Burning Out in Sports


Hadley West, Opinions Writer

Playing sports is physically and mentally exhausting. Many athletes lose love for the game because of how much or how long they have been involved in the sport: A.K.A. burning out.

With school, sports, social life, and home life, the pressure on many student-athletes is increasingly great as the years go on.

Mathew Williams is a student-athlete at Lakeland High School and said he is somewhat burnt out from wrestling season. He says “I just kinda want it to be over like I wish the season was shorter… I feel like some athletes are burnt out but others are good and could go to college.” 

Often, it feels like pressures are adding on more and more to your shoulders making the sport feel like way too much to handle. This makes many athletes mentally weak and can make them easily break under pressure which in the end can make them burn out.

Parents add to the pressure by constantly pointing out flaws and making athletes feel like they have to be perfect for them. Coaches often take the fun out of playing by conditioning way too frequently — practicing so much that it takes away the athlete’s social life, or bashing the athlete’s self-esteem.

Whitney Johnson has been a teacher and coach at Lakeland High School for four years. When I asked if she was burnt out she said, “No I’m not burnt out as a coach. If I had it my way we would play all year… maybe athletes burn out from their extracurriculars and activities outside of school.”

Spending time on yourself away from the sport can help prevent or treat burning out. What many athletes forget to do is focus on maintaining a healthy mental and physical state. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep, eating healthy food, and being open-minded to changes in the sport helps to keep up health.

I played competitive soccer for 10 years and most likely could have played at a four-year school, but I lost the love I once had for the game many years ago. With being scouted since freshman year, the pressure of always having to be perfect was incredibly overwhelming. I forced myself to continue playing because it was what everyone wanted — until one day, I just quit. 

I have never been as happy as I am now that soccer is no longer in my life; forcing yourself to play is ultimately unrewarding.