A sports coach knows the signs when he sees them – decreased ability to concentrate, confusion, decreased motivation, increased irritability, grumbling, quarrelsomeness, over sensitivity to criticism, anxiety, depression.
A good coach will recognises the signs of over-training and give his athlete a break before burn-out sets in. A great coach will not let these signs develop because he knows how to pace his athlete to bring them to their peak without demoralising them.
Burn-out can occur in any one of any profession and of any age, children included. Many parents do not realise they may be setting their child up for burn-out later in the year because they, as their child’s coach, have not planned their activities so that their academic athlete may peak at the appropriate times (exams).
It is with the best intentions that many parents will fill almost every minute of their little one’s waking hours with sport, training for sport and transport to and from sport. I am amazed at how many children are undertaking more than one sport a school term. If you are a parent who is building a champion please remember three things.
- Training and playing sport is very tiring. That is why great coaches do not over-load their prized athletes. They allow down time for recovery and for their protégés to spend time doing non-competitive recreational activities.
- A tired student will find it difficult to concentrate in class.
- In today’s world a person has a much better chance of achieving a high income with good grades than becoming a highly paid athlete.
If the situation has developed where a student may require extra tuition to assist with their education then a choice has to be made with a view to prioritising. It may be necessary to drop another activity for a while as the student regains their academic confidence. It is best to not load up an already over-loaded timetable.
As for being a great coach and preparing for the next season we will be running a pre-school program in January to ease our students back into their academic year. Contact us for more details.