Sports are becoming increasingly more competitive, putting additional pressure on coaches and trainers at all levels. Along with developing your athletes, the business aspect can be just as grueling. Between daily practices, developing strength and conditioning programs, administrative tasks, and added pressure to produce results, coaches and trainers are feeling more burnt out. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid the stress and successfully recover when experiencing symptoms of a burnout.
Four Ways to Avoid Coaching Burnout
First, understand the signs of burning out
Many times, coaches and trainers become immune to the infectiousness of being overworked which leads to unavoidable and unhealthy work habits. The first step to avoiding this issue is to understand the signs of burnout. Coaches and trainers who report feeling burnt out may feel constantly stressed, unmotivated, exhausted, or generally indifferent to work. These symptoms can have a root cause, which may include the following:
- Communication and conflict: Lack of communication on issues with staff members, administrators, athletes, or parents
- Pressure and expectations: Pressure to meet unrealistic expectations
- Athlete discipline: Lack of commitment, focus, effort from your athletes
- Program support and isolation: Lack of support for the program or personal development for the coach or trainer
- Sacrificing personal time: Conflicting with family, strain on relationships, health issues due to pressures from work
- Financial stressors: Managing a coaching or training business can lead to financial stressors.
Once you determine the root cause(s), implement strategies within your weekly routines to combat them and then to minimize the symptoms moving forward. For example, if financial stressors are your biggest cause of burnout, consider revamping your business’ budget. A professional business budget template allows you to analyze cash flow and crush financial goals. Ensure that your template is tailored to your industry.
Outsource and delegate to escape the administrative vortex
Coaches and trainers can’t do everything themselves, so it is important to delegate tasks as needed. Working with your trusted network of club or school admins, front desk and back office staff, or parents and volunteers to build a system where no one coach or trainer is bearing the full weight of responsibilities is necessary to avoid coaching burnout.
Should there be a lack of staff or volunteers who can help alleviate the stress of various admin duties, don’t fret. There are comprehensive solutions that can handle many of these tasks that allow you to focus on developing your athletes. One of these solutions is utilizing technology software. Platforms like Upper Hand can take care of administrative tasks such as:
- Scheduling and registration
- Mobile check-in and attendance tracking
- Messaging and communication tools
- Payments and billing
- Mobile apps
Having a technology platform that can delegate these tasks will help you avoid unnecessary stress and focus on developing your athletes.
Build a Daily Routine
Coaches and trainers have become so focused on development and perfecting performance for their athletes that they neglect their own personal health. Doctoral research fellow Marte Bentzen, an expert on coaching psychology, encourages trainers and instructors to invest in their own personal health to ensure they are exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This can be done by establishing a routine that includes setting daily schedules and goals, meal planning, creating to-do lists and more. This will help minimize stress by making certain parts of life more predictable and creating a healthy work-life balance.
Hit the OFF (season) Button
Year-round athletics are currently the norm, adding more pressure for sports professionals to work nonstop. Set aside time after the conclusion of each season to take a break and rejuvenate for the next season.
This is also beneficial to athletes who are also feeling the strain of year-round sports and why 70 percent of young athletes quit before the age of 13. However, this can only be done if the athletes’ coaches and trainers agree and create an “off period” that is beneficial for them and their parents.
Because of the increased competitive nature of youth sports, along with the stressors that can cause fatigue, coaches and trainers are more likely to experience burnout than before. However, by incorporating these suggested tips into your daily routine, we hope you can avoid stress and recover from burnout.