Attention to Burnout Failure: Athletes’ Point of View
A study took place in the University of Essex has shown that athletes can burnout risk through striving for perfection and fixating on their mistakes, which measures athletes mental feelings on their performance. This scale is meant to
provide insight on how an athlete feels when they are disengaged from
their sport. This study was reported in the journal
More than 250 sports persons — in individual and team sports — have been tested and found to be psychologically distressed by hyper-self-critical competitors who react negatively to even minor setbacks.
It was found that absolute anxiety – an over-reaction to a nuisance and
perceived failure – is strongly associated with athletes.
This determination for failure can make them feel that any achievement is not enough and that the upcoming matches will be stressful in proportion,
and may create a self-fulfilling performance prophecy.
The study, led by Luke Olson of the University’s School of Sports, Rehabilitation
and Fitness, is believed to help shed light on physical stress.
He said, “Most people have come across the term burnout, with a lot of research focusing on the reason why it develops.”
“There are many studies that have shown if an individual pursues perfection,
whether that be in work, sport, or school, it can lead to burnout.”
“However, our study was able to determine one potential explanation as to why
this is the case in sport, which suggests that the stresses of pursuing
perfection can lead those to mentally disengage with their sporting
All the men and women in the study competed for more than 8 years and averaged 21 years old, with literacy rates ranging from university to international. They were measured for levels of stress, burnout, and perfectionism.
Athletes competed in a variety of sports, including athletics, golf, weightlifting, football, netball, and hockey.
Burnout is defined as athletes’ low sense of accomplishment, prolonged tiredness, and a passion for their sport.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and a warm mood are all thought to reduce perfect anxiety and prevent burnout.
Mr. Olsson added, “There is a need to prevent athletes from experiencing burnout.”
He also said, “In the case of our research, the athletes themselves should be wary that pursuing perfection and being overly self-critical is likely to be doing more harm than good.”
“I believe athletes may be better served by being less self-critical which should allow them to celebrate successes in performance and embrace failures as an
opportunity to reflect and improve rather than beat themselves up.”
This study thus helps to avoid burnout and keep a healthy mind to go along with a healthy body.