Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Young soccer players show signs of burnout

Date:
January 29, 2013
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
Young elite players at professional soccer clubs are at risk of burnout before they leave school because of the perfectionist standards they feel coaches, parents and team members demand of them, according to a new study.

Young elite players at professional soccer clubs are at risk of burnout before they leave school because of the perfectionist standards they feel coaches, parents and team members demand of them, according to a new study.

Dr Andrew Hill, lecturer in sports and exercise science in the University of Leeds' School of Biomedical Sciences, said some youngsters are showing signs of chronic stress, exhaustion, and disillusion with their sport at a young age.

Researchers studied the relationship between different types of perfectionism and burnout among 167 junior male soccer players in eight academies and centres of excellence attached to English professional clubs.

They found that up to a quarter of the boys reported sometimes experiencing symptoms of burnout, while about one percent experienced certain symptoms frequently.

Players who reported perceived pressures from others, a fear of making mistakes, and other external pressures were at the most risk from burnout. Non-perfectionists and players who displayed perfectionism driven by their own high standards were significantly less vulnerable.

"What we see among the athletes showing symptoms of burnout is emotional and physical exhaustion, a sense that they are not achieving and a sense of devaluation of the sport. Even though they might originally enjoy their sport and be emotionally invested in it, they eventually become disaffected. Participation can be very stressful," Dr Hill said.

Many professional soccer clubs' youth structures recruit children as young as 8-years-old and cut unwanted players annually until they reach 12. Youngsters then sign two-year registrations and must survive "culls" at the age of 14 and 16 before getting a three-year contract.

"It can be harsh. At its worst, we are talking about an environment that can develop, foster and maintain a mindset where athletes are wholly invested into the idea of being the next David Beckham. In fact, of the estimated 10,000 athletes involved in youth football at any one time, less than one per cent is thought to make it as a professional soccer player.

"Perfectionism can be a potent energising force but can also carry significant costs for athletes when things don't go well. Reports of psychological difficulties and interpersonal problems, for example, are not uncommon among athletes who describe themselves as perfectionists. [The British athletes] Victoria Pendleton, Ronnie O'Sullivan, and Jonny Wilkinson are all high-profile examples," he added.

"We need sport to be a positive experience for all participants," Dr Hill said. "Sport can be used as a vehicle to develop life skills, a sense of self-esteem and quality relationships with others, but we know it can lead to disaffection, poor moral decision making and make people feel miserable about themselves. There is nothing necessarily positive about sport. It is about the environment that is created."

He added: "Perfectionists are stuck in a self-defeating cycle. They are overly dependent on personal accomplishment as a means of establishing a sense of self-esteem but are always dissatisfied with their efforts. Even success can be problematic because they simply become more demanding until they inevitably experience failure."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew P. Hill. Perfectionism and Burnout in Junior Soccer Players: A Test of the 2 x 2 Model of Dispositional Perfectionism. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "Young soccer players show signs of burnout." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130129190243.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2013, January 29). Young soccer players show signs of burnout. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130129190243.htm
University of Leeds. "Young soccer players show signs of burnout." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130129190243.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins