For many athletes the grind as the sport gets more and more involved as the level of play goes up. For many players they love the grind at the start and can’t wait to get to the field or the weight room. But as the years go on and the practices get longer and more frequent, the sport that once was people’s favorite becomes like a chore.
Usually for most this comes around the high school age, and even comes for those who have found immense success. Many kids who have a lot of success in sports at a young age are then expected to be in that role for the rest of their lives. This mindset seeps into the kids brain and they can pigeonhole themselves into the thought that they always have to be successful in this sport.
For kids to ensure they are not on the road to burn out it is important for young athletes to find a separate outlet. This outlet should be outside of sports, expanding to something that does not even involve athletic competition. This will allow the athlete to fully immerse themselves in a world that is completely outside the realm of the sport.
This will also allow the athlete to be around different people and develop more diverse interests and figure out who they are as a person. No matter how skilled many young athletes are the odds of them making it professional in any sport is slim and it is more important to spread the eggs into different baskets as well.
If you are a young athlete that just cannot put away the sports then it is important to at least take time to play a different sport. In fact, pick a sport that you have never played or tried to play. This will allow you to play for fun but also make you appreciate the sport that you do the daily grind for.
It is okay to step away from your sport, no matter what the expectations are for you. Sports are supposed to be something we fall in love with and never view as a chore.