Go to Polygence Scholars page
Emily Fu's cover illustration
Polygence Scholar2023
Emily Fu's profile

Emily Fu

Class of 2026Danville, California



  • "The Effects of Parent and Coach Behaviors on Burnout in Youth Sports" with mentor Jackie (Sept. 20, 2023)

Project Portfolio

The Effects of Parent and Coach Behaviors on Burnout in Youth Sports

Started Apr. 6, 2023

Abstract or project description

Athlete burnout is often characterized as emotional and physical exhaustion related to engagement in a sport, a sense of devaluation towards a sport, and a lessened feeling of success in a sport. Burnout can be caused by the mounting pressure and high expectations to become an elite athlete, often applied by parents and coaches, possibly leading to an athlete quitting a sport altogether. For example, this pressure can be seen in instances when a parent pushes for their child to specialize in a sport (focus on a single sport year-round, often at a competitive level) in order to fulfill their own aspirations and hopes. The effect of this push to specialize can impact an athlete’s physical and mental health, with the risks of overuse injuries, lack of development of social skills, and as stated earlier, burnout leading to dropout. In addition, coach behaviors can affect athlete attitudes toward sport. Negative coaching with degrading comments can cause an athlete to become frustrated and exhausted with their sport, one of the main factors of burnout. A coach’s knowledge about a sport and how a player perceives the coach can also impact their emotions toward playing. This paper will explore the negative parent and coach behaviors that impact athlete burnout, with a specific focus on encouragement of sport specialization and coach relationships.