevention is more effective than intervention An Ounce of Prevention is Worth A Pound of Cure Secondary individual approaches do not work as effectively as primary prevention

28 Psychological Stress: Teach Athletes to Manage Stress Individual Centered Intervention Approaches: Stress Management –Identify what is causing stressdevelop plan for dealing with it –Teach athletes how to handle stress/pressure (mental skills training) Relaxation, goal setting, anxiety management, self-talk –Constructive outlooks on adversity/slumps/lack of improvement –Develop coping resources (e.g., lifestyle mgt, social support)

29 Preventing Burnout Training demands –Balance training demands and recovery –Schedule recovery periods/time-outs –Dont increase training demands when other stressors are on the rise –Focus training plan on long term developmentnot short term gain

30 Psychological Stress: Primary Prevention Strategies (empower athletes) Parent Education Develop a Positive Coaching style –Empathy –Quality teaching and instruction Reinforcement Instruction Encouragement –Autonomy supportive versus coercive environment Choice, ownership, involvement, rationale –Mastery versus performance oriented motivational climate Price & Weiss, 2000; Raedeke & Smith

31 Performance Climate Winning is emphasized Shift in focus from learning to performing skills –Team with fewest mistake win –Mistakes are viewed as failure –Focus on social comparison Mastery Climate Why participate: –The joy is the journey –The process What is reinforced, emphasized, and valued? –Effort –Learning and Improvement –Mistake = part of learning

32 Commitment Ideas Keep passion alive (enjoyment and benefits) –Incorporate the things that make sport meaningful into sport experience –Break monotony of practice –Identify positive things about being an athlete and what youd miss if left sport –Help athletes connect with joy of sport –Keep the fun factor high

33 Keep investments in balance –Add energizers into week –Strive for life balance –Leave sport on the playing field Social constraints and control –Ensure that significant others (coaches, parents) are a source of support and not stress –Play for own reasonsnot others –Create an autonomy supportive environment –Give athletes meaningful control Foster a multidimensional identity

34 Questions, Comments, Problems, Contentions, or Objections?

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