This article reports findings from the second phase of a larger research project designed to examine burnout in competitive junior tennis players. This phase of the project was qualitative in nature and involved two components. First, interviews were conducted with 10 individuals who were identified as being most burned out in the quantitative phase (Phase 1) of the project. Content analyses of the 10 respondents’ interviews identified mental and physical characteristics of burnout, as well as reasons for burning out. Recommendations for preventing burnout in players, parents, and coaches also were gleaned. Second, the 10 individual cases were examined in light of the major tenants of the three existing models of athlete burnout. Results from the examination of the burnout models suggested that burnout is best thought of in terms of Smith’s (1986) chronic stress model with physical and social psychological strains falling under it.
Daniel Gould is with the Department of Exercise & Sport Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27412-5001. Eileen Udry is with the Department of Exercise & Movement Studies at the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403. Suzanne Tuffey is with the Sport Science & Technology Division of the U.S. Olympic Committee. James Loehr is with Loehr-Groppel Sport Science, Orlando, FL.