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Burn Out

posted Jan 19, 2015, 3:49 PM by Pat Windschitl   [ updated Jan 19, 2015, 3:49 PM ]

Burnout is a term that is improperly used in most cases.  I would suspect that any of us would be hard pressed to honestly explain how putting a young person in an environment where they are learning and mastering skills, spending time with teammates and coaches who care about them, and exercising daily is cause for burnout.

"Burnout" typically occurs when swimmers stop getting faster at a rate that keeps them excited about competing.  With that said, we find very few swimmers who are getting faster and talking about "burnout" at the same time. There are a variety of good reasons for these "plateau" periods and the key to navigating through them is good communication between athletes and coaches. 

Coaches spend a lot of time helping their athletes keep their competitive results and training in perspective. Our coaches understand the frustration of plateaus. We're all lifelong swimmers and we've all been there. But, it is important to remember that it is often during the times of struggling that young people will learn the most valuable lessons the sport has to offer them. 

Dedication, determination, and pride. These are values that our coaches are working to instill in our athletes everyday. And these are things that athletes learn not when they are on a winning streak, but when they are at the bottom and have to work their way back up. Our goal is to train our athletes to be dedicated, not just to the sport and team, but to their schooling and commitments in life. We want our athletes to leave for college knowing they can see a goal that's years away and that they have the dedication to reach it. Our goal is to train our athletes to be determined to achieve more. Everyday we work to get our athletes to see over that next hill and realize that nothing is out of reach. And finally we teach our athletes the importance in pride in winning and in losing, in sharing your success and that of your teammates. And that there is no greater pride than finally shattering your goals. 

While there are certainly real instances of "burnout" in the sport, they are very rare.  Your coaches are committed to working with each swimmer on the team through the ups and downs the competitive swimming career has to offer.  If you are concerned about "burnout", please feel free to contact your child's coach to discuss the matter more thoroughly.