As sports at all levels become increasingly competitive, coaches are busier than ever. As a result, incidents of coaching burnout are on the rise. There are plenty of examples at the pro and college levels, but the truth is it can happen to anyone.
Fortunately, recognizing the symptoms of burnout is half the battle. Here are four signs that you’re experiencing coaching burnout, with tips to combating each.
You're Putting off Tasks
If you’re not a procrastinator by nature, but you’ve started putting off tasks, it may be a sign that you’re on the verge of burning out. The best way to combat this is to set up a schedule and stick to it. Be sure to include designated relaxation time, which may sound silly but can help keep you sane.
Consider tracking the time you spend on different tasks. You may not be able to bill by the hour like an attorney, but you can figure out what parts of the job consume most of your time and work on a way to streamline.
You're Mentally and Physically Tired
There’s nothing unusual about feeling tired sometimes, but it’s a problem if you’re feeling tired all the time. Fatigue, headaches and frequent illness are signs that you’re overdoing it. If you’re having these symptoms, the most important thing to do is make sure you’re getting enough rest.
Consider setting work hours and sticking to them (unless there’s an emergency). In the long run, getting that extra hour of sleep could have a much larger impact than watching an extra hour of film. Be sure to set aside time for physical exercise. It gives you energy and serves as a great outlet for stress. You can’t be an effective coach if your stressful lifestyle is affecting your personal health.
You're Frequently Feeling Discouraged
It’s normal to feel down after a tough loss, but you shouldn’t feel discouraged all the time. As longtime coaches know, every year won’t be your best. That’s why it’s important to set manageable goals for your team, both on and off the field.
Don’t lose sight of why you started coaching in the first place, and remember to celebrate your team's small successes. Focusing too much on the big picture can make it tough to enjoy the little moments.
You're Losing Passion for Your Job
It's human nature to compare ourselves to others, but it’s not always productive. Many coaches lose passion for their work when they lose sight of what makes them and their team unique. Just because another coach runs two-a-days or wakes up at 5 a.m. doesn’t mean that has to work for you. Having a healthy work-life balance can benefit both you and your team.
If you’re starting to lose your spark, consider talking to members of your coaching staff, or other coaches at your school or in your league. It’s likely they’ve gone through similar ruts and can lend advice.
Be sure you’re using all of the coaching tools and resources at your disposal. They can help save you time and energy, and ultimately improve your team’s performance.
What tips do you have for preventing coaching burnout? Leave us a comment or join the conversation in the Hudl Forum.