You might not think burnout is a problem common in sports. We usually think it’s a problem adults face in their jobs. It can be an issue for kids too, and sports are often involved. In fact, burnout is thought to be one of the most common reasons that kids quit playing sports.

Kids often keep these feelings from their parents or coaches. They are reluctant to tell them that there is a problem.

Parents and coaches can recognize some of the warning signs of youth sports burnout and talk to their kids about it. These signs can manifest through changes in sports performance, emotion, attitude, and health.

Sports performance changes

Young athletes might play worse than they normally do. They might struggle with tasks in their sports, such as performing a routine play. They might lose motivation to practice. They might not seem like they are having fun while playing. They might even argue with their teammates and coaches.

Emotional and attitude changes

Off the field, these young athletes might seem unusually depressed, angry, tired or irritable. They might not want to eat. They might have difficulty sleeping. They might not talk to family or friends as much as normal.

Also read:
Watch for signs of burnout in young athletes
As a parent, don’t focus on winning

Girl showing signs of burnout in sports.

Health changes with sports burnout

Finally, sports burnout can occasionally take the form of health issues. Children might complain of vague pain. They could take longer to recover from minor injuries. They might even get sick more often than normal.

Every young athlete experiencing burnout in youth sports might show different signs. It is important to recognize that a problem could exist. Try to open the lines of communication before kids quit playing altogether.