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How to Deal with Athlete Burnout

Published on May 02, 2023

Brett Campbell
South Palm Beach County Area Director

During my career as an athlete, there were many times I experienced legitimate burnout. I think back to my junior year of high school when I wanted to walk away from basketball. I was emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausted. What God gave me as a gift was the very thing that was draining me and pushing me into a place of burnout. If God gave me a passion and talent for basketball, then why was I feeling this way?

The first time hearing the phrase, “A good thing becomes a bad thing when it becomes the ultimate thing” transformed my perspective of sports. I fully believe that sports are a gift from God. He blesses athletes with incredible talent and calls us to work hard! James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” The opportunity to compete is a gift. Sports are a good thing! Yet, it is critical to acknowledge the potential for sports to become the ultimate thing in our lives. When this happens, the good gift from God becomes a bad thing and will lead to emotional, physical and spiritual exhaustion. You will burn out because sports are not meant to be ultimate in our lives.

Jesus is the only one deserving of holding the place of ultimate in our lives. He alone can fill our hearts, and through Him, we experience eternal life with God. I pray that every one of you knows that God loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.

If you are burnt out and wondering where you can turn, Jesus is waiting for you. God’s gift of grace is available to you through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. When you say yes to Jesus and commit to following Him as the Lord of your life, you are declaring that He is ultimate in your life! And when Jesus is ultimate, sports can be what they are designed to be… a gift! We are called to steward the good gifts from God. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people,” God desires to redeem the world of sports for the sake of advancing His Kingdom.

Read the rest of the article to learn how to live out of the overflow of God's strength and rest.