Being a three-sport student-athlete means pushing your body to the limit from the start of the school year to the very end.
Here's five tips to avoid "burnout," a state of mental and physical exhaustion:
1) Sleep: It seems obvious that a good night of rest can do wonders for your body, but you'd be surprised how many teenagers sleep just four or five hours a night.
It's difficult to manage work, school, sports and a social life, so many student-athletes compensate by losing out on key hours of sleep. Teenagers, especially active student-athletes, should get at least nine hours of sleep each night.
2) Don't Sweat The Small Stuff: Remember that the sport you are playing is "just a game."
It's easy to get caught up in sports and sweat the small stuff in an effort to impress parents or to gain a scholarship, but stress will only work to decrease your overall performance on the field. Have fun out there, remember it's just a game and your game won't suffer because of it.
3) Stay Open To Positive Feedback: Remember that your coaches and parents are on your side. When they criticize your performance, they are likely just trying to help you perform better on the field and provide some positive feedback.
4) Play Fewer Sports: Some student-athletes can handle the year-round grind of playing three sports, but they are a rare breed.
Playing a sport in the fall, spring and winter means committing to practices and games five to six days a week for the entire school year.
That schedule can be extremely difficult to manage, and sometimes can lead to burnout. Sticking to one or two of your favorite sports, rather than the full work load of three, may be the best option.
5) Start A Stress Journal: If you're starting to feel burnt out on sports, you should start a journal that can help you identify the major stressors in the game and how you are dealing with them. A stress journal is kind of like a personal counseling session, and will help you avoid "burnout" from sports.
Eric Holden has been covering Long Island high school sports since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
- Sports & Recreation