Could Soccer Burnout Be in Our Near Future?

SoccerBurnout_IMG_8496 copySchool just began and we’re all still getting used to the routines. That, unfortunately, included a few days at home sick for one of my girls after the long Labor Day weekend. Ugh. And though the other one didn’t stay home ill, the effects of her bad cold and sore throat still lingered each day at school. To top it off, she’s the one with the intense almost-everyday soccer schedule. I am Mommy, so I worry.

MK’s Tues/Thurs soccer practices with her comp team expanded to optional skills practices on Wednesdays and goalie practices on Fridays. Now, you might ask, why did I sign her up for the additional two days? Well, basically, that was what MK wanted to do. She loves soccer and if given the chance, she’ll play everyday. But I wonder if it’s one of those things that I, as Mommy, should regulate for her. I mean, she doesn’t understand the concept of burnout. She is 9 years old with an endless source of energy and enthusiasm for the sports she plays.

I kinda think that this much soccer at such a young age is a bit much…isn’t it? In fact, I think that this much playing of any sport at this young age is a bit much. Oh yea, I know that the best players in many sports – tennis, swimming, soccer, football, basketball, etc. – started playing when they were very young. The question is, how much did they really compete?

I’d read a long time ago that the father of Venus and Serena Williams kept them away from tournaments when they were very young in order to ensure that they developed gradually and didn’t burn out quickly. I wonder, should I be doing a similar thing?

I’m not saying that MK will be the next Mia Hamm or Hope Solo (who knows?) but generally speaking, should I start curbing how much time she’s spending on this one sport? There are many other sports I’d like her (and her sister) to try out – tennis, basketball, field hockey, swimming – that a year-long commitment to soccer pre-empts. At least we’re still making time for Tae Kwon Do.

Anyway, I guess we’ll see what the end of this first year on the comp soccer team brings. December is the end of the year-long commitment and if she hasn’t burned out by then, maybe this will be her sport…and maybe I won’t feel so guilty about it…a few years from now.

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Original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog by Mommytwingirls.