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Why Youth Players Lose the Passion?

Uncategorized Oct 08, 2021


Today on the blog, we’re talking about burnout. 

Unfortunately, it’s common to hear of talented youth players getting burnt out from playing at the competitive level. And sometimes they just stop playing the game all together.

So it’s understandable why some parents hesitate to get their kids involved in competitive soccer or extra training too soon to avoid such an outcome.

But if managed properly, the player will be better off--playing the game they love at the level that is challenging and exciting for them.

Let’s look at two of the main questions to consider in these situations. The first being: What’s the right time to engage a child in a competitive level or extra training? 

The truth is, there’s no right or wrong time as far as being ready to be in such an environment--competitive or extra training. Each child is different. So consider the child’s desire, commitment level and, most importantly, if the child is taking that next step because she/he wants to and enjoys it. 

And the second question to consider is: What’s likely to cause burnout? (So we can avoid it.)

Burnout can happen because of multiple reasons. It could be internal factors like perfectionism or high expectations, or external factors like physical and mental exhaustion, excessive time commitments or injury. And sometimes it can be all of the above. When they get to where it’s more of a stress than fun, kids lose the love for the game--AKA burn out.

In my opinion, the main factor that causes burnout is being in the wrong environment.

When players are demanded to perform, which increases pressure, receive low encouragement from coaches or teammates, aren't surrounded by players with the same drive and have unbalanced training that doesn’t actually deliver results, that’s a breeding ground for burnout. 

Being in the right environment where the training is balanced and tailored to the individual needs is very important. 

I believe that with the right balance of training, encouragement and achieved results, the passion for the game will increase. The child will be able to handle the game better and accept the challenge to perform. And that will drive any youth player to commit more time to the sport--because they will be in love with the game. 

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