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The Burn-Out Syndrome

Brigitte Neumann How can I perform in sport all the time without getting burned-out?

The burn-out syndrome often is a reason for a dart player to stop playing darts. Burn-out is feeling drained and worn out. One feels exhausted, tired, it's asking too much of you, nothing come together any more. Without suitable countermeasures it will end in lack of drive, hopelessness and despair, even depression. Everybody will know this phases. You can't say you've got a burn-out syndrome should you not want to practice for a while, might not be able to really perform for a while or feel, you would like a holiday after a hard season.
To be burned-out, you have had to be fired first, inspired, motivated, willing not to give in and to fight. Burn-out starts slow, insidious, often unnoticed. First the darter is enthusiastic, engaged, and euphoric. Not practice session is too long; one always wants to be the best, to give all. After the euphoric start there is reality now, everyday life. The charm of something new is gone, no fast increase in performance any longer, no big successes.
In this phase it's important to set short-termed goals, which look promising and are attainable. We often think of a rapid rise all the time and lose sight of the small successes. Then comes stagnation. We'll start to wonder whether we are really good enough to reach our goals, whether our efforts really are worth it, whether we get enough recognition for our graft.
In this phase we probably will play tensed, think of tactics to withstand, we practice even more, but without commitment or enjoyment, we've lost all pleasure in the sport. We seem to be stressed and unbalanced. The hoped for successes will not happen any more because of our too high demands and because we are too nervous or we don't see them any more. We feel discouraged, exhausted and resigned. In this phase a holiday might help, a time away from the sport or to practice somewhere else or to get some peace and change.
Coping with stress and relaxation exercises now are needed. Without help we will end in frustration. We are deeply disappointed, we deny our goals, we seem to be negative, don't enjoy anything any longer. In this state we should think about abandoning our sport or about changing the sport.

Prevention-Do something offside the oche!

You can prevent all this, by developing other interests beside your sport, by meeting with friends not playing darts. Everybody, who takes his sport serious and is enthusiastic about it, can burn out. So you should follow the rules of a "balanced life", which means to consider both, demand and relaxation. It's important, that your body has time to relax, you could visit sauna and massages regularly or do other sports (soccer, basketball, swimming, cycling) without any pressure. To relax right is something one has to learn. Your capability to recover physically, mentally and emotionally can decide whether you win or lose.
It's important to understand the significance of relaxation for success and you have to learn to see the signs that you need physical and mental rest and that you use your time between competitions for this.
Special relaxation exercises will help in between the competitions to loosen physical and mental tension, to cut back stress and to get calmer. A mental trainer can be a professional help.

"Part of the way lies behind you, another part is in front of you. Should you linger you only linger to make you stronger, not to give up." Augustinus


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