“Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”- HelpGuide.org
Wake up. Eat. Warmup. Workout. Cool down. Eat. Class. Practice. Stretch/ do prehab or rehab. Eat. Class. Homework. Sleep.Wake up and do it again.
I wish that I could have said this was the reality of what my days looked like when I was a division 1 student-athlete. But the reality of my days was this; I was too busy or too tired the majority of the time for those ‘extras’ like warmups and cool downs. It was an ideal day when I got to have those additions in my schedule.
This was a typical day: Wake up. Eat. Workout. Eat. Class. Practice. Eat. Class. Homework. Sleep.
As elite athletes, we have to be expert time managers because of how full and demanding our schedules are. We’ve all known the feeling of both feeling like there’s not enough hours in the day to get things done but also knowing that you need to squeeze in a nap before your last class of the day so you don’t fall asleep in front of your professor.
Most college student-athletes have at least a 6 month season and 5 months of off-season training, which in many ways, can feel more stressful and physically demanding than the actual season. That’s 11 months of consistent work. Naturally, you get tired and you start find things in your schedule that don’t feel necessary. Class and homework? If you don’t pull your weight you may find yourself ineligible and unable to play. Workouts? Can’t miss. Practice? Can’t miss. Meal times? Also can’t miss. Rehab, stretching, cool down? Those we can miss.
So, we slowly start to eliminate those things in our day that ‘don’t seem ‘necessary’. Yet, those unnecessary things are often what we need most to prevent burnout and keep ourselves healthy.
When it comes to preventing burnout we have to remind ourselves that those little things that seems to take so much extra time and seem so unnecessary compared to everything else are what keep us from tipping over the edge. We have to uphold those commitments to ourselves.