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Baseball burnout usually builds slowly and is hard to detect. The most at-risk athletes for burnout are those that have played travel sports for years. The first indicator of baseball burn out is apparent attitude change. When a players was originally all "baseball gung-ho" and now has a negative attitude towards playing. The most serious signs of athletic burnout are when kids are having trouble eating or sleeping after rough games. More subtle indicators of burnout players, who are not happy even after performing well or those who never want to practice their skills or go to team practice. Other things to watch for are when athletes no longer listen to parents or coaches and those who suddenly Ignore or show disdain for team rules.
Parents should have some concern when players appear stressed and irritable before, during and after games when previously the used to be enthusiastic all the time. Additionally, kids, who have trouble staying focused when they used to always have their head in the game, are early signs of burnout.
Often mistaken for baseball burnout are players playing poorly. This feeling of burnout disappears when players begin to have success again. The solution to baseball burnout is rest and time away from the sport but, if true burnout has set in, it is often too late to revive a burned out player. Another solution is helping players learn to deal with adversity in positive ways, and ways that help players not beat themselves up with negative results. Insisting that kids hang out with friends and spend time with other activities is also helpful. Parents and coaches, who help kids with these at a young age, develop resilient players, who are less prone to baseball burnout.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
I was researching this topic because I was concerned that my son was getting burned out on the game and wanted to step in and make things better. I found a shocking statistic that "16.5% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder in 2016." It's really concerning to think that adults pushing too hard could be contributing to this. In addition to the helpful information on this page, I also found this article to be very helpful: https://chalkandclay.com/youth-baseball-burnout/ (it goes into the factors that contribute to youth sports burnout and offers a few tips for remedying them). In my case, I've adopted a rule where I don't talk to my son about his games or practices unless he brings them up. The point is to take some pressure off... and so far, it seems to be working. Thanks for covering this important topic.
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