ASK AN EXPERT: Dealing with “burn out”

Kevin Christian Distance 2 Comments

I have had this occur many times in my short coaching career. How do you deal with “burn out” on distance runners? Obviously, we have a demanding sport that requires the best kids to run year round. This can be taxing mentally. Sometimes the feeling of being “burned out” is short and can be cured with a 2 or 3 week break between seasons. However, I am experiencing a very difficult situation with an athlete who has parents that put a lot of pressure on the kid to perform highly in every aspect of life (School, Scouts, Karate, Running, College Search). How do you help reinvigorate that kid and not have him be left behind by his teammates?


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Comments 2

  1. Sounds like time for a jello fight! Throw in some fun things. trail running! Go to a tall building and run up stairs, mix it up! Jello fights are great. Tell the runners to wear clothes that can get dirty, after a couple times they will all shout, JELLO WARS! The next day have parents and yourself make lots of jello, cut it into pieces. the kids have a blast. We have even challenged other teams, like soccer and had a war.

  2. It sounds like this situation is way more complicated than the actual training. I would suggest a book talk. Yeah, sounds geeky, but I think if you had him and a couple other young men commit to reading ‘Peak Performance’ by Magness/Stulberg, and you had 3-5 sit downs to talk about what they read, it would go a long way in helping him figure out how to balance everything. I also agree with Coach Behm in that looking for ways to make running fun is always important. Doing some silly things does not hurt as long as it’s not a distraction from reaching the goals set forth. Runners ‘have fun’ when they set meaningful goals and strive to achieve them TOGETHER.

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