Burnout is a term used for long-term mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It can be caused by work, exercise, sport, or one’s lifestyle, and may even be influenced by certain personality traits such as being a narcissist, perfectionist, or pessimist (1, 2). Symptoms of burnout include apathy, disengagement, feelings of helplessness, lack of motivation, detachment, and depression. In sport, it can occur as a result of stale habits, too much racing, too much training, or repeated letdown. Burnout can often lead to departure from the sport, overtraining syndrome, and in extreme cases even suicide.
Some celebrity athletes that suffered from burnout include Andre Agassi, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods. These top athletes were so deeply consumed within their respective sport, that they had trouble striking a balance between their personal and professional lives.