North Kitsap Soccer Club

Soccer Burnout

Player Burnout and Dropout
Mike Singleton, Director of Coaching for
Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association,
started out explaining the a
ffects of Burnout. Burnout is
the emotional exhaustion,
depersonalization and reduced pe
rsonal accomplishment. A
player will show signs
of negative responses to others and low self
esteem. Players participate in soccer
to have fun, to do something they ar
e good at, stay in shape and improve their
skills. The reasons they drop out is because
they choose to participate in another
activity, they lack the talent, it is no longer
fun or they dislike the coach. 70-75% of
all youth sport player
s quit by the age 16.
Burnout is caused by physical, social/int
erpersonal and psychological factors. A
player might become injured, be over tr
ained, overscheduled, have problems in
personal life, experience a lack of development
as a player, pressure to win. All of
these factors can cause the game to no longer
be fun. It is important to check in
with players as a coach when they seem to be down in practice. Ask them, “How
are you?” This does not imply that some
thing is wrong with
them, while showing
that you care how they are doing.
Contributing factors to
Burnout include coaching styles and parent-athlete
relationships. A coach might put too
much emphasis on winning, substitute
whenever a player makes a mistake (telling t
he player that it is not okay to make
mistakes) or make friendship conditiona
l on performance. A parent might compare
their own child to others, yell at all player
s from the sidelines or put extra stress on
performances. These too can cause a gam
e to no longer be fun for the player.
Mike Singleton offered some
cures to there Burnout fa
ctors: coaching environment
and parent education. Coaches are to set
short term and attai
nable goals, listen,
let players have a say in practice, allow l
aughter, focus on player emotions and ask
questions of players. Parents need to be
informed of the coaches expectations,
encouraged to keep open communication, involv
e them in practices, observe the
interactions between parent and child, ask t
hem why their child plays and let them
know your concerns.
Lastly, Mike suggested that if a play
er seems to be experiencing burnout.
Encourage them to take time
off, whether it be
selected days off or a short period.
As a coach watch for this on your team.
If you are tired the players are probably
tired. TAKE TIOME OFF. Maintain communi
cation with the player during this period
and discuss the situation with
the parents. Most
importantly, listen to your players
problems.