Psychology Of Burnout In Youth Sport Psychology Assignment

2090 words - 9 pages

Athlete burnout is conceptualized in literature as a “cognitive-affective syndrome characterized by perceptions of emotional and physical exhaustion, reduced accomplishment and devaluation of sport”, (Rotella, Hanson & Coop, 1991). Specifically, the causes of athlete burnout amongst youth sport participants (generally categorized as those under the age of 24) are largely unexplored. Youth sport participants are particularly susceptible to burnout in sport as a result of academic expectations and social development occurring concurrently with intense sport training, with the culmination of the aforementioned events often being associated with decreased enjoyment and motivation, and ultimately, burnout (Gustafsson, Sagar & Stenling, 2016). Smith’s Cognitive Affective Model is used extensively in research into burnout as it reflects a model of athletic burnout that consists of situational, cognitive appraisal, physiological response and behavioural components that describe the experience of an athlete over time (Smith, 1986). Additionally, the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) is often incorporated as a focus within studies and is centralized around “three innate psychological needs – competence, autonomy and relatedness – which when satisfied yield enhanced self-motivation and mental health and when thwarted lead to diminished motivation and well-being”, (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Conceptual and theoretical applications of the study may be to gain an understanding of the psychological aspects that contributed to burnout in youth and the distinctive differences in these aspects to adults, whilst theoretical applications may revolve around reducing youth sport dropout rates and encouraging enjoyable participation to last into adulthood. As such, further research into the causes if youth sport burnout is warranted to potentially establish preventative and curative measures, as well as developing an adequate model for identifying burnout.
Burnout amongst youth sport participants has long been associated with a variety emotions experienced whilst participating in sports, with the most significant negative impacts coming from stress, perfectionism and negative experiences. As per the aforementioned Self-Determination Theory, in situations of relational changes that indicate failure, individuals will generate cognitive appraisals which triggers thoughts of how the individual’s goals will be impacted, which goals will be impacted and how important these goals are to them (Gustafsson, Sagar & Stenling, 2016). As such, associations between threat appraisals and stress, perfectionism and general negative experiences in sport are generally agreed upon amongst literature, with Gustafsson et al. detailing that such threat appraisals are triggered when a potential for failure is identified and that the outcome of the situation will have aversive consequences. More specifically, chronic stress is agreed upon as one of the leading causes of youth burnout in sport and is...

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