An Exploratory Study on Sources of Stress and Athlete Burnout in Youth Golf

in The Sport Psychologist

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Patrick J. CohnUniversity of Virginia

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This was an exploratory study to determine the most frequent sources of stress reported by high school golfers and also to ascertain the perceived causes of athlete burnout in golf. A guided interview approach consisting of both open-ended and specific questions related to golfing experiences was used to collect data from 10 high school competitive golfers. A typological analysis of the interviews identified a number of competitive sources of stress for golfers, including playing a particularly difficult shot, playing up to personal standards, and striving to meet parental expectations. All golfers said they had experienced a short period of burnout. Some of the most frequently cited reasons for burnout in golf were, too much practice or play, a lack of enjoyment, and too much pressure from self and others to do well. It was concluded that the perceived sources of stress need to be considered when investigating the causes of athlete burnout in golf.

Patrick J. Cohn is with the Department of Health and Physical Education, Ruffner Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903-2495.

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