How To Avoid Burnout

As a coach, your passion and love for the beautiful game drives you to give your best every training session and every match day. 

However, coaching demands can sometimes lead to burnout - or physical and emotional exhaustion.

The issue of burnout among coaches is a crucial one, often overlooked due to the fear of judgment or self-doubt, much like many other mental and emotional struggles.

Stress is a natural part of a demanding role, such as that of a coach, where you're constantly striving to support player development, while also managing the expectations of parents, supporters, and other club members.

Acknowledging burnout and understanding its impact is the first step towards prevention and recovery.

Liverpool FC's current manager, Jurgen Klopp, is resigning at the close of the 23/24 season, citing burnout as a primary factor and declared the following statement when announcing the news:

"I am, how can I say it, running out of energy"

Research by Olusoga and Kentta (2017) sheds light on two critical aspects highlighted by burnt-out high-performance coaches as fundamental for recovery:

  1. Time Away from the Sport: Taking breaks from coaching activities is vital for replenishing energy and perspective. Whether a brief hiatus or a longer sabbatical, stepping away allows you to recharge mentally and emotionally. Use this time to engage in hobbies, spend quality time with loved ones, or pursue personal interests unrelated to sports.
  2. Social Support: Building a solid support network is essential for navigating coaching challenges. Surround yourself with fellow coaches, mentors, friends, and family who understand the demands of your role. Share experiences, seek advice, and lean on others for encouragement during difficult times. Social support provides a sense of belonging and validation, buffering against the effects of burnout.

Additionally, to maintain your wellbeing and coaching effectiveness, it's crucial to implement strategies to prevent burnout.

Here are six top tips on How To Avoid Burnout for coaches:

1. Establish Boundaries

Define clear boundaries between coaching responsibilities and personal life. Prioritize self-care by scheduling regular breaks and ensuring adequate time for relaxation and leisure activities.

2. Practice Self-Care

Take care of your physical and mental health through exercise, proper nutrition, and sufficient rest. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness or meditation into your routine to promote overall wellbeing.

3. Seek support

Don't hesitate to reach out for help when needed. Whether it's discussing challenges with fellow coaches or seeking professional guidance, sharing your concerns can alleviate stress and provide valuable insights.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Break down long-term coaching objectives into achievable milestones. Focus on continuous improvement rather than perfection, and celebrate progress along the way.

5. Delegate Tasks

Empower assistant coaches and team members to share responsibilities. Delegating tasks not only lightens your workload but also fosters teamwork and leadership development.

6. Reflect and Adapt

Regularly evaluate your coaching practices and make adjustments as necessary. Embrace a growth mindset and view challenges as opportunities for learning and development.

By following some or all of these tips, you will gain a better understanding of how to manage your stressors as a coach and avoid burnout.

If you'd like to learn more, check out our CPD course for coaches on the MiMentor Platform, Avoiding Coach Burnout, via the link below , and enjoy a limited-time 60 per cent discount!

Avoiding Coach Burnout
How To Avoid Burnout
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