7-Signs That Your Gymnast Needs a Break
As with all competitive sports, even the most dedicated and passionate athletes risk burnout if intense training goes unchecked for too long. Gymnastics is no exception. In fact, gymnastics is one sport in particular where burnout may be lurking around every corner. Most competitive gymnasts train 3 to 5 days a week, often for at least 3 to 5 hours per day if not more. The sheer time required from athletes in this sport can lead to burnout, then add in the mental and physical strain of the sport too, and you have a situation that needs to be closely monitored.
A few signs of athlete burnout that parents and family members can be on the lookout for include;
- Repeated overuse injuries – these often are sustained by the repetitive pounding a gymnasts body endures each day in the gym. If you notice your gymnast suddenly is injured a lot, it may be time to ease up on the training intensity just for a little while.
- Attitude changes – If your child is full of life and vigor and suddenly becomes sullen and reclusive when she’s not at the gym, many things may be going on, but among the possibilities is athlete burnout.
- Extreme fatigue – Some fatigue is to be expected from competitive gymnasts; however, if it takes over your child’s life and it wasn’t previously that bad, it’s time to investigate to determine if your child is still enjoying gymnastics.
- Lack of enthusiasm – Your child may display this lack of enthusiasm at the gym, at home, with friends, anywhere really. It doesn’t necessarily have to occur only at the gym. If your child is losing interest in things they once had passion for and they don’t seem to get excited about life anymore, they may be experiencing depression caused by burnout. Sometimes a short break in the action can go a long way.
Often, when athletes begin to feel burned out, they won’t tell anyone because they don’t want to let down themselves, their coaches, their teammates, or their families. That’s why it’s so important for people who are close to these athletes to recognize the symptoms of burnout so they can intervene on the athlete’s behalf and encourage them to take a break. Sometimes a little break in the action can go a long way to reigniting that spark of passion for a demanding sport.
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