For some kids, the love affair they have with their chosen sports or activities never ends, granting them an endless reserve of motivation and drive to fuel their training.
Many other kids won’t find things nearly as easy and may eventually reach the point of burnout, where the mere thought of taking part in yet another training exercise fills them with boredom or dread.
It’s important for parents to have a plan in place that aims to combat burnout and for them to monitor their children for signs that burnout has taken hold and address it appropriately should it appear. Not doing so could push a child to eventually abandon the activity altogether.
Renowned all-star cheer coach Stephanie Britt says the warning signs often include a growing apathy towards the activity, moodiness when engaged in it, and simple mistakes being made that result from a lack of focus.
Stephanie Britt, who has coached thousands of children into becoming elite cheerleaders at her facility Cheer Savannah in Georgia, shares a few of her key tips for parents looking to nip their child’s burnout in the bud.
Set Small Goals
Many children want to be the best at whatever they put their minds and bodies to, but it’s easy to lose sight of such lofty aspirations in the face of long-term training regimens.
To keep their motivation and drive from wilting, Stephanie Britt encourages parents to sit down with their children and set small goals together that will break up their training and practices into manageable chunks with defined objectives.
By slowly raising the bar and continually giving them something new to strive for, children will find it easier to feel good about their progress and motivated to continue getting better.
Pile on the Rewards
Stephanie Britt claims it’s more important than ever for parents to generously reward their children for achieving their goals, both big and small.
With video games and social media inundating children with powerful reward cues at every opportunity, the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction they get from doing other activities can be harder to come by, leading to burnout.
By offering frequent small rewards, whether it’s giving them a night off from their chores or taking them out for a treat after a good practice, parents can use some of the same tricks that technology is unfortunately so good at exploiting.
Variety is the Spice of Life (and Training)
If your child is experiencing burnout, it may not be with the activity itself, but rather with how they are learning about or training to become better at it. The training or coaching methods may have become too repetitive for your child to maintain their interest, or simply may not have been a good match for them from the start. Possibly too hard and too demanding?
By exploring other coaching and training opportunities, parents can better gauge what methods and environments work well for their child, what training techniques help them focus and improve the most, and what kind of coach brings out the best in them.
Allowing other activities
Sometimes it’s best to allow your athlete to do additional activities or another sport so they see the grass isn’t greener. Often curiosity takes over and the child may WONDER what another sport is like or it may APPEAR cool, but when they try it they see its still tiring and requires a lot of hard work. This will often let the child CHOOSE her original sport again or find appreciation for it when she has a variety of other activities in her life.
Avoid extra lessons, privates, and multiple teams
Your child should be able to be successful in cheer by only attending 2–3 times a week. More lessons or privates or multiple teams will absolutely lead to burn out. It’s not a spring, but a marathon. The goal is to have her cheer through high school graduation. Do not go to much to fast when she is young or burnout will happen in high school!
Let her take breaks!
Birthday parties, proms, vacations, and holidays are all a vital part of families and growing up! Allow your child normalcy and giving her these breaks so that she can return to her sport with passion and not bitterness and regret!
Stephanie Britt’s Final Thoughts
Experiencing burnout is a natural process of life, everyone from children to surgeons will feel this way at some point in their life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help inspire your children. Stephanie’s own children were burnt out at times, but Stephanie is clear to point out, she never let them quit! She believes children all want an easier path and have so many opportunities for FUN nowadays that keeping them in a sport is more challenging than ever so the adults must be responsible and make the children to do things SOMETIMES that they don’t want to do, so they can have opportunities later in life.
Stephanie Britt has shared her best strategies for promoting positive growth in your children by stating it is essential to set small attainable goals, reward your children for their efforts, and finding the best coach in your area who loves children, and give them time off in order to avoid burnout in your children.