The roles of the talent development environment on athlete burnout: a qualitative study

Chunxiao Li *, Chee Keng John Wang ** and Do Young Pyun ***

(*) Department of Health and Physical Educatio The Education University of Hong Kong
(**) Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, China
(***) School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, UK

Grounded on basic psychological needs theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), this qualitative study investigated the impacts of the talent development environmental factors on athlete burnout. Talented youth athletes with high and low burnout levels (n = 38; each group had 19 participants) were recruited to attend focus-group interviews. Thematic analysis led to five environmental themes: long-term development focus, holistic quality preparation, support network, communication, and alignment of expectations. Athletes with high burnout levels were likely to experience more detrimental and less conducive talent development environmental antecedents compared to those who were with low burnout levels. It was concluded that the talent development environmental factors are important antecedents for burnout prevention.

Keywords: Athletic development, Environmental factors, needs, Exhaustion, Sport